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Candlefinder test run - 2015 Trinity fire fighting robot contest

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Published on Nov 5, 2015

This is a test run of my fire fighting robot "candlefinder", using a make-shift fire fighting arena in my basement.

The candle (in Room 4) is actually a little shorter than it's allowed to be and that's why the robot is not able to extinguish it.

The video was actually recorded a few days after the 2015 Trinity Fire Fighting Robot Contest and so the robot's configuration is exactly as used in the contest, including some last-minute modifications made on the day of the contest such as the white shield which makes sure the robot does not see the candle when the robot is inside one room and the candle is behind it inside another room.

Robot specs in a nutshell:
* Pololu Orangutan SVP 1284 controller
* 2 gear motors w/ encoders
* several Sharp IR range sensors for wall following
* several sonars for some situations where the IR is unreliable
* look-down line sensors to detect the entrance into a room
* Omni-directional flame sensor made with IR detectors
* highly directional flame sensor made with same IR detectors + shield
* microphone for detection the 3.5Khz sound start signal
* Small water pump for non-air flame extinguishing (bonus points!)
* Pan-Tilt mechanism to move the water jet/mist around
* Bluetooth module for 2-way communication with a PC for remote control and debugging

Software highlights:
* Uses the cocoOS cooperative O/S
* Logic is implement as several concurrently running finite state machines, plus a PID loop for wall following
* Simple GUI running on the PC can be used for tuning all the parameters while the robot is running, such as PID gains, flame detection thresholds, line detection thresholds, maximum speed, etc.
* Robot logic (including the cocoOS) als runs under win32 on PC/Windows
* The win32 version communicates with the V-REP simulator
* V-REP simulator contains a model of the Trinity arena plus a model of my robot with all its sensors, motors and pan-tilt servos
* much of the testing is done in simulation

See https://youtu.be/iacZwMNM9Io for a screen capture of a simulation run

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