July 22, 2008
I was tempted to post this as a challenge, but I can't offer a prize. The deal is, you build a robot which can reverse a trailer round a 90 degree corner and then in a straight line.
I mean trailer (British) I have no idea what Americans call an articulated trailer, but I believe some of you may now be thinking I'm talking about mobile homes. No. Not an aluminium house on wheels.
So, the "car" might be a tracked vehicle, but ideally it would be rack-and-pinion steering. The trailer would be unpowered. You might use IR or ultrasonic to figure out the angle between the trailer and the car. I would probably use a rotary sensor at the pivot point.
Of course it wouldn't be full-sized! The scale of the vehicle and trailer should be similar to a road going car and trailer. The corner around which the trailer should be reversed should be scaled similar to a road junction. Having reversed around the corner, the vehicle should continue to reverse in a straight line for at leasttwice the length of itself.
There you go. You guys fill in the details.