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[DPRG] Detecting Water Ahead to avoid the Water trap

Subject: [DPRG] Detecting Water Ahead to avoid the Water trap
From: W. E. Cole wecole at ev1.net
Date: Thu Oct 23 21:36:00 CDT 2003

It seems to me that the laser idea has merit.

If I'm walking and I see a reflective surface in front of me that's more
than an inch or two wide, I'd probably assume it is a liquid (until I can
get close enogh to see for sure). How about using a laser and testing for
reflection back to the robot. Maybe add a method to sweep the laser
horizontally across an area to determine the size of the reflecting area and
assume anything under "x" size is too small to worry about (either it's a
piece of glass or such a small amount of water that you can ignore it). If
you added a method of sweeping vertically, you could calculate distance and
how long/wide the area was.

As for testing the depth, that would be a problem because unless the robot
was directly over the "depth" to be tested, any signal or method it used
would have to be done at an angle, since the robot would be on the edge of
the water and I presume you would want a way to test the deepest part of the
water, which is unlikely to be at the edge. A simple solution might be to
use a float attached to a contact switch mounted on the robot's body that
triggers once the robot reached a certain depth of water. If the float
doesn't trigger, then just assume it's safe to keep moving forward and if it
does trigger then assume the water is too deep and you (the robot) need to
try a different direction. (I'd probably devise a sensor on some sort of
"feeler" a few inches in front of the robot to test for a sudden drop under


----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "Earl Bollinger" <earlwbollinger at comcast.net>
To: <dprglist at dprg.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2003 8:34 PM
Subject: RE: [DPRG] Detecting Water Ahead to avoid the Water trap

> Optical, at first looked promising, but there are so many things that
> cause the water to change that it seems to be too complicated at the
> moment. But maybe something will turn up to make me look at it again.
> Anyway, the ideas I got so far are.
> 7.) A laser reflection doesn't look to promising as the different
> terrain would stop the reflection from getting back to the pickup sensor
> or camera. But maybe I'm wrong here.

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