Week 3 (June 12 - June 18)

This week, I was able to get the AR Drone Parrot Quadricopter to fly properly while I controlled it. The drones used the same "teleop_twist_keyboard" program as the iRobot Creates, but there were more instructions to get them to take off and land safely, as well as to move up and down. We also had to be careful because the drones move much faster and are much more out of control that the Creates, which were very easy to control. Some videos of me flying an AR Drone can be seen below. This week I also began to think about which project I wanted to start working on with the robots for the remainder of the summer. I ended up choosing the project using the Scratch program for children to learn programming along with the Robot Operating System, called ScratchROS. I chose this project because Scratch is a good educational tool for young students to learn how to program and it would make it easier to control robots. Also, Scratch seems like an interesting way to make programming robots a lot easier by simply dragging and dropping instructions to control a robot. The first picture below shows the Scratch program interface. Instructions in the far left column can be dragged into the center column by the user who can input different controls, parameters, etc. Then the sprite object in the white box in the top right corner will perform the commands when the program executes.

The Scratch Interface

Sprite, the logo and mascot
for the Scratch programming language

Here are a couple videos of me trying to control the AR Drone Parrot Quadricopter using ROS taped on my iPod.