Li'le Rosie

built by Doug Oda

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Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors 3 Wheels
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
1 EG&G Thermopile sensor
Proximity sensors
Microphone
2 DC motors
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
Siemens 80C515 microcontroller N/A
Programming Lanuage Weight
N/A N/A
Time to build Cost to build
N/A $100
URL for more information
N/A
Comments
Dimensions: 10 inches high, 8 inches in diameter
Li'l Rosie is a custom robot built to compete in the 1998 Fire Fighting Robot Contest. The task consist of 3 basic parts which are navigating a floorplan to search for a candle, identifying the candle as a candle, and extinguishing the candle.

Navigating a known floorplan is relatively easy. There are two drive wheels in Li'l Rose each of which is attached to a optical encoder wheel. One rotation of a drive wheel moves the robot forward 2 inches and generates sixteen pulses to the microcontroller. The direction can be determined at any time by subtracting the pulses generated by one wheel from the other. The differance is used to lookup a direction value in a lookup table. Any accumulated error can be corrected using the proximity sensors located around the front of the robot. The speed is in controlled by pulsing voltage to the motors. The voltage generated by the motor during the "off" time of the pulse is measured by the processor and is an indicator of how fast the motor is turning. The processor then uses this information to adjust the pulse on time for a constant motor speed.

The problem of identifying a candle is solved using a thermopile and with an infrared frasnel lens to detect the heat generated by the candle. The lens and sensor are mounted on a turret that makes a 180 degree sweep. The voltage generated by the amplifier/sensor circuit is read by the microcontroller and an increase of temperature in a particular spot is identified as a candle.

Extinguishing the candle is easy. A balloon protrudes 3 inches in front of the robot 8.5 inches off the floor. The robot simply drives straight at the candle until the balloon pops. The heat of the candle pops the balloon when the balloon passes over the candle and the force of the CO2 escaping the balloon blows out the flame. The robot senses when the balloon is ruptured by listening for the loud bang with the same microphone that is used for sensing the starting buzzer.

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