REU: Improving straight line travel in a miniature wheeled robot
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The TinyTeRP is a miniature robotics platform with modular sensing capabilities. Prior generations of the TinyTeRP have experienced various problems in assembly process, materials selection, and their fundamental design. These problems are addressed by choosing 3D printing as the new manufacturing method and steel wire for the new axle. The TinyTeRP’s ability to travel in a straight line using open loop control is studied. After 1.37 m of travel in the x direction, the TinyTeRP was as close as 4.69 cm to or as far as 31.9 cm from the ideal ending position (a straight line), indicating that open loop control is a poor method for controlling a straight line trajectory. Comparing data on the angle of the trajectory collected from position data from the vision table to data collected from the gyroscope indicated that the gyroscope tracks the robot’s angle of motion well. Hence, using the gyroscope for closed loop control of the TinyTeRP’s motion is possible.