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Worksheet: Obstacle Detection

Introduction to Mobile Robotics > Obstacle Detection


This worksheet is provided for reference only. Be sure that you follow the steps in the online directions, and answer the questions at the appropriate times. Fill out all your answers on a separate sheet of paper.

Construct: Touch Sensor

1. What did the robot do? The robot went forward until the touch sensor hit the wall, which made the robot stop. 2. What caused the robot to stop? The robot stopped because the program told it to stop when the touch sensor was hit. 3. Do you think its a good idea for the robot to run into obstacles and stop? It is only an ok idea if the machine is not going to break or harm itself in the process of hitting an object. 4. What are the benefits and drawbacks of this behaviour? The benefits are is that it stops driving into a wall and the drawbacks are that it may accidently confuse something else as a stopping signal.

5. What did the robot do? The robot stopped 10cm before the object. 6. What caused the robot to stop? The ultrasonic sensor was programmed to stop the robot before it hit the object. 7. How far away from the obstacle did the robot stop? The robot stopped 10cm before the object. 8. What are the benefits and drawbacks of this behaviour? The benefits of the ultrasonic sensor is that it does not actually hit the object, but the draw backs are that it may confuse other objects as the stopping signal.

9. How reliable is this sensor as opposed to the touch sensor? The touch sensor is more reliable as it actually knows the object is there, although the ultrasonic is safer.

Contemplate

10. Think about the Construct Phase that you just completed and compare using the touch and ultrasonic sensors. i. What is the main difference between the two programs? The wait block is either programmed to the ultrasonic or the touch sensor. What is the main difference in the robots behaviour when you use each of the different sensors? The touch sensor hits the object and the ultrasonic sensor senses the object from a distance away.

ii.

11. The ultrasonic sensor allows you to stop before you reach an object, rather than after youve run into it. What are the benefits and drawbacks of this behaviour? The benefits are that the robot doesnt get damaged and the drawbacks are that it may get confused. 12. The touch sensor only has two settings, pressed and not pressed. The ultrasonic sensor, on the other hand, can sense any distance between 0 and 200 centimetres. i. Why do you need to set a threshold level for the ultrasonic sensor, but not for the touch sensor? The touch sensor has to touch the object whilst the ultrasonic has a variety of options. What happens to the robots behaviour as you change that threshold level for the ultrasonic sensor? As the threshold level for the ultrasonic sensor is changed the robot either stops closer or further away from the object.

ii.

Continue: Detecting Everyday Objects

Observations:

13. What does the sensor show when it has difficulty detecting anything? The robot keeps driving forward if nothing is detected.

14. Does the shape or curvature of an object make a difference? At a certain distance the curved shape of an object makes it recognisable to the robot, but not recognisable as a flat object. 15. Does the sensor detect soft or hard objects better? Why do you think this is? The robot detects hard objects better than soft objects. This may be because the hard object is more solid. 16. What is the smallest object detected? The smallest object the robot detected was a small robotic rod used in the creation of a robot. (standing up) 17. Does the sensor detect thin objects well? The sensor detects objects well as long as they are tall and solid. 18. Turn the sensor 90 degrees on its side so it is positioned upright. Does it detect thin objects better now? It does not detect any objects any better positioned upright.