The microcontroller-projects blog just featured a series of articles on the Buggy, culminating in a project showcase where the four-wheeler is turned into an obstacle avoiding robot.

Obstacle avoiding robot
Buggy obstacle avoider, disasembled

To turn the Buggy into an autonomous obstacle avoiding vehicle, the author equipped it with a clicker 2 with PIC18FJ (remember, Buggy needs a clicker 2 board for its brain), a Proximity click, and a Bargraph click.

We tried it ourselves. clicker 2 has a HID-bootloader inside so it took 10 seconds to load in the hex.

It works as advertised: once the Buggy gets close to a wall, first it backs up a bit, then turns right. The bar-graph signals the proximity of the obstacle.

Watching it whizz through our hallway reminded us of those wheeled mouse droids that can be seen patrolling the corridors of Star Destroyers in Star Wars.

The only problem seems to occur when the Buggy approaches the wall at a steep angle, with the proximity sensor on the socket farther from the wall. The bargraph doesn’t fill up and the Buggy stubbornly bumps into the wall and stays there. The solution would be to employ an additional proximity sensor on the other mikroBUS™ socket.

If you have a Buggy you can try and improve the code. It’s available on the blog, along with a detailed walkthrough.