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Victory Video

Full Video

I’m working on a YouTube friendly condensed version at the moment.

[Edit: Here’s the YouTube version.]

September 8, 2009   No Comments

An Even Epicker Win

Epicker Win

21-9!  Take that and dance, 30+ year old technology!  I’ve got two words for you:  Inyo and Face!

Video coming soon.

September 8, 2009   No Comments

Now I have to implement the “Smack Talk” feature…


Booyah!  Chew on that, Stella!

September 7, 2009   No Comments

LeftMedium Stop RightFast RightMedium Stop RightMedium Stop

So, all this talk about it, and all these videos of the thing going wrong, and yet I haven’t actually posted a video of what the thing does when it’s actually working right?  Well, here you go.

Robot In Action

And the YouTube version:

It’s a lot more subdued than when I started this morning.  The robot I had in the morning could have torn your hand off.  Now it’s much more mellow.  (Of course, I’m afraid that it’ll kill me in my sleep, but whatever…)

Two days remain, and there is still much to be done.

September 7, 2009   2 Comments

Getting Better All The Time

Getting Better All The Time

21-13, the best score yet.  I tweaked the motion yet again.  I went back to continuous motion, for starters, since the angular was constantly starting and stopping over and over and over and over, slowing it down.  I think part of the main problem before was the message buffering.  The same thing that was happening with the LEFT LEFT LEFT stuff I talked about earlier was happening in continuous motion mode, too.  The solution here doesn’t have to be async, though, which is nice.  Instead, all I have to do is not send the same message more than once in a row.  You can tell me LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT all you want, and I only tell the robot a single LEFT and I leave it at that.  It’s now hardly ever overshooting the mark, and when it does, it can usually recover with a quick nudge back in the right direction.

In The Lead

Also, with this game, the robot was briefly in the lead!

So, now, why isn’t it winning?  It’s supposed to be a perfect robot, why is it still losing to a 30 year old processor?  Two big apparent reasons:

  1. It’s not moving fast enough.  I need to alter it so that it will race from one side to the other when the projected point is far away.
  2. It’s not going to the right place.  The trajectory projection isn’t perfect.  It’ll sometimes miss the mark.  I’ll need to go back and work on that a bit to improve the prediction.

Still, I’m very pleased with what’s come together in the last hour or so.  The day wasn’t going so well until then.  Right now, I’m at the point where I’d hoped to be by about 2 PM…  The problems today have all been little stupid ones that can only be fixed by experimentation.  There hasn’t been much problem solving, it’s all been iterative failure toward a higher goal.

September 6, 2009   No Comments

Four, count’em FOUR points!

Getting Better

The best part about sucking is that any improvement seems like a huge victory.  This is a 400% improvement over my previous score!

I discovered that there was a command flag to indicate that a return message wasn’t necessary.  Apparently return messages could take 60ms to send, which is very precious time in this world.  So, I set that flag and now it’s running much smoother and stopping where it should more often.

Unfortunately, the problem now seems to be that it’s not going fast enough.  It won’t run to the other side of the screen when it needs to get there fast.  Now, that’s something I can fix.  I hope.

September 6, 2009   No Comments

Complex AI in Action

Computer Vision Processing Game Screen? Check.
Game Play Logic Predicting Ball Trajectory? Check.
Mindstorm Robot Attached To Paddle? Check.
Bluetooth Communication To Robot? Check.
Linking Trajectory Prediction to Robot Communication? Check.

Okay! Let’s go!

Maiden Voyage

Complex Systems Interacting To Produce Failure? Check.

That high pitched noise at the end after it jams is coming from the motor. Motors are not supposed to give off high pitched noises. Additionally, prior to jamming, it forced the potentiometer inside the paddle to skip past the end of its range a couple of times (The loud clicks that you heard). That can’t be a good thing to have it doing…

September 6, 2009   No Comments

Asimov’s Second Law Implemented

A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Done.  It’s now responding to my commands and is no longer clicking.

Click Free Robotics

[Click for Video]

It is also very obvious that this is going to be way too fast for the Atari Paddle.  I think I’m going to have to have slow, medium, and fast commands, too.

September 6, 2009   No Comments

Initial Prototype Design

Here’s the prototype for the robot.  What do you think?


September 5, 2009   No Comments

I Still Suck At Pong

Even with this program, I still get beat by the CPU.  Stupid Atari.

Looks like I still have some work to do.

Anyway, major milestone!  I am now able to play a live game and have it reasonably direct me where to put the paddle in most cases.  It obviously still needs some tweaking to be flawless, but I think I can claim this as a success.

September 5, 2009   No Comments