Embedded Motion Control 2015

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Guide towards the assignment
'A-MAZE-ING PICO'


Contents

Introduction

This course is about software design and how to apply this in the context of autonomous robots. The accompanying assignment is about applying this knowledge to a real-life robotics task.

Course Schedule and Lecture Slides

Lectures will be given on Wednesdays from 8.45 - 10.30 in Gem-Z 3A-12. The course schedule is as follows:

April 22 Introduction
April 29 Composition pattern part I by Herman Bruyninckx Tooling and Infrastructure by Sjoerd van den Dries
May 6 First presentation of the design by groups: 6-minute presentation about the group's design in the context of the task-skill-motion system architecture and the composition pattern.
May 13 Corridor competition
May 20 Composition Pattern part II by Herman Bruyninckx
May 27 Second presentation of the design by groups
June 3 Communication patterns by Herman Bruyninckx
June 10 Presentation of final design by groups
June 17 Final competition

Assignment

Design and implement a robotic software system that will let robots Pico/Taco solve a maze in the robotics lab. The maze can contain doors that automatically open and close.

Corridor Competition

An intermediate review will be held on May 13th, 8.45h at the RoboCup soccer field. During this challenge, called the corridor competition the students have to let the robot drive through a corridor and then take the first exit. The precise location of this exit will not be given in advance. Some facts:

  • Set-up
    • Make sure your software is easy to set-up, i.e:
      • Your software can be updated with one easy command, e.g. 'git pull'
      • Your software can be compiled using 'cmake' and 'make'
      • To start your software, only one executable has to be called
      • If your set-up deviates from this method, let us know as soon as possible!
    • The software of all groups will be updated on the robot before the challenge starts
      • This way, teams starting the challenge have as much time as teams that do the challenge at the end
  • The corridor:
    • The exit can be either left or right
    • It is not known beforehand how far the exit is located from the start (somewhere between 1 and 10 meters)
    • The opposing end wall (on the far end) will be open
    • The walls are approximately parallel to each other
      • Note: the walls might not be perfectly straight
    • The distance between the walls is not known in advance, but will be reasonable (somewhere between 0.5 and 1.5 meters).
    • The distance between the walls will be fairly constant throughout the corridor, 'fairly' meaning that we build the corridor by hand, and the distance may change a little along the corridor.
    • At the exit, the finish line is located approximately 30 cm from the side of the corridor (Notice: approximately, so don't just drive forward for 30 cm!). The walls that can be used to align PICO will be a little bit longer.
  • Start, goal and limits:
    • PICO will start with its laser range finder between the walls
    • PICO will be approximately facing the end of the corridor. (Notice: approximately, so don't just drive forward for n seconds!)
    • You have finished the assignment if PICO did not drive into walls, took the correct turn and the entire rear wheel is across the finish line.
    • Maximum speed (is limited in PICO): 0.5 m/s translational, 1.2 rad/s rotational. By the way, that's pretty fast (compared to last year's 0.2 m/s), so be careful! You don't have to drive that fast!
  • Scoring:
    • Try not to touch the wall! Slightly touching is OK, however, bumping (i.e., driving head-on into a wall) is not allowed! If PICO hits the wall, we decide whether it counts as bumping. If PICO bumps into the wall, that trial ends immediately.
    • Every team has two trials (= max one restart). A trial ends if:
      • PICO bumps into the wall
      • PICO has not moved or has not made sensible movements (as judged by the tutors) for 30 seconds
      • The total time limit of 5 minutes per group is reached
      • The group requests a restart (on the first trial)
    • restart means:
      • PICO restarts at the beginning of the corridor
      • CORRIDOR time (= time used for scoring) is reset, BUT
      • TOTAL time keeps running
    • Every team has a total of 5 minutes
    • There will be no second attempt if first attempt was successful

Next you can see an example of a corridor:

