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Introduction

This was an attempt to build a autonomous robot that could follow a person or bike while carrying tools, equipment or water. This project used a Raspberry Pi3 and Wild Thumper All-Terrain Chassis.


Project Description

Here's a video of the build:

There's a report here:

http://gctechspace.org/2016/07/hackergrant-project-report-followbot/

And some code here:

https://github.com/dtbaker/pi-web

The project was a great success in that I was able to brush up on my Python & C++ skills and I learnt alot about object tracking and the current limitations. The followbot will follow an object under ideal lighting conditions (i.e. inside an empty room), however unfortunately the Raspberry Pi3 isn't quite powerful enough to track objects when outside.

Some progress was made on tracking Glyphs instead of "objects", but I could only get about 2-4fps on the Raspberry Pi3 while moving fast so it just wasn't good enough. I'm sure someone better at Python/C++ could whip something together to make this project a success. Maybe bypassing OpenCV and just dealing directly with Raspberry Pi camera data to track Glyphs would be the trick.

The robot is to be re-purposed as an autonomous garden monitoring unit. It'll drive around and test soil moisture and a few other things. We're also hooked it up to Google Cardboard so you can "look around" while driving it manually with the transmitter.

Good fun was had. Any questions feel free to buzz me on twitter @dtbaker