Intelligent A.I.

So far we have put all the work towards making a prototype that can do the basic goal we have, and we have more or less succeeded. However the AI that controls the robot has so far been pretty stupid to say the least. Simply put it has gone in a straight line until it gets too close to an obstacle and then turned. Now we have started working on something that can manage a little more than that.

The strategy we've planned for the robot is the following:

  • Start by either scanning around or simply drive forward until it approaches an obstacle.
  • Follow the outline of that obstacle until the robot reaches a position it has already visited.
  • If the first obstacle was an object the robot had driven around then let the robot simply drive in another direction and find a new obstacle. If it was the circumference of the area ( such as the walls of a room) the robot will begin scanning the remaining unexplored area until it's sure it has found all objects.
  • Eventually we will hopefully implement something which uses the map it has created, such as pathfinding or cover the area in an efficient way (something that could be of use for e.g. automated vacuum cleaners).
This is still a very rough draft and will most likely be subject to significant changes, but it's a start none the less.

Right now we're on the second point: we're working on an algorithm which will follow the curves and turns of a wall or the side of an object. The first iteration will consist of the behavior we already have (turn left when too close to something), a behavior to align the robot parallel to the wall and a behavior to detect when the wall turns away from the robot. If done right this should be enough to work in the vast majority of all cases.

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