Autonomous Robot

Autonomous Robot

An Autonomous Rampaging Chariot Sporting Robot
Controlled by a Raspberry Pi Computer
A Secondary School Coding Project from the Rampaging Chariots Guild

Teaching programming skills to children is seen as a long-term solution to the “skills gap” between the number of technology jobs and the people qualified to fill them.

Pupils interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) find programming particularly engaging when it is associated with an exciting and practical real-time experience. The object of their programming should therefore physically exist, move and have a sporty performance.

A ‘Rampaging Chariot’ chassis provides an ideal basis for an autonomous vehicle with both sporting and ‘Mars Exploration’ capabilities. It is cost-effective, using an existing proven vehicle already available in over 200 secondary schools throughout the United Kingdom.

The basic radio controlled ‘Rampaging Chariot’ sporting robot is constructed by students from a comprehensive kit of parts.

The new ‘Autonomous Upgrade Kit’ adds the capability of autonomous operation, and meets the coding educational requirements.

It is a serious and challenging project for pupils who have successfully competed in the Rampaging Chariots Robotic Games.

A Raspberry Pi Computer is used to control the new Autonomous Rampaging Chariot. The Software provided is coded in Python.

The upgrade kit provides infra-red and ultra-sonic distance sensors mounted on a stepper motor and servo which scan over a 180 deg arc.

The Autonomous Upgrade Kit contains:

  • Two Raspberry Pi 3 Model B computers
  • SD Cards - Preloaded with the operating system and baseline autonomous software, written in Python and fully documented. This provides a starting point for personal modification and extension of the code. It includes supporting software development tools for Simulation, Visualisation, Telemetry and Datalogging.
  • Two Odometers to sense the distance travelled by each drive wheel and allow robot heading to be determined.
  • Infra-Red and Ultra Sonic Distance Measurers.
  • Stepper Motor and Servo motor for Scanning.
  • Interface Module - Protects the R-Pi from damage and facilitates connection to sensors of all descriptions.
  • Power Converter (18V to 5V) and interconnecting Switches and Cables.

The autonomous modification gives programming a practical real-time outcome and experience. The aim is to achieve an autonomous modification that will undertake tasks such as navigating around the assault course at the annual Rampaging Chariot Robotic Games. More advanced challenges might include Sumo and Two-a-Side Football, a robot arm, image recognition and a soil sample analysis system.

The project is currently in the evaluation phase with four Scottish schools and will only go on general release if this phase is successful.