22 Aug 2002 davee   » (Master)

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since my last entry. I've been distracted by another project involving a 'real' robotic project in the works.

As to the status of K2, the firefighting robot, I'm using a 2 liter soft drink bottle as the 'target' since the pyro sensor does not report heat as much as it detects the thermal difference of an object from what it thinks is the background temperature. Works as well for cold things as it does for hot. Anyway, I don't need a fire burning for this stage of the game. K2 can find the bottle, and navigate to within 5 inches of it using the pyro sensor and the sonar system. It still needs some fine tuning, but that's ok.

Between the motors, head servo, ADC for the pyro and the sonar, I've used 12 out of the sixteen available ports. I expect to need only two or three more ports for another infrared sensor to narrow the angle towards the fire and the extinquishing system. If it gets too critical, I can offload the sonar functions to one of my sonar coprocessors and gain 4 more pins.

It is interesting to watch K2 roam around a room, locate the fire and get closer to it. If I used a fan like most people do, K2 allready gets within 10-15 degrees and stops 5 inches from the target. At that range, it should have no problem blowing out the fire. I want to do better. I want to be able to shoot a stream of water or foam at the flame and put it out with a 'real' fire fighting system.

Anyway, the next step is to modify the K2 to align itself dead on to the flame before triggering the fire suppresion system.

I've also added a routine to patrol an area and look for fires while it is on patrol. This patrol routine will evolve to patrol the trinity house and return to the start point after putting out the fire.

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