I have built a fairly simple locomotive robot with a conning tower that houses an ultrasonic range finder. The current short-term goal is that the range-finder will determine a safe path to progress. However, I'm finding that the robot is advancing towards and colliding with my couch at an angle. Although a direct scan reveals the distance of the couch, a pulse that hits the couch at a diagonal angle returns an abnormally large distance. Any ideas on how I can mitigate this?
Wow, thanks for all those ideas! I'm definitely going to have to get my hands on a Sharp IR sensor to supplement the conning tower. The tower on my bot rotates via servo motor, so I envision one sweep would collect long range data from the ultrasonic range finder and (more reliable?) short range data from the IR range finder.
I love the idea of giving my bot some kind of vision, but that is definitely out of my budget. As an alternative, I was thinking of giving it meagre colour sensing by adding three photoresisters with home made colour filters to try and read RGB. Would that work?
Oh wow, you are a font of knowledge! I'm afraid I'm going to have to comb through some of those sources for a while before I can get my head around how all of it works.
However, Parallax sells a line scanner, TSL401, that has lens and 128 pixelline scanner, and which can be mounted on a panning servo to produce low-res vision that can be processed by an Arduino.
Interesting; I wonder if that is the same device used in this?:http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/AllSensors/tabid/760/ProductID/774/List/0/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName,ProductName
...but the "low vision" sensors using LDRs or phototransistors - now those might make for something interesting to experiment with.