A Level project

I have moved to a school with a Classroom and Competition Super Kit. I also have an A level student who wants to do their project using it. I want to know if it is possible with the pack to have the robot automatically show students to a classroom on open day. As an extension maybe have a touch screen they select the classroom they want to go to, if this is possible what would b needed?

Are you talking about a maze following robot? So it would do something like: go forward 100 feet, turn 90 degrees to the left, go forward 50 feet, turn 90 degrees to the right, etc.

If so, you most cetainly could do this with a robot. You would need shaft encoders in order to accomplish this - but I’m not sure what comes in the kits you have.

You could also have the robot go to different rooms - you would need different code for each possibility.To do that you could use a potentiometer to select between multiple sets of code or use the LCD screen. Again - not sure what comes in the kits (probably not the LCD, though).

It would be POSSIBLE with a handful of sonar sensors and encoders.

The touch screen part is actually really easy if you use bluetooth on a phone to communicate with the robot. (will need 10$ bluetooth chip)

This project would be incredibly hard. Beyond the ability of just about everyone that uses this forum and even then not a short project. How much experience with programming does this student have? What age is A level?

If the student wanted to make the system more robust and accurate this sensor is pretty cheap on eBay( http://tinyurl.com/hvtok64) and could take the place of several of the sonars required. It is something I have used before and it has easy setup to be used with a Vex cortex. Here is a link to my work with the sensor

Yes, this is probably not an entry level project. Navigating to one room may be relatively straightforward - but the rest could be challenging.

I guess you could go the Kiva robotics route. If you were willing to put down like tape lines along the center of the hallways you could do it a lot easier.

Tape lines on the floor and use the line trackers to line follow, this is probably the easiest and most accurate method. Depending on where you want it to go and the layout of your school, you will have to think up some way of how it handles intersections (i.e. does it count and turn at the 5th intersection, does it use ultrasound to sense doorways and walls, additional marking/lines, etc.). Electrical tape is best for this sort of thing.

I just wouldn’t want the robot driving around when there are many people in the hallways, as the chance of someone stepping or bumping into it is probably quite high.

Thank you,
A level is students 16-18. ~The student can program confidently in python.
The classrooms are on a straight corridor so counting steps may be easy so it knows where it has been, and some sort of algorithm to work out how to get to the different rooms. something like

art is 2000 steps along corridor
it is 4000 steps along he corridor
Maths is 7000 steps along corridor

If I am at art
IT is 2000 more steps
if I am at maths
IT is turn around and 3000 steps

We did a small firefighting course this spring where we were happy to have our middle schoolers get into the first room of a maze and detect the candle.

The hard part is staying on course/heading. Being off a degree adds a ton of error in those long distances. So figuring out what the sensors should be saying at any point and creating a “map” to know where you are helps a ton. But you don’t have a ton of memory in the cortex to do that. You can do it in segments/zones more easily. You then manage movement along the segments then.

Having a line to follow or some other kind of beacon to hone into at key waypoints would help the robot aim at places as it goes between the rooms. But what sensor gets you a radio signal/beacon to know what direction and how far away a beacon might be? The line has the line followers which works well as long as there is contrast between the line and the floor color.

Depending just on the gyro and IME to get position is pretty good but gyro drift is a killer when using it to keep the robot on a straight line. Sonar does not like funky bounces from angled walls/objects.

Slew rate also helps a ton as well as velocity management of the left/right wheels. This keeps you on heading much more reliably. So IME+gyro with slew rate should get you there as long as one motor is not faster than the other by too much.