Monday, June 9, 2008

Obstacle awareness and HANS in its complete form

We have been working (amongst other things) on HANS' obstacle avoidance system. Planning a path around obstacles and continuing on the desired path is not a very simple task, but in the mean time we got HANS to at least be aware of its surroundings and refuse to collide into objects. This is done using the sonar range finder mounted at the front. The sensor is very unreliable and so we need to take into account the last N readings in order to make intelligent decisions. This can potentially cause slowness of reaction, that is realizing an obstacle is on the way a bit to late to actually stop in time to avoid collision. We had to fine tune the parameters of the algorithm (The number of readings to use, the threshold distance to signal an obstacle etc') in order to get good results. I'm attaching two videos that show, first, a failed attempt and then a successful one.

1) Almost made it :)
video

2) Here we go ...
video

I also noticed that we haven't uploaded a picture of HANS in its final form, with laptop, sonar, camera and all . So I am placing a couple of those here now, and I also changed HANS' profile picture at the top of the blog.


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