Sensors

The robot will need to be able to detect a lot of things about his environment in order to function safely and intelligently in a household setting. He will use webcam eyes (ELP USB camera 1080p 2 megapixel, wide angle, low light x2 - $98.42) in order to have "computer vision". The vision will consist of taking still frame images of his surroundings and using pixel scan detection algorithms to establish and identify objects around him. Since he has two eyes, he will be able to use stereoscopic vision algorithms to establish depth perception and estimate distances of objects from himself in order to have decent spacial awareness and accurate motion planning systems. He will possibly also use sonar to measure distances from himself to various objects around him. He will use strain gauges (aka pressure sensors) to measure the amount of tension placed on his finger tips and balls and heels of feet to help him feel his environment via touch. He will use current sensors (acs712) to track amount of power being drawn by his servos - this will give him collision detection and the ability to calculate various other forces playing upon his frame. For example, if he were swinging his arms while walking and detected an abnormal amount of current placed on his arm motors that shouldn't have been there, he will know that his swinging arm just made contact with my 5-year-old child's head. He would then have to stop swinging his arm forward immediately so that he will not send the child airborne during the follow through motion of the arm swing. These tension sensors can also be placed in the fingertips to detect how much pressure he is using to grab some object. If he were grabbing an egg, for example, he would not want to grip so hard that he cracks the egg. Or, for example, if he were to grab a pencil off a desk, he would use his pressure sensors to detect whether his clasping shut fingers have yet laid hold of the pencil he is closing his fingers in on. In other words they will provide tactile feedback.

Note: the photo at the top is a photo of strain gauges (aka "pressure sensors").


 
 
 
 
 
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