Monday, February 13, 2006

Feature Request

The new compass sensor from Hitech got me thinking about a robot that could navigate back to its home. This would be really good if the robot "is tired" and "needs to sleep", i.e. when its batteries are almost empty. However, I haven't seen any mention of a sensor input on measuring the battery level. It is likely that the battery level is measured in some way by the electronics already. If that is the case, it would be nice to make the current battery level available inside the NXT brick as another (internal) sensor.

In the absense of the sensor, I guess I'll need to use elapsed time to estimate when the battery will be dead. Unfortunately, that measurement is really imprecise since the amount of energy used depends on how many times the motor accelerates. With all the sensors that make the robot make clever evasive motions, there's really no way of tell how much energy was used (other than taking the worst case energy usage).

So if there is any way, even if it is only available to expert programmers that get to the low level registers, to allow the power to be measured inside the NXT brick, that would be great. It won't take long to write a software library that simplifies its use...


At April 01, 2006 2:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could already with the old RCX (running the official RIS-firmware) read the battery status via software. the programming language NQC had a command for that. I'm sure a similar command will be availlable for the NXT.


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