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Off-board System

Posted on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 | No Comments

The off-board system refers to the scoring system of the game and the smart phone app that will allow the user to drive the robot.

Scoring System

When a robot fires at the other robot and hits a target, they will be awarded a point. The point value will depend on how easy or hard the target was to hit. When the sensor is hit, a message will be sent to the main game master to increment the score of the robot who shot the target. This score will then be displayed on a screen in the form of a GUI. The figure below demonstrates this.

Offboard System and Robots
Smart Phone App
An app will be created to allow the user to control the robot. It will have buttons for the movement of the robot (left, right, forward, backward) and it will also have buttons to control the firing device (pan left/right, pan up/down, fire).
A basic design can be seen below.
Smart Phone App Design


Scoring System
The scoring system will be programmed using Java, as GUI’s are very easy to construct in Java. Below is a class diagram showing the intended classes that are to be made. The GUI has the possibility of displaying the score in many ways. One option is to have a picture of the robot with the targets and when a target is hit, the target could flash to show it has been damaged. Another option is to display the different targets with a tally system, showing how many times each target has been hit. 
Class Diagram
Smart Phone App
The app will have buttons to move the robot, to move the firing device and to fire the device.  The figure below shows one option for the layout of the app. Another option is to have the controls for moving the robot on one screen, and then the controls for moving and firing the laser on another, switching between the two by pressing a button. This is shown below.
Different Designs for Smart Phone App

Other Design Options Considered

Scoring System
The scoring system could be made by simply printing the scores to a console, but this does not look very impressive and is quite boring. Therefore, a GUI is going to be made. The Raspberry Pi was chosen to host the scoring system as it is very powerful and it is good at graphics. The Arduino, while suitable for sensing the shots being fired, would not have been suitable for hosting this programme.
Smart Phone App
The robot was considered to just be controlled via a remote controller. However, this is very basic. A smart phone app is up to date and can be altered to include new features or a different style set. In addition remote controllers can easily be lost or broken while an app can be simply downloaded to any device that is available. 

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