Challenge 16 - Our Robot Cleaner…
Cleaning floors is not often our favourite task, and it would help if we had some way to do this automatically. Can a robot help?
Our Robot Cleaner Challenge
Suppose we had a test floor that looked like the one below. Suppose our Robot started in the bottom left-hand red square. We could say our Robot "cleaned" each square by running over each of them when going in a forwards direction. When all squares have been visited, we can say that the whole floor has been cleaned.
Building Our Robot Cleaner.
Our present Robot - DomaBot, is fine for this Challenge. You do not need to re-build it; the main idea is to have fun learning how to teach your robots to do what you want them to do….
However if you are interested in entering the annual Tasmanian RoboCup Junior Rescue competition in the future, and you have a lot of time, you may like to rebuild your Robot so that it fits inside the red square. This would give you practice in making your Robot approximately the size needed for future RoboCup Junior Rescue competitions.
Teaching your Robot Floor Cleaner.
Think about where you want your Robot cleaner to go before you start. What is the easiest way to instruct your robot to clean these squares? Is the easiest way the best way? Is your robot securely built - what will happen when your cat or dog finds this new object buzzing around a room in your home – will your robot fall apart under Dog Attack? Hmmm.....
Timing Your Robot Cleaner
Suppose you wished to sell your robot - it would be important to clean all the tiles as quickly as possible. Time your robot to see how long it takes to clean all the floor. Is your robot a quick cleaner? When your robot is cleaning, it can be easy to forget which squares your robot has cleaned and which are still dirty; to help you remember which are which, you can get a score card that you can print from your web browser by clicking here.
If you wanted to have a competition, you could score a point for each square cleaned, with the quickest time being best if the cleaning scores are equal. The robot judged best could be the one with the best results out of three runs...
If you are out of ideas about how to do this, you could get some ideas by clicking on the menu to the left of this page. There are two examples of Robots built by Margate Primary students during one of their 2-hour sessions, videos of several runs by Huonville Primary School students, and some videoed runs by participants at a weekend workshop as well. You can see how these Robots have been built, and watch these Robots "clean their squares". You can also get some extra programming hints by clicking on the "Mentor notes" menu heading; these notes also contain instructions about how to build the Cleaner Test Mat shown at the start of this web page.
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