Brief DAZLR video
Well, here's a movie I haven't yet posted to this blog, that Jim has again hosted for me. DAZLR spins in place to try to locate targets, first "testing" the target with a pair of shots, and if the target doesn't run away (like my kids or cats do), it then advances on the position firing a stream of spheres. Also, if the object is outside the "safe" range, it is ignored (that's actually the reason DAZLR doesn't do an aggressive attack on the first big box; that's what it uses to establish its maximum range). Here's a sample (warning, it's around 7 Mb... yeah, I should have compressed 'em).
DAZLR in action
DAZLR in action
1) Nice use of the empty zamor sphere boxes.
2) I note that the bot rotates past a target and then returns a bit. Can you delve into that some?
3) Why'd it need a push for the second zamor box?
For the second box, it didn't need a push: I actually had to dislodge a stuck sphere (the 1st tow "warning shots" on that box never fire because the spheres weren't feeding into the shooters).
Another thing I should mention is why it fires the second volley at the first box (after it knocks it over). The US sensor could still detect the much smaller end of the box that was still "visible" to it, and too close, so it fired again.
As for targets, you should see the thing slice through ranks of minfigs... :-)
Most are going to be short and sweet though... space considerations.
I figured the rotate past & back thing was some sort of centering algorithm. It's gotten me to thinking about what it would take to mount the sonar to a motor and then use the discovered angle to align the firing mechanism with a target. Generally it would be more efficient (you could sweep the SONAR until you found something in range, versus rotatin the entire chasis). However, it would take an extra motor, one a gingle NXT doesn't have without relying on some sort of mechanical motor splitting device.
SONAR: 1 motor
Mobile platform rotation: 2 motors
Firing Mechanism: 1 motor
So then I think "Maybe make it a stationary turret instead..." Then you can restrict the rotation of the turret to a single motor.
THEN I start to get crazy, where you have two sonar outposts triangulating to a target and feeding the information to an artillery assembly which can change both vertical angle and direction in order to hit a target.
Curses, now I need two more NXT bricks!!!
So... Can Dazzler detect and accurately hit a single minifig?
Can it detect a single minifig? Depends on the range I imagine (it's not assembled anymore, although I have plans). As to high-precision targeting, the spheres bounce somewhat and the two lauchers bracket the point that DAZLR points at, so it pretty much hammers an area rather than a point.
if your bot can rotate either direction, you could rig up something that will "flop" the "predicting" sensor to the other side, based on the direction of rotation, no other motor is necessary. Implementation is left as an exercise :)