If you have read my previous post you will know that I recently built an automated ball catcher and programmed it to track and catch a ball. In this post I will talk about the software behind making the catcher work. The structure of the software can be broken down as follows: initialization, image analysis, flight path analysis, and cart control.
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Launch a ball. Track the ball. Catch the ball. It is a simple concept - one that we humans learn at a very young age while playing ‘catch.’ But to get a robotic system to perform similar actions is a very different game. In this project I will talk about how I built and programmed my own autonomous system to track a ball in flight and catch it in an autonomous cart.
While I was studying at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I got the chance to participate in a competition called RoboRodentia during my freshman year. Our robot performed rather poorly since all our sensor decided to stop working the day of the competition and ever since then I vowed I would re-enter the competition and do better. Due to circumstances that wasn't until my senior year when I decided to try flying solo and entering my own robot.