Scheme of a possible corridor composition, with measurements

Maze Competition

The final competition will be held on June 17, 8.45h at the RoboCup soccer field. The goal of this competition is to let PICO autonomously drive through a maze and find the exit. Some facts:

  • Where and when:
    • Wed June 17, 8.45h - 10.30h
    • Location: RoboCup Soccer field, GEM-N
  • Set-up
    • Make sure your software is easy to set-up, i.e:
      • Your software can be updated with one easy command, e.g. 'git pull'
      • Your software can be compiled using 'cmake' and 'make'
      • To start your software, only one executable has to be called
      • If your set-up deviates from this method, let us know as soon as possible!
  • Maze characteristics:
    • Exact location of the exit is unknown, but it will be on the boundaries of the maze (which means: PICO has to drive out of the maze).
    • Walls are approximately axis-aligned, meaning all angles are 90 degrees. Approximately means: built by hand, so slight differences may occur.
    • Open spaces may occur
    • There may be loops in the maze, which means that some walls may not be connected to other walls.
  • Start, goal and limits:
    • PICO will start inside the maze.
    • PICO will not start in a door area (see below for definition). So, for example, the door will not be directly behind PICO's starting location
    • You have finished the assignment if PICO did not drive into walls, found the exit and the whole robot is across the finish line.
    • Maximum speed (is limited in PICO): 0.5 m/s translational, 1.2 rad/s rotational. By the way, that's pretty fast (compared to last year's 0.2 m/s), so be careful! You don't have to drive that fast!
  • Doors:
    • There is exactly 1 door in the maze
    • The door will be situated at a dead end, a dead end being defined as a piece of wall with minimum length 0.5 and maximum length 1.5 with side-walls of at least 0.3 meter length. (Picture explaining this will follow shortly)
    • There might be multiple dead ends in the maze, one of which is a door
    • You need to pass the door to solve the maze, i.e., if you cannot open the door, the maze is unsolvable
    • The door will open if and only if the following conditions are met:
      • PICO is located within 1.3m distance from the door (i.e., no part of PICO is located outside the 1.3m range). The 1.3m in front of the door is called the door area.
      • PICO is not driving, i.e., the commanded velocity is 0 (both translational and rotational)
      • PICO asks to open the door. This will become available from the io-layer, e.g.,:
        io.requestOpenDoor()
    • If these conditions are met:
      • The door will start sliding open within 2 seconds from PICO's request
      • The door will slide open to the left or to the right
      • The door slides open at approximately constant velocity
      • The door is fully open within 5 seconds from PICO's request
    • Once the door is open, it will stay open
  • Scoring:
    • You have 2 attempts (= maximum one restart)
    • restart means:
      • PICO restarts at beginning of maze
      • MAZE time (= time used for scoring) is reset, BUT
      • TOTAL time keeps running
    • You have a total of 7 minutes for both attempts
    • Hit wall = that attempt fails
    • PICO standing still for 30 seconds = that attempt fails
    • There will be no second attempt if first attempt was successful

Next you can see an examples of an open space and a door and examples:

Scheme of an open space and a door template' and examples

Getting Started

To get started, please do the tutorials on the Tutorial Page. Please note:

  • Do all tutorials, and all steps. Missing one step may cause a different behavior or incorrect working system later. If something is not working as expected, make sure you correctly did all previous steps.
  • Of course, things may still go wrong. If so, do not hesitate to contact us.
  • See Using Pico for a quick overview of how to use Pico.

FAQ

Here you can find a collection of Frequently Asked Questions. Please check this page before contacting the student assistants or the tutors! If you find any issues or questions you had to deal with, please add them as well so your colleagues don't run into the same problems.

