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Mis-use of an industrial robot.

Old 04-19-09, 05:47 PM
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Mis-use of an industrial robot.

http://www.ms-abby.com/robopult.html There are videos on the page.

It had been 117 degrees during the day, and this was not Wile E. Coyote desert, this was the desert that looked like a tinderbox with the additional kindling option. Somewhere out in that tinderbox of tumbleweeds and brush, my friends were pouring kerosene on a towel-covered bowling ball and loading it into a giant catapult. We had one fire extinguisher and a couple liters of water. If something caught on fire, we were screwed: the probably-survive-but-maybe-end-up-in-jail type of screwed. I briefly thought about how difficult this would be to explain to a judge.
I wanted to be able to control the rotation of the robot so we could aim the robot from the laptop, but I quickly realized that since the desert is so flat, we could do some basic ranging on the target too. I also wanted the targeting to be overlaid in 3d over a photograph of the target area.

The software needed to control the robot like an MMO or RTS game. I suspect that video games, in general, have some of the most optimal control interfaces. I wanted to try a control scheme similar to the area effect spell targeting in World of Warcraft.

There were two pieces of information I needed the software to generate: the angle between the robot and the target and the range to the target. The former was very simple, and just required dividing the horizontal field of view by the pixels in the image. This calculation yielded a pixel-to-angle conversion from pixels in the image to angle between the camera, located at the base of the robot, and the target.

The range to the target was found in reverse. The user places the target in 3d on the plane where he or she wants the catapult to land a bowling ball. All that's necessary is to find the distance to the center of the target in the 3d coordinate space and then convert that to real-world coordinates.
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Old 04-19-09, 06:21 PM
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Re: Mis-use of an industrial robot.

All that ingenuity, and they can't figure out how to measure past the end of their 100' tape? WTF?

OK, guys. You mark the end of the 100' tape with a stake, and measure out from the stake. Now you can measure ranges of 200', and, in principle, further by repeated application.
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Old 04-19-09, 07:08 PM
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Re: Mis-use of an industrial robot.

Like they say, "Common sense isn't."
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