New Type of Sensor

This is an idea for a sensor that college teams can use, as they can build their own sensors. I came up with this idea because encoders are big and unwieldy, and the gyroscope is not too precise without extensive coding to compensate (or maybe I’m just doing it wrong). This sensor attempts to fix both of those problems. Tell me if this has been done in VEX before, because to my knowledge, it has not been. Here goes:

The sensor is simply a ball mouse with a third roller bar placed perpendicular to the other two. I know I suck at explaining things, so let me attempt to elaborate. A traditional ball mouse has two roller bars adjacent to each other with the ball in between them like this : |O if you’re looking down at it from the top. For this sensor, you need to put a third roller bar pointing upwards, touching the ball. This way, when the ball touches the mat, you can determine the motion of the robot in two directions, just like a mouse, but when the robot turns, the third roller bar will rotate, telling you rotation as well.

So that’s it. Tell me what you guys think, and tell me if I’m not being clear (Which I expect that I’m not).

I understand what your saying, But it seems like it wouldn’t be a new sensor your asking for it would be a new implementation of multiple senors, or some kind of sensor array. - Thats what it sounds like to me at least.

Does this have anything to do with your hemispherical drive? :wink:

  • Andrew

This is a great idea, but I think you could achieve the same thing without the mechanical complexity. Just use a pair of optical mouse pickups (like these) located on opposite sides of your robot.

This configuration should allow you to track both translation and rotation relative to the center point between the two sensors. I think the average of the two vectors would give you the robot’s translation vector. And I think the rotation can be derived from the difference of these two vectors.


  • Dean

Yeah, I agree. It kind of sounds like 2 encoders and then adding a gyro. It could be interesting to see what it would look like though.

This sensor would definitely make sense for this type of application. I’m still not totally convinced that this drive could be built in VEX/would be useful in vex. But please, some one prove me wrong. :stuck_out_tongue: