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[DPRG] Re. How much do our choices effect our results?

Subject: [DPRG] Re. How much do our choices effect our results?
From: John Abshier jabshier at kc.rr.com
Date: Thu Aug 2 21:19:44 CDT 2007

I'm not sure the Polaroid type sensors would work well in a table top arena.
Perhaps they would work better than SRF04s.  If my memory is correct, the
Polaroid has a narrower beam width.  Most of the "university research
robots" with sonar sensors that I remember reading about used the Polaroid
sensors and had problems.  I think that the same choice may be critical or
not critical depending on the rest of the choices made for the robot.  Since
jBot excels at IMU odometry, the choice of the GPS is less critical.  Just
using encoders without the IMU probably would make the GPS choice more
critical.  The hardware choices we make can have a critical impact on the
software we must write.  Ackerman steering would complicate the software
when the robot is in tight quarters.  A skid steer robot can turn in place
to get out of a tight spot.  I think the turning radius of a Traxas EMax is
over 2 feet.  My evaluation of jBot's critical choices are the IMU and the
CPU.  The IMU gives an accurate direction to be coupled with the encoders
for odometry.  Dr. Anderson has said that the GPS is not used I don't want
to get into a CPU flame war.  The critical choice was to chose a CPU with
sufficient resources to all the tasks required by jBot.  A well designed
robot may be one for which none of the choices appear critical because they
all were.  

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