Laser1 RoboBrick

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The Laser1 RoboBrick is a module that is designed to allow the use of a slightly modified laser pointer to detect passive refector beacons at a distance of approximately 10 meters (or about 32 feet for the metrically impaired. ) It is meant to be used in conjunction with the LaserHead1 RoboBrick. It has a 3. 1 volt power supply that can be turned on

Laser1 RoboBrick
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and off under program control to replace the batteries that come with the laser pointer. In addition, the Laser1 RoboBrick can send a pulses to a servo to cause it to slew back and forth under program control. In conjunction with 3 or more properly placed passive reflectors, the Laser1 RoboBrick can be used to triangulate a robot`s position. We will not know how accurately until after it has been built and tested. The basic idea behind this laser pointer system came from an article written by Jim Ubersetzig [ Ubersitzig1999 ]. We are greatly indebted to Jim for figuring this system out in the first place and for E-mail support as we asked some follow on questions. The equations for doing triangualation can be found in a paper by Clare McGillem and Theodore Rappaport [ McGillem1989 ]. A more recent on-line derivation of the formulas can be found in a paper by Richard Vannoy [ Vannoy2001 ]. There is another paper by M. Bertke and L. Gurvits [ Bertke1994 ] that explains how to deal with more than three beacons; alas, the math is quite a bit over my head. It should be mentioned that the McGillem and Gurvits papers were found by scanning the bibliography of the fairly comprehensive treatment of robot navigation by Borenstein, Everett, and Feng [ Borenstein1996 ]. The initial software for the Laser1 RoboBrick will only be responsible for measuring the angles between the beacons and the robot proper. The next software/hardware...

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