Wherein we put several sensors through their paces against this year's course.
With AVC fast approaching, we have redesigned the course to accommodate the addition of the Power Racing Series and the return of Combat Bots. With that revision, we opted to completely line the classic ground race course with bales of hay.
For those concerned about how the bales will interact with the remote sensors commonly used on autonomous vehicles, worry not. We’ve done a bit of testing ourselves using the two most prevalent technologies in remote sensing: ultrasound and infrared.
These are the four sensors we tested:
For the test, these four sensors were wired to a SparkFun RedBoard. The sensors were then aimed at a sample hay bale to determine if each could detect it. The test platform was then moved toward and away from the hay to determine if the values changed. In addition to the indoor testing shown in the video, we also did some outdoor testing in sunlight.
I was concerned with the hay bale surface obscuring ultrasonic signals, and with the sunlight washing out the infrared signals. The results of both tests were encouraging, as neither problem occurred. All four sensors returned meaningful data, which changed with the distance.