June 26, 2017

Programming Students Adopt a Robotic Dog

Autonomous Robot at University of Advancing Technology

Recently a few Robotics and Embedded Systems students have adopted a dog!

Well, actually, Kenneth Vorseth and Andrew Weisenberger have been working in the Robotics Lab to program and bring a robotic dog to life. If the robot were a real dog it would be considered to be highly trained in that this robot is autonomous, designed for the Autonomous Object Tracking Vehicles class at UAT.

Just last week, I was walking by and saw student Kenny Vorseth (Robotics and Embedded Systems/ Game Programming) training the robotic canine how to fetch in the UAT Commons. Please watch the video to see for yourself.

An update since the video was taken..

“We have made significant progress since this video regarding the AI’s ability to predict the moving target, which allows it to intelligently seek out the ball when it has left the camera view frustum. We are also working on using the pixel data, when the target is centered, to fire and ping the ball with sonar, as to allow more accurate calculation of distance to the ball than using pixel scale. Using this data and the accurate uController’s clock for deltaTime between frames, we can calculate the velocity of the ball-robot system. That is, the velocity of the ball related to the concurrent velocity of the robot, not the surrounding world. Using velocity, and monitoring the sign change of it’s delta, acceleration, we are working on fine-tuning the robot to maintain velocity to the ball. If the ball’s speed increases, the robot will increase, and vice versa. We recently did a test outside near Founder’s Hall, and the robot worked very well on rough terrain and the camera maintained tracking in bright sunlight on the concrete/grass/rock surface.”

Hopefully in the next few weeks we can solidify really smooth drive capabilities, as well as develop simple games to play with the robot continually, without ever encountering a programming hitch that requires user intervention or reset.

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