Group Wiki Pages

Group 1 - visit wiki - Tutor: Luis Ferreira

Group 2 - visit wiki - Tutor: Luis Ferreira

Group 3 - visit wiki - Tutor: Sjoerd van den Dries

Group 4 - visit wiki - Tutor: Sjoerd van den Dries

Group 5 - visit wiki - Tutor: Yanick Douven

Group 6 - visit wiki - Tutor: René van de Molengraft

Group 7 - visit wiki - Tutor: Yanick Douven

Group 8 - visit wiki - Tutor: René van de Molengraft

Group 9 - visit wiki - Tutor: René van de Molengraft

Group 10 - visit wiki - Tutor: Yanick Douven

Group 11 - visit wiki - Tutor: Luis Ferreira

Pico test schedule

A timetable for the first two weeks of the second stage tests is now available. Each group is allowed one time slot per week. A timetable for the three weeks after that will become available soon.

Be sure you have your software on git before coming to the test session so that you only have to git clone/git pull to get your code on the robot!

Please charge the robot whenever possible so there is no down time due to empty batteries.

Week 21
Date Time Group
21-05-2015 12:45 - 13:45 Groep 5
21-05-2015 13:45 - 14:45
21-05-2015 14:45 - 15:45
21-05-2015 15:45 - 16:45 Group 11
22-05-2015 8:45 - 9:45 Group 8
22-05-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 6
22-05-2015 10:45 - 11:45 Group 7
22-05-2015 12:45 - 13:45 Group 4
22-05-2015 13:45 - 14:45 Group 10
22-05-2015 14:45 - 15:45 Group 3
22-05-2015 15:45 - 16:45 Group 2
Week 22
Date Time Group
28-05-2015 8:45 - 9:45 Group 1
28-05-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 7
28-05-2015 10:45 - 11:45 Group 4
28-05-2015 12:45 - 13:45 Groep 5
28-05-2015 13:45 - 14:45 Group 9
28-05-2015 14:45 - 15:45 Group 10
28-05-2015 15:45 - 16:45 Group 8
29-05-2015 8:45 - 9:45 Group 11
29-05-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 6
29-05-2015 10:45 - 11:45 Group 2
29-05-2015 11:45 - 12:45 Group 3
Week 23
Date Time Group
04-06-2015 8:45 - 9:45
04-06-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 11
04-06-2015 10:45 - 11:45 Group 4
04-06-2015 12:45 - 13:45 Group 5
04-06-2015 13:45 - 14:45 Group 7
04-06-2015 14:45 - 15:45 Group 6
04-06-2015 15:45 - 16:45
05-06-2015 8:45 - 9:45 Group 8
05-06-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 3
05-06-2015 10:45 - 11:45 Group 2
05-06-2015 11:45 - 12:45 Group 9
Week 24
Date Time Group
11-06-2015 8:45 - 9:45 Group 2
11-06-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 11
11-06-2015 10:45 - 11:45
11-06-2015 12:45 - 13:45 Group 5
11-06-2015 13:45 - 14:45 Group 7
11-06-2015 14:45 - 15:45 Group 4
12-06-2015 8:45 - 9:45 Group 8
12-06-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 3
12-06-2015 10:45 - 11:45
12-06-2015 11:45 - 12:45 Group 9
Week 24
Date Time Group
15-06-2015 8:45 - 9:45 Group 11
15-06-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 4
15-06-2015 10:45 - 11:45 Group 5
15-06-2015 12:45 - 13:45 Group 1
15-06-2015 13:45 - 14:45 Group 6
16-06-2015 8:45 - 9:45 Group 2
16-06-2015 9:45 - 10:45 Group 8
16-06-2015 13:45 - 14:45 Group 9
16-06-2015 14:45 - 15:45 Group 3
16-06-2015 15:45 - 16:45 Group 7
16-06-2015 16:45 - 17:45 Group 6


Group Final Presentations

To be added...

Contact Details

In case of questions related to working with the real PICO robot, please contact Yanick. For questions regarding the simulator or Git, please contact Sjoerd.

Tutors

Sjoerd van den Dries - S dot v dot d dot Dries at tue dot nl

Luis Ferreira - L dot F dot Bento dot Ferreira at tue dot nl

Yanick Douven - y dot g dot m dot douven at tue dot nl

...

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