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Navigate onto Charger

I’ve been able to get Misty to find and route towards towards the charging base by using Google Cloud’s Vision APIs, but once getting close (<0.5m) to the charger I’m having difficulty orienting the robot and driving it onto the charger using the various misty.DriveXXX commands. I’ve tried using the absolute heading to the charger, as well as orienting the robot based on the wall and approaching the charger from the side, but in both cases the robot can’t consistently land on the charger due to issues with the treads and the hazard settings.

Has anyone had any luck autonomously driving the robot onto the charger?

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Nice work! That isn’t easy I am sure. I know @slivingston and @phillip.vinhha we’re both working on this problem too.

Thanks Ben…

When driving straight on, I have a feeling that Misty does not go far enough to start charging due to TOF sensors inhibiting motion. Is this accurate? Misty can charge even when it is about 50mm from the vertical face of the charger and think should be safe enough to accomplish at low speeds.

BTW – another issue I have noticed that when the charger is on a hard surface, Misty’s tread can move the charger mat? Has anyone else noticed that? I will try with some extra sticky mat underneath – hopefully, I can keep it steady.

awesome to learn about your progress! however, I think that the Google Cloud Vision API is not useful for this application beyond initial demonstration because it is priced per call (https://cloud.google.com/vision/pricing).

Yes. Try to change the parameters of the hazard system. In my implementation, the robot reverses onto the charging pad, so it suffices to assign 0 to the TOF_Back parameter via POST api/hazard/updatebasesettings

Yes, I noticed that. In my implementation, I assume that the charging pad is against a wall. Therefore, it can be approached without perturbing the pad from a direction orthogonal to the wall plane.

Thank you @ slivingston for the help. Will definitely try these…

I agree with you – what I am attempting is not the right solution – google API not withstanding, I personally do like going to the cloud for such a basic function and the solution does not work in low light. BTW – if you have something better I would absolutely love to see if I can get my hands on it.

I am hoping to be able to demo autonomous charging for Misty at CES.

@guptahome100, charger detection is under active development, but I don’t have a candidate release date yet. When we do release, it’ll likely be in a beta state, as getting the algorithm to be robust enough to tolerate all of the environmental variables will be difficult.

As for ToFs, @slivingston is spot-on. The hazards block the robot from fully getting onto the charger. Following charger detection, we’ll be releasing a built in docking mechanism to ensure that the robot successfully docks and orients on the charger correctly. This work hasn’t yet begun.

I’ll follow up internally and see when we expect to see a charger detection candidate.

Thanks Morgan… I am eagerly looking forward to the feature. Any idea if we this will be possible to do by CES? Even a beta version would be fine (for private demos)?