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Thread: Using Neato XV-nn for mapping while vaccuming?

  1. #1
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    Using Neato XV-nn for mapping while vaccuming?

    First off, let me apologize now if my question(s) are newbish. It's probably a function of me actually being a newb with robotics.

    First, let me set the stage. I hope to be moving some time in the near future. One of the things that I do when moving to a new place is build a floor plan. I have all my current furniture's foot prints already drafted 1:1. So what I do is print out the floor plans and all the furniture foot prints at the same scale so I can cut out the furniture to plan on where it all goes when I move in. (Much easier to move bits of paper around than chairs, sofas, beds, etc...) In an attempt to make things easier (?) for myself, I've been thinking of some way of automatically scanning in the walls and then being able to trace over the cloud of points in my CAD program of choice (AutoCAD for now...). I recently got a Neato XV-21 (still waiting for the wife to name her), and found that it is possible to get the LiDAR data.

    My thought is to have some device strapped to the top of the Neato's LDS housing that either collects and calculates, or just provides a wireless connection to my laptop (WiFi or Bluetooth). (For example, and Arduino with USB Host and WiFi/Bluetooth shields and batteries.) Then either in real-time generate a map while the Neato does it's normal cleaning routine in the empty space, or collect the LDS data (1 second intervals?) to a file that I can then later use to generate the map. I'd also need some way of inputting the data into a CAD program (either as lines that I can use directly, or a point cloud to trace with lines.)

    Is this even a reasonable approach? Is the LDS data enough for gmapping (or similar SLAM software), or would I also need the drive data? (For example, rotation speed of each wheel at all times to generate the actual path the robot supposedly takes.)

    I want to do this with the minimum modification to the Neato, and I figure the Neato's normal routing while running a cleaning would provide plenty of statistics to average to a reasonably accurate wall position... And it is a very occasional use project, so months of development time isn't warranted (unless someone else can take advantage of the result). I'm kinda hoping I can stand on the shoulders of giants here... ;-)

    Thanx for any advise/pointers that I can attempt to apply in a month once I get back home from a business trip. Hopefully I didn't fall into the trap of violating the sticky "How not to post" and get ignored. ;-)

  2. Re: Using Neato XV-nn for mapping while vaccuming?

    How good are you at programming? You can get the actual maps out of the Neato while it cleans.. either using USB or TTL serial if you're adventerous.

    I posted a example of a map I got out of a Neato here.. all the details are scattered through the thread but if you know C you can piece it together:
    http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/sh...11-notes/page2

    I don't know the units in the maps but one pixel is a fixed distance. Once you know the length of one wall you can compute them all.

  3. #3
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    Re: Using Neato XV-nn for mapping while vaccuming?

    Lol. I hope you don't want to move in any time soon.
    If you really want simple, I would use a tape measure & just draw it in CAD or Sketchup so you can move the furniture around. That's what I did.
    Here is an old Google Sketchup pic of my kitchen I used when designing our house.
    The dining table & chairs in the pic are an almost exact copy of our real ones, created using the above method. The wooden doors, bookshelves, fans & people etc were borrowed from the on-line Google library.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Using Neato XV-nn for mapping while vaccuming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunk View Post
    How good are you at programming? You can get the actual maps out of the Neato while it cleans.. either using USB or TTL serial if you're adventerous.

    I posted a example of a map I got out of a Neato here.. all the details are scattered through the thread but if you know C you can piece it together:
    http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/sh...11-notes/page2

    I don't know the units in the maps but one pixel is a fixed distance. Once you know the length of one wall you can compute them all.
    So, all I have to do is tap the Tx, GND, & 3.3V line to connect to an XBEE (configured to 115200 bps), tape it to the Neato somewhere where it won't block the LDS, and then Bob's your uncle. Then just need to crack the interpretation of the serial stream, but hopefully that can be done after the fact by capturing the stream in RealTerm (or similar software).
    Or... Mount a BlueSMiRF board (the one you mention earlier in that thread you linked to) if the XV-21 has similar capacity for one that the XV-11 has since my Laptop already has a BlueTooth radio in it...

    Nice.

    Now I just need to get a couple XBEE's and learn how to use them (probably will start with the XBEE tutorial here). Will probably wait until I'm on my work trip and have them shipped there since I leave in 3 days...
    Last edited by Sembazuru; 07-04-2012 at 02:32 AM.

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    Re: Using Neato XV-nn for mapping while vaccuming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slugman View Post
    Lol. I hope you don't want to move in any time soon.
    If you really want simple, I would use a tape measure & just draw it in CAD or Sketchup so you can move the furniture around. That's what I did.
    Here is an old Google Sketchup pic of my kitchen I used when designing our house.
    The dining table & chairs in the pic are an almost exact copy of our real ones, created using the above method. The wooden doors, bookshelves, fans & people etc were borrowed from the on-line Google library.
    I'm quite familiar with the tape measure and pencil method. That's how I've always done it in the past. Not so simple in rooms where there are more surfaces than just 4 walls (cut outs, intrusions, angled walls, etc.), and in rooms that don't have a right angle to be found... (Older houses can be annoying that way...)

    Nice use of sketch-up, BTW.

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