We pretty much went with this course.
The general idea was to give robots as many runs on the course as
they wanted. Beyond that, Royce was pretty strict with
following the rules, which made it that much more rewarding for the robots that succeeded. (Thanks Royce)
By my count, there were thirteen robots present that
day. A couple were not designed to run outdoors, but six robot
crossed the starting line in autonomous mode.
My wife took plenty of video of my robots, but not much video of
the others... hmm.
As you can see, this robot uses the LEGO Mindstorms NXT.
#1 shows GM at the start of the course, and navigating
around the trees. It uses GPS to track its location, and uses
the Ultra-sonic sensor to avoid trees & other obstacles.
Below these three clips is a map showing
where they fit into the course.
Clip #2 shows GM
in the middle of the course. This clip begins in about the
same spot clip #1 ends.
After the previous run, I actually extended
the back end of GM, to prevent it from flipping forward (like
it did at the end of clip #1). The result was a more
GM also watches both the GPS, and the rear wheels to determine if
the robot is stalled. If the GPS speed is 0 (stalled) the
robot will just back up and try to ram whatever is causing it to be
stuck. If the rear wheels are not turning, it will attempt to
navigate around, using the same routine as when the US sensor sees
Clip #3 picks
up in the middle of the run. After the previous run, I
adjusted the waypoints, so the robot had a much wider path to
follow, and didn't have to drive up the steep hill, which had really
thick, tall grass (which really needed to be
The Green Monster was the only robot to
successfully navigate the entire course (start to finish) and touch
the cone, without any assistance.
It won the event with a time (not that it mattered) of 6 minutes, 45 seconds.
Green Monster Path(s)
This map shows where the robot actually went
during each of the
John brough two LEGO NXT robots. V2
was simply a newer (better?) version of Voyager
Both Voyager & V2 were designed to pivot & twist in the
center joint, giving it a great deal of flexibility.
V2 was able to navigate about 90% of the course, which was good
enough for Second Place
Voyager was not as well balanced (too much
weight in back) and was only able to navigate about 100', but was
still able to finish in Third
Both John and I used remote handheld data recording devices
(another NXT connected via bluetooth to a GPS) to map out GPS
points. This was done by simply walking the course, and
storing points to a file, as we each felt were needed.
Once the points were recorded, the data file was downloaded to
the robot via bluetooth.
Robot: Builder: Bryan
Result: Tie for
Bryan's robot uses two
Here's Bryan trying to figure out why the second NXT isn't
Just kidding. It was actually just running on one
NXT (and only three motors). He was only able to start
programming it a few days before the event, and was hoping to simply
follow a compass heading for some distance.
In the end, he mostly ran out of time,
but was able to achieve a three-way-tie forFourth place by
driving a short distance in the correct direction.
Robot: No Name
Result: Tie for
Rick had one of several very nice looking robots at the
event. He had a remote control for the robot, which could
drive the robot, or switch it into autonomous mode. When this
robot is complete, it will clearly challenge for the win in any
RoboMagellan event it enters.
This time, Rick used a test-program to let the robot drive a
short distance, and tie for Fourth Place
Rick & Royce talk as "No Name" and "Voyager" look on...
Result: Tie for
Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of this... I'll try to take some and
post them, later.
It also went the correct direction, a short distance to tie for
The rest of the robots that showed up, were not ready to attempt
the course. I was very glad to see them at the event. It
gave us a chance to see what everyone else is working on.
Builders: Team Conehead -
This robot made an apparance late in the day, totally under
remote control. Check out that hard drive.
Robot: Formerly Blue Bot,
now NickBot Builder: Eric
missed the group picture at the end of the
day, because he was still programming his robot. Unfortunately,
he's still not done... :)
This monster was a beautifully machined work of art.
Currently there was not code to run the motors, but the GPS
satellite tracking is very cool.
Below, you can get a real idea of
the size of the robot.
Another very well machined work of art. (indoor soccer