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Thinking Outside The Box

I set up the improved motor control and while it seemed to be working a little better, there were times that I noticed that the motor seemed to get stuck.  The command had been given to turn left, the motor was making a sound like it was trying to do something, but there was no movement.  It seemed like it couldn’t overcome the initial friction to get going.  So, I tried something a bit different.

I removed the spinner assembly from the cage structure and held it in one hand, then stuck it on the paddle, which I held in the other hand.  When I tried it out, it seemed to be running better.  So, I attached the motor to the cage backwards, and had the spinner sit on top of the paddle.  The paddle was now outside the box, sitting loose on the desk.  It let it go and the robot began to play the best game yet.  It was even up 4-0 at one point.

Unfortunately, at one point, it overcorrected and shot the paddle off the bottom of the screen.  Once it loses the paddle, it’s game over.  I’ve got to fix that.

So the major problem areas as they stand:

  • Motor doesn’t want to engage properly when paddle is in cage.
  • Prediction is sometimes flaky.
  • Paddle gets lost == game over.

I’m giving myself an hour to fix those problems, then I have to move on.  I can’t get stuck tweaking things forever.  It’s playing at the level of a crappy human player as it is, so that should be good enough to continue.


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