Ultrasonic Mapmaker using Arduino and MATLAB
Vision is one of the most exciting senses you can endow on your robot. The ability to perceive obstacles allows a robot to make an educated decision regarding further movements.However, it is also not the easiest senses to implement for a few reasons. Firstly, vision can be abstracted to a two-dimensional vector when it comes to computing, as opposed to a single dimensional scalar such as, say, temperature. Secondly, it is an analog value like many other senses, so it requires a certain degree of digitization and processing for it to make sense to a computer. Finally, though this is not strictly a problem, is visualization. Vision data cannot be represented as mere numbers to humans. Although that is how computers process data, it makes no sense for a human to decode digits. However, with the help of modern technology, and basic knowledge of physics and math, we will be able to endow our robot with the gift of sight!
In this project, we are using an ultrasonic Distance sensor. It generates sound waves beyond the scope of human hearing and measures distance by calculating the time required by these waves to hit an obstacle and travel back. This is similar to the principle used by bats.
Another component that we are going to use is a servo motor. It differs from the usual DC motor in that it can turn very precisely to a given angular position and hold its state there. When a servo motor is given pulses of a specific duration, it moves to the corresponding angular position.
We will be using both these components to get a 180 degree field of view for our robot.