Rover Field Presentation Debriefing

By Maxwell Nguyen, Project Manager

During the field presentation of the rover, spiderbot, and hexapod, all three groups were able to successfully launch their projects.  However, all three groups encountered a few similar problems that prevented the projects from completing the mission objective. 

Level 1 Requirements:

The height requirement of the rover was completed and verified.  The rover was able to move over the sprinkler as well as roll over smaller obstacles on the field.  It was able to drive over small twigs and pinecones without tipping over.  The power of the rover was sufficient to drive itself the entire course.  However, the rover was unable to complete the entire course due to connection issues.  The mirror system was able to provide the rover proper vision during the mission.  The pan and tilt in junction of the mirror are fully functional.

Troubleshooting and Issues:

We noticed that connection to Arxterra was extremely weak and limited on the field site.  This was not an issue due to lack of wifi signal.  Even though the wifi source was in range, strong, and secure, connection to Arxterra was not stable.  The rover was only able to connect to Arxterra for a few seconds before being disconnected form the website.  We believe that this was due to all three projects trying to connect to Arxterra at once.  There seemed to be no connection problems when only one robot was connected to Arxterra.  However, if multiple robots were connected to Arxterra at the same time, connection would be extremely limited.  Even then, there were other issues running with Arxterra.

The rover suffered from latency problems while running the course.  When inputting commands for the rover, there would be a rough estimate of one second delay before the rover reacts to the commands.  At times, the latency would be so great that the rover would not receive any commands at all.  This again was not due to the wifi signal to the phone or the labtop.  All components of the rover were active but was not receiving any commands through the labtop.  However, this issue only appeared several times and was not a consistent problem.

If this project is recreated, it is strongly advised to test in junction of other projects instead of individually.  By running field tests with other projects, problems with Arxterra and wifi connection can be more accurately identified and fixed.