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Thread: Radar for Mech Warfare?

  1. #1
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    Cool Radar for Mech Warfare?

    Thought I'd share this link. Enjoy!

    http://luckylarry.co.uk/2009/11/ardu...-range-finder/

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    Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    Wow that's pretty cool. My GUI is already in processing and I have an IR sensor so i may have to try that.

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    Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    Yeah, I thought of you specifically, when I saw this.

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    Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    Search the forum for "Mechdar". It's a really clever project that Fergs started but it got put aside in favor of the scoring system.
    "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
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    Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    Back before I was even building a mech last year, Andrew had asked me to build something like this. MechDAR consisted of a Mini RoboController (same as the target transponder), 5 IR sensors (one to each side, 2 off the rear, and one on a panning turret), and an XBEE link back. The (unfinshed) code & docs can be found here (it was a python/Pygame gui).

    Some thoughts from having played with this setup:

    • Putting a forward and rearward facing IR sensor, each on their own pan servo, would give awesome coverage.
    • If you're using XBEEs, you'll need a seperate XBEE for the MechDAR from your control -- the turnaround time from RX to TX to RX may quickly slow down your link, causing erratic behavior (unless you are sending movement commands at a really slow framerate)
    • Speed of a scan is critical, and the part missing from the code linked is the update for movement. That code Manny linked to will take 3.6s to pan 180 degrees. At 3.6s, the bot will move during a scan, causing points not to be aligned correctly. You could tie in your control outputs, to apply a transform to the points, or speed up the panning.
    • Please, please, make the bot move enough that a 3.6s update rate makes this unusable before bothering building such a system. (I'd really like to see mobility, more than smarter turrets, and I would think most people agree).

    I actually planning to revive this system for next year, because I plan to build a biped. Issy was too fast moving to make this worthwhile, but a slower quad, which can only move 10cm/s or so, would probably benefit a lot. I do like their method of extending the dots out using that radar appearance -- I'm thinking I may go that route (rather than the original, wall extraction/localization scheme I had been working on).

    EDIT: Jes beat me to the punch.

    -Fergs

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    Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    Fergs, perhaps we should bring up the 'other' radar idea?

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    Cool Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    I'm thinking the scan could be sped up considerably as you only need to scan once every 8"-12" at 15' maximum. My trig fails me at the moment as to what angle this comes out to.

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    Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyberius View Post
    Fergs, perhaps we should bring up the 'other' radar idea?
    Sure,

    The discussion has been (between Andrew, I, and a few others), that we need some way for competitors to figure out where the heck they are. The cameras aren't that great, and if we were to get two very mobile mechs running around, they could easily miss each other.

    The proposed solution was to install a camera over the arena, which would track the location of the two mechs, each competitor would be shown a screen that always shows their location, relative to the arena. Occasionally (1s on, 5-10s off?) they would see a blip that tells them were their opponent is. There are, of course, issues with such an infrastructure:

    • How do we provide this heads up map to competitors? (who are on separate networks, running different GUIs, etc)
    • Does it make things too easy?

    Thoughts?

    -Fergs

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    Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    How about a small java applet which could be easily integrated into the users choice of GUI?

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    Re: Radar for Mech Warfare?

    How about just using a common monitor hardwired to the camera. Have the competitors sitting a little closer togther than we were, and just share the monitor, have the blips update the same for each one. An occasional update would still be better than we have now, and this would eliminate any problems with everyone having to have some sort of connection to the camera.

    It's cumbersome as all get out, but I have a 19" CRT monitor I would donate to the cause.

    Gary
    Team Maggot---Mechs. "Bheka" (retired), "Maggot Mk.3(A)"
    " Keep your stick on the ice ".... Red Green

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