The blogging competition might be finished…

…but I’m not! We’ve got working solutions to the maze and the straight line speed test now. Definitely not winning solutions – they’re sssssllllllloooowwww – but they should finish. And the problem with having a day job is that, well, you have a day job to do!  But during my lunch break, I did manage to put together some wiring for that extra ToF sensor that I added. And on my commute I had a bash at some code for the Over the Rainbow challenge. Problem is, I still haven’t had a chance to test it, because I had another long-standing commitment tonight, and it’s too noisy to test once the children are in bed. Something to do tomorrow morning!

What I did do this evening was add some glitter to  Glitterator II. It’s nowhere near as blingy as last year, but lights are very useful status indicators!  So far, I’ve just been using VNC and so can see on a monitor what is happening on the robot… but on the day, we just want to fire it up and use the remote control for all the interaction. It works like this already, but it’s been handy to have VNC so you can be sure that, for example, when you press “go” it will perform the correct autonomous task. So I wanted lights as status indicators.

At first, I thought I’d steal the neopixel stick from my pan-tilt hat for the purpose. Originally, my plan was to use it with the camera, to provide lighting for the Over the Rainbow challenge, but it turns out that the course will be well-illuminated, so I don’t think I’ll need it for the purpose. The problem is, it was temperamental, sometimes working perfectly, but other times producing something like this:

(That’s supposedly a rainbow!)

I spent a bit of time last night trying to get it to work, but in the end gave it up as a lost cause and decided to use a Blinkt instead. Only problem with that is that it sits on all 40 pins, and I’m already using quite a few of them! But I got around that by checking what pins it actually uses (on – just 5V, GND, 23 & 24 – and wiring up those pins alone. I did have to move one of my XSHUT wires to accommodate this, but easy enough. So now I have a nice little strip of LEDs to show which mode is being used.


Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ll get the chance to actually test that rainbow code, and maybe we’ll have a chance to have a bash at that challenge. Tomorrow’s the last day though; after that, everything gets frozen.


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