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[DPRG] Jockey sound beacon localizer at Roborama 2011a

Subject: [DPRG] Jockey sound beacon localizer at Roborama 2011a
From: John Swindle swindle at compuserve.com
Date: Thu Mar 17 12:56:20 CDT 2011

Dear Roborama 2011a Contestants:

The sound beacon localizer (now named Jockey) that was used on 
Paul's Roomba (2nd place Square Dance Roborama 2010b) will be 
available for use by any contestant in the upcoming May 
competition.

In 5.5 (five and a half) seconds, Jockey provides the robot's 
position with one-third inch resolution and one-inch 
repeatability. In an aggressive mode, Jockey gives the position 
in 3.5 seconds, but repeatability worsens to 1.5 inches and 
Jockey has to repeat the measurement about 20% of the time.

Jockey has worked outdoors in areas about forty feet on a side. 
It should work in 100-foot arenas as well (such as RoboColumbus), 
but I haven't tested that yet. There's no particular upper limit.

Your robot would need to carry a cordless phone. Jockey 
determines the robot's location by hearing the beacons through a 
microphone connected to the phone.

As before, the problem is how to send Jockey's location data to 
your robot. Paul used Wifi and his Roomba was remotely-controlled 
by an autonomous script running on his PC. If you wish to use 
Jockey and want to use something other than Wifi, let's talk 
about it.

To show that audible sound is sufficient to guide a robot around 
an arena, I will enter a RC toy tractor "Dear John". Jockey is 
fast enough to be the robot's sole source of navigation. No wheel 
encoders, no inertial navigation gadget, no compass, no sonar, no 
IR, no lasers. I'm not saying that those things are not useful. I 
just wish to demonstrate what can be done with the cheapest stuff 
I could find.

Good luck with your entries!

Even if you're not entering a robot, come to the competition. 
Consider volunteering. It's fun to be part of the action!

John Swindle

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