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ROVer Robot D91: Analyzing the Data from ROVer’s Crash & Debugging the Code

Yesterday’s crash from ROVer’s 1st autonomous drive test sucked!

That being said, we did learn a bunch and I’ve been hunting through ROVer’s growing code to figure out what happened. As is to be expected, I found more than what I sought out to find, but at the end of this process will be stronger than ever 🙂

It turns out that the crash was not the result of a faulty sensor or anything like that; it was a confluence of factors as is usually the case. ROVer’s programming and hardware, combined, have a lot of ‘moving’ parts and any broken link in the chain will cause the whole thing to come apart – that’s what we saw yesterday.

The main culprits, or so it seems thus far, were the RoboClaw (motor controllers) buffering commands, which essentially turned my All Stop command into a go-super-fast-forward command. The other factor, of course, were the sensors – we’re getting anomalous data, once in a while, that can throw everything into disarray if we catch it at the wrong instance.

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