Obstacle Course Development
In order to complete the robot testing an obstacle course must be created. This obstacle course must adhere strictly to the schematic provided as this will create a level playing field for us all to be compared over.
In order to create the best environment for my robots performance I tested its driving abilities on four different surfaces. These surfaces were tile, carpet, concrete and wooden flooring. After many test runs on these surfaces I deduced that the wooden floor was the best, as wheel spin was experienced on the glossy surface of the tile and the grooves in between the tiles led to unpredictable movements of the robot. And the concretes uneven coarse surface finish caused the robots support wheels to turn and throw the robot off course the carpet surface performance was by far the worst and the wheels and the underside of the robot would get snagged in the carpet rendering it inoperable.
With my surface selected it was then time to map out my course. Armed with a measuring tape and a roll of insulation tape I set to work. I first created the 200cm x 60cm rectangle I then added the position of the obstacles in so that the course had a set outline.
The obstacles are made from corrugated cardboard as the thin but rigid cardboard created a substantial obstacle while also leaving maximum space in the alleys between the obstacles. Another advantage to these obstacles is that they can be moved to make the gap as narrow as possible as the robots path becomes more accurate.
The black mark that can be seen after the final obstacle indicates where the stopping position of the robot is intended to be. Having a set stopping position will allow me to more accurately target the robot with the ping pong balls. The ping pong balls will be launched from a set spot at a fixed height and angle to provide as accurate shot as possible.