The race to the wall was our first challenge we have been let loose at with only the restrictions of our minds and the sizing.
Initially as you can read in week 3 we had issues with the bread board in week 4 we had issues with the micro controller and also we tried to drive the motor directly with PWM enabled (pulse width modulation) this resulted in a lot of time wasted trying to fault find but later proved to be a useful experience.
In week 5 we had another project due in at the same time and as a result our poor little robot felt like Kevin from home alone left to fend for itself.
After a week away from the Robosumo we dived back in with the goal of completing the race to the wall on the coming Friday morning.
In taking the code one of my team mates had started I began to try develop and fine tune it. Once construction of the robots body was completed we tried to combine them but again we hit another bump. The code wasn’t being written to the chip so we;
- Checked the wiring: That was fine no issues there
- Checked there was power on the chip: we were getting 3.5v nothing to worry over
- Checked the launch pad: I swapped launch pads with another group and asked if they could try write to their working robot a working code with our pad and then do the same with our robot but with their pad. with our launch pad their code failed to write to their chip and they were able to write successfully to ours.
- Changed launch pads: we then changed launch pads but there was still an issue with writing to the chip so we changed it and basic codes were then capable of being written to it.
- Check the code: Wahoo the robot lives but only with teds code….. for some reason with anyother code the motor comes on and just stays on.
I had a sneaking suspicion that the directories I had chosen in the code weren’t in line with the pins we were using on the chip (turning the motor on when it should be off, reading the wrong input for the switch and sensor). After confirming that they were kinda right (just the wrong way around) we were able to start controlling the robot.
- PWM Strikes again: after clearing all the other hurdles we once again could not get a straight run at the task. The morning of the competition with a functioning robot body and seemingly functioning code we couldnt get the motor to run. We repeated all the previous steps we had to trouble shoot along with those the lecturers suggested and with no joy. Long story short it came back to PWM we had re-added the wire from the microcontroller to the power chip that enabled pwm which meant because we didnt include it in the code the motor was held off.
but with having tackled the other issues the mechanical side of speeding up our contraption is childsplay and we hope to display our true ability Friday morning putting ourselves out as real contenders to beat in this robosumo competition