10 Oct 2005 cschur   » (Master)

This was the first big test weekend for VacBot-1 up at our cabin in the pines in northern Arizona. It showed me it has still a bit of work to get it to work as planned. First, the robot has bumper only navigation. With only that, its going to get stuck fairly often in a household enviornment. It took me a year of hard work to get PAAMI to be able to run for days in our house without ever getting stuck or trapped. She had not only bumpers, but IR Prox, and sonar and a very advanced 5 layer subsumption architecture. Vacbot has bumpers only, but is an excellent proof of concept for finding out what works and what doesnt!

While I have some more hardware mods, and am in the process of adding the 3 state FSM, here is what I have learned so far:

- when moving from tile floor to carpet, the brush assembly must keep the same height from the surface so it doesnt bog down

- Batteries last a lot longer on tile, nearly 10x longer.

- Bumper only navigation while sufficient for a square competition type arena, is not reliable for a house hold with chairs, furniture, etc.

- a speed of less than 1 foot per sec is best for effectiveness.

- there is a LOT of cat hair its picking up in our carpet!

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