Ra-ra-ra-ra Robots!

So I don’t talk much about robotics even thought I’m currently in a robotics class so I’m going to talk about our final project. We’re supposed to make our micro-controllers (robots) play a seemingly simple game of hide and go seek tag. Something school children everywhere enjoy, but our robots have yet to understand! It’s not something a robot can easily comprehend since they only speak 1’s and 0’s. First things first we have our micro-controllers which we’ve made over the course of the semester and programmed various things for it to do. Now, we need to get a protocol down for how exactly the robots are supposed to act, how are they going to hide, how do they know they’re hidden, how do they tag another robot and it may seem trivial, but how do they know if they’re it or not? The protocol deals with all that, we’ve got infrared LEDs and receivers so the robots are going to communicate with that.

The start of the game will have one robot being “it” and it will start counting (in binary light signals) to 100. The other robots will be hiding and finding places to hide based on when they can’t “hear” or see the signal the it-robot will be sending. They’re also going to be sensing other robot signals from the robots hiding so that they don’t all end up clumped together. Once they find a spot to hide they stop and once the countdown’s over the it-robot tries to find one of the other robots.

Tagging works a little like a hand shake where one robot bumps into another robot, the bumped robot sends a signal saying “I’ve been bumped, ouch!”, the it-robot then says “tag” and the bumped robot confirms by saying “Now I’m it!” and starts counting while the previously it-robot goes to hide. It’s actually really exciting and I can’t wait to start work on it, but first to add wheels to my micro-controller so it can roam!