Thursday, February 24, 2011


Today we finished getting the new suspension attached to the chassis and got the steering aligned. It goes perfectly straight for about 20 meters and then starts to drift a little, but besides a full steering system overhaul, there's not much we can do about it. Tweaking the alignment simply involves adjusting the length of tie rods from the servo to the steering column. I found that one full turn of the adjustment results in roughly 1 degree of change on the wheels alignment
The newly installed suspension works great! The old shocks are still going to need pre-compression, however. We can continue to do it with zip-ties or buy some real clips.

On a different note, I rewrote the gps program to do the mapping with just the encoders and compass. As long as the encoders work as Mitch intended, it should be a very accurate way of keeping track of position. The robot_pos coordinates are no longer in pixels but in meters. This should make things easier in the future. Also, the robot coordinates don't rely on any image updating or processing. The program starts by waiting for a mouseclick on the map and then sets the initial robot position to that spot (This will be replaced by GPS coordinates later). It then requests an input distance and heading, and generates a destination coordinate based on these inputs. It should be a cinch to add on motor controls at this point.

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