Who doesn't love a parade? A robot parade gives students a great forum for combining artistic expression with serious engineering concepts. Gizmo Garden students created a parade on Arduino-based platforms. Though we don't know of any Mainers who have created a full-blown parade with themed/decorated floats, Gizmo Garden has made a test parade with un-decorated EV3s. On this site you can see a picture of the resulting EV3 program and download the code for your EV3 robots to use. But while we're on the page with the video, look at it again and notice a few things:
- Each parade float has an EV3.
- Each parade float expresses a different theme.
- Each parade float uses different crafting supplies.
- Floats are built using various wheel configurations.
- Some (but not all) floats tow a trailer where most of the decorated action occurs.
- Most floats, in addition to wheel motors, have a motor creating motion on the trailer.
- Floats use a downward-looking color sensor to find the edge of the black line (you can see the red spots on the road).
- Floats use a forward-looking ultrasonic sensor to alert them to stop if they get too close to the preceding float.
Finally, notice that the float motion is extremely jerky. They jerk left-right as they try to follow the line. They also jerk in stop-go fashion. If you'd like to know how to fix that with a more sophisticated control loop, click the "Parade Control Loops" button.