Swarm of Rover 5's + Ardunio Mega2560 + Dagu 4-Motor Controller + Romeo + Fans
Here is my new post to document the details of my plans. I'll update my progress in implementing them here as noteworthy milestones are reached. My goals with this project are:
1. Switchable between autonomous and remote control from my laptop, via XBee.
2. App#1 is to map out the room (including furniture), and display the map in a Java program running in my laptop, that I've already partially written.
3. Autonomous exploration is via a steerable front-looking Sonar mounted on a servo, and IR transceivers on the sides to detect imminent tangential side-collisions. The sonar is accurate to 1" in 10'.
4. Navigation is via a 3-Axis Magnetometer (which I already have working to +/- 2 degrees), combined with "following walls" by turning the Sonar (via its servo) towards the nearest wall, to maintain a constant distance running parallel to the wall, and periodically checking the distance to the upcoming perpendicular wall. I'll thus proceed to pick a coordinate system for the room, to determine its dimensions, and to maintain a desired path across it.
5. App#2 is to pick a point on the map, and then the robot (ultimately more than one) will hunt down balloons laying about on the floor in the room, and herd them to that spot, using 2 "Ducted Fans" from R/C electric Jet Planes. My battery at present is 2S 2.5Ah 7.4V 20C Li-Po, with the likelihood that later on I'll replace with a pair of batteries wired up in parallel. I have to match the Fans' current/voltage with the battery (so I could upgrade the Fans and battery together), while ensuring that I don't draw too much current through the Romeo or whatever other Motor Controller I use to drive the Fans (at present a Dagu 4-Motor Controller).
6. App#3 is for multiple similar robots to collaborate in sharing new map-data discoveries (i.e., the sofa), and locating and herding the balloons, sharing data via XBee Mesh networking between themselves and to the laptop.
More on all this here as I progress.