Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Tour PNADDER (Path Navigating Autonomous Differentially-Driven Escort Robot) is a project that I was a part of, as half of my senior project. The name is pronounced 'tor-nader.'

Tour PNADDER is meant to be a robotic tour guide for the Embry-Riddle campus. Guests will eventually be able to select a destination and the robot will lead them there.

Since, I came in at the half-way point of this project,  I did not have input on the initial designs, mechanical or otherwise (i.e. the name). My job, therefore, has been to design and develop the vision system that the robot is to rely on to navigate.

The vision system consists of a single Logitech webcam plugged into a Linux computer. I have to develop code, using Python and Open CV, that will let the robot know where it is with respect to the edge of any sidewalk on campus. I have never done anything with vision systems prior to this project.

The white lines display what the program believes 
to be the edge of the sidewalk.
The green line is a set-point to be used for localization
Performed on an indoor calibration grid I made.

So far, I have been able to implement a draft program that is able to run several filters on the video (Canny, Hough ...) to determine exactly how far the robot is from the edge of the sidewalk. This info will then be fed into a trajectory generator that will tell the robot where it needs to go.

I am still working to finalize the code. It runs a little slowly and has my error checking still in it. I'll post it when I'm finished.

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