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Sensor Robot Maze

based on 47 ratings
Author: Mike Calhoun

A robot is a machine that gathers data about its environment with a sensor and uses that information to follow instructions to perform a task. The sensor sends information in the form of electronic signals back to the robot’s controller circuit.

Robots that have the ability to move to different locations on their own use two types of motion: sequential (following an orderly pattern) and random (following no pattern). The robot in this project has a sensor that reacts to vibrations from sound or physical contact. It moves forward, but when it senses a high pitched-noise (such as a hand clap) or a vibration from physical contact with an obstacle, it retreats by reversing and turning left for a preset time before continuing forward on a new course.

robot
MOVIT-OWI-7769 Rockit© Robot

The robot is placed at the entrance of the maze, clapping or the vibration of the collision with the walls are the means for steering the robot through the maze. The following illustration shows the robot beginning its navigation through a simple maze.

An error is defined as any turn away from the correct path leading from the starting entrance to the exit. Performance of the robot is scored by tallying the number of mistakes made between the time of the robot enters the maze and its exit.

The robot must move directly from the starting point through the maze in a preset time period. If the robot does or does not exit the maze at the end of the set time this constitutes the end of trail one. The robot is then placed at the entrance and sent through maze again this same process is repeated for a minimum of 4 trials and a maximum of however many trials the investigator wishes to conduct. A stopwatch or other timing device is used to determine the time required for each trial.

Problem:

Construct a motorized robot with a built-in sensor that reacts to vibration from sound or physical contact. Determine the average number of errors that the robot would make in going through the maze.

Research Questions

  • What is the function of an electronic sound/touch sensor?
  • Will a robot equipped with a sound/touch sensor be able to successfully navigate through a maze?
  • What was the average number of errors that the robot made in going through the maze?
  • Which movement was displayed by the robot, sequential or random, as it went through the maze?
  • Does the action of the robot in navigating through the maze display a form of artificial intelligence?

Materials

  • OWIKit Sound/Touch Sensor Rockit© robot kit
  • Small Philips screw driver
  • Wooden blocks or textbooks
  • Long nose pliers
  • 2 AA batteries
  • Stop watch
  • Wood glue

Procedure

  1. Follow the included directions in the manual that comes with the kit to assemble the robot.
  2. Test the robot’s sensors by clapping your hands or allowing the robot to bump into an object. You can adjust sensors according to the directions found in the manual.
  3. You can construct a simple maze by placing a series of wooden blocks or textbooks on the floor.
maze
  1. Determine how much time to allot the robot to go through the maze.
  2. Place the robot at the entrance of the maze and then clap to send the robot on its way. Begin timing at this point.
  3. An error is defined as any turn away from the correct path leading from the starting entrance to the exit.
  4. Measure the performance of the robot by tallying the number of mistakes made between the time of the robot enters the maze and its exit within the set time.
  5. If the robot does not exit the maze at the end of the set time, end the trial.
  6. Place robot at the entrance and send it through the maze again. Repeat this same process a minimum of four times.
  7. Record the results in a table.
Trials

Error scores

1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
  1. To determine the average or mean divide the total number of errors made in all the trials by the number of trials conducted (mean = total errors made ÷ total number of trials).
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