Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Story Of "0 && 1" part 2

Sometime soon in 2nd year there was a Tech-Fest in IIT-G. We started preparing for the Fest. I got two Geared DC motors arranged from Delhi by my Best Friend ‘KID ’. We started making a Robot for "Maze-Finder" an Autonomous Robotics Competition in Tech-Fest IIT-G.
It was this time that I came to know so much about me. I had a tremendous amount of Energy to pull. We worked like hell for the Tech-Fest in IIT-G. We made the 1st DC robot(Chotu) of our life. Well let's say we just finished the mechanical part. Tuning and testing it was hell of a job. Along parallel tracks we also made a bot on Steppers(Guddu). Well Chotu was rely fast and tough to control. We used time delay to control its motion, only to realise that the distance varied after a period of time. We realised that the distance was not only dependent on time well a lot of it depended on the Potential too. So then started designing an optical encoder for its motion. Well it took us a lot of time to realize that making optical encoders was really a hectic job and the results were not worth a try given a situation of rely Limited Resources and no Legacy. Well Chotu was our 1st and Last attempt of makin robots on DC. We switched on to steppers which moved on a totally different funda. Guddu was moving really fine the only Issue was it power source. It sucked every time, we tried NiCd, NiMh, Alkaline and all sorts of batteries available or what we could visibly see available. Well finally we got those 9 volt batteries it sucked too but Fresh 1's were ok. So Finally the day we were about to leave Guddu was following the walls. We had confidence but little did we know what Fate had for us. Well had a truely amazing experience goin to Guwahati. The campus looked more like Fun place for the shades it had. But as we entered the campus area with the Buzz all around blood started to pump heavily in our veins. Well we went straight to our arena, it looked much similar to what we had expected. So that was a sigh of relief. A lot of intelligence still had to be embedded in Guddu. So we sat down jotting down all the possibilities of moves and then Porting it to a C program on a small UC. (Oh I almost forgot that we had a lot of Issues using 8051 so we switched to AtMega48. Surprised!! ya I too was when I came to know that this was available in India. Well i tried a few contacts on the list and a rely Humble Guy "Mr.Prakash" from bangalore helped me by shipping these Uc's to my place.) Well we finished as much as we could think of and then went back to arena. The next day was rely hectic we tested Guddu on the maze whole day around with extened power source. The algo seemed perfect in all senarios. We went back and I looked into other events which were more crowd pulling. The next day we were having our Slot but we wanted to take a later day slot when the sun's ambient light affected the IR sensors the least. So it all happened hardly a few could finish the maze, some had mechanical problem sm had sensors issues some had a bad algorithm. Well we were in the last slot. There was a break and we decided to fine tune Guddu's sensors before we had the final run. As we put Guddu in the maze we realised that it's battery had dried out. Well we had a spare but that was not fresh . Well we really started to panic. We didnt have any other power source to run our bot. We started inquiring about near by markets but it was rely late for that. Our turn was commin close. Suddenly Raja(technically Amarendra), one of our team members ,struck with the brilliant Idea to use our laptop batteries to run the bot. Well the Idea rely "CHANGED OUR LIFE". Guddu cleared the maze breaking all previous records and we stood 1st at the score of 1362 while the runners up were in couple of 100's . We were overjoyed with the Success. We called our homes at 5 in the morining and informed all our friends. Well the news spread like fire. And before we realised we like RockStar's in Colg. We were like Robotics Guru's of Colg.