Week 6 (July 3 - July 9)

This week was my last week in Providence. On Saturday I would leave to go to Moss Beach, CA, where we would be able to work at Willow Garage, the company that created the PR2 robots along with other robots and software, in the San Francisco Area. We had Monday off because it was Independence Day. I didn't do too much on the 4th of July, but I was able to attend the fireworks show at India Point Park that night. It began with a performance by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and ended with lots of fireworks. Some pictures of the event could be seen below.

I spent the rest of the week finishing up the "Object Seeking" assignment on the AR Drones and preparing to leave for California. There were many disadvantages to using the Object Seeking program on the drones rather than the creates. One is that the camera on the drones is not as good as the PS3 cameras. It cannot recognize the pattern on an AR Tag from very far away, and even if the green rectanlge appeared on the screen the drone camera will not know the pattern or display the wrong pattern ID number. Also, it was very difficult to get the numbers correct so that the drone can turn and move to the center of the tag at the same time. If the tag went completely out of view while the drone was moving toward it, then the drone would just continue going straight in whatever direction it's pointing, move too fast, or keep over-turning in the view of the tag. Another disadvantage is that when the drones spin, they are also moving in the air. The creates were able to just spin in place, but when the drones spin they move in a circular pattern in the air, which also hinders the view of the camera. In the video, you will see that the drone will start spinning again after it has already found the tag, even though it was still searching for the tag because it wasn't close enough. I also thought about trying to find away to have the drone move up or down depending on the position of the tag, but I was not able to figure out how to do it. I found that the best way to use the program was to hold the AR tag that the drone was searching for and as the drone turns to move toward the tag, slightly move the tag so that it does not leave the sight of the camera and spin out of control. The program worked well while doing this.

4th of July in Providence

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra

Here are a two videos that show how my Object Seeking program mostly worked with the AR Drone Quadricopters, but also how they could easily get out of control while searching for an AR tag.