connections can be made with standard cables, so
no soldering is required as shown in Figure 9.
A Virtual Sensor System
The addition of the PING))) sensors allows the
RROSS to implement a Virtual Sensor System (VSS).
In addition to each ranger being individually
accessible with rRange(), digital proximity information
can be accessed with the functions rFeel() and
rBumper(). Each bit returned by these functions
indicates when a specific sensor sees an object within
a user defined range.
This is a massive improvement over the S3’s standard IR
sensors. The RROSS even gives you the option of merging
the S3’s native IR data with the PING))) readings. This can
improve reliability because various objects can absorb —
rather than reflect — IR (dark objects) and ultrasonic signals
Easy Access to Native S3
In addition to the ranging and perimeter proximity
sensing, RobotBASIC provides functions for accessing the
S3’s light and line sensors. You can even command the S3
to play tones or move in specific arcs. Programming an S3
could not be easier.
For those wanting more, the RROSS supports the
RobotBASIC beacon technology allowing the S3 to detect
up to eight distinct beacons. The beacon detector is shown
in Figure 10. It’s composed of a black tube (increases the
directionality of the detector) hot-glued to a Vishay
TSOP341 IR sensor.
Open Source Code
The RROSS code is open source and available in
the article downloads and also from RobotBASIC and
Parallax. Since the RROSS is written in Parallax’s
BlocklyProp, it should be easy for advanced users to
customize everything to meet their specific needs.
The standard Parallax Scribbler S3 has capabilities
that deserve your consideration, and with a few extra
sensors and a RobotBASIC interface, it really stands
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