Thinkbot in action


During my studies as HAW Hamburg I had to choose an elective course. So I chose robots. Those are always plenty of fun to do. We were the first class to use the new C’t bot based hardware platform and so we had to solder and test them. With 4 light sensors pointing down to the driving surface the most obvious and supposedly simple task was to create a line follow competition. So the challenge was to collect as many film doses as possible and bring them to the big black spot. However there was a circle in the middle to which no line leads which also contains 2 more doses. Our bot was the only one that was able to collect the doses in the middle. I was working with Paul Litzbarski and Sven Tennstedt. Paul focused his work on a recovery algorithm which could return the bot to a well known position once it started to get lost. Sven researched alternative learning algorithms such as genetic programming and neural networks. My main task was to program for the challenge. But just see yourself how everything turned out.

While turning 180° for example might sound simple, it unfortunately is not as easy as spinning the two wheels in the different directions. This strategy either lead to the loss of the dose or to turn too far or too little. So we kept one wheel stopped and made a 270° turn and went straight-forward until we hit the line again. To leave the circle we just went 45° to the left and were hoping that a line would come and pick us up :)