15 Jun 2001 rudybrian   » (Master)

I was able to spend some more time with the latest version of Beesoft from Sebastian on Zaza yesterday morning. Previous attempts at compiling and using the code directly on the robot resulted in application crashes or poor quality maps. The older Linux version has a few header files in different places than modern distributions, and required a few tweaks to compile. I decided to start recompiling everything from scratch to ensure that any existing binaries compiled on later Linux versions were removed. Apart from one problem with the latest version of LOCALIZE, everything appears to work properly now. There have been some significant enhancements to laserServer, laserint, LOCALIZE, and map that are not backwards compatible with earlier colliServer versions, and thus were causing the problems discovered during earlier tests.

I made a test map by joysticking the robot around a small wing of the Tech office cube maze and then ran LOCALIZE, plan and laserint on the offboard development computer with the acquired map. This time it worked flawlessly. I was able to start the robot in a known position and orientation, and it was able to successfully navigate to another point on the map autonomously. Ahh, progress :)

We did another public test(pictures: 1,2,3) of Phase II mode on the lower level of the museum in the afternoon. Far more children and family groups came through the area during the test, and the results are very encouraging.

After the test, later in the evening I attempted to map a much larger part of the McCabe hall facility by the same means as before. Unfortunately, my choice of a random path through the halls (and not actively watching laserint during the map's construction) caused laserint to fail, and produce this map. I'll try again next Monday evening.

If anyone is interested in the techniques used for mapping and localization, several papers were written on Zaza's predecessors RHINO and MINERVA, which have a significant amount of information.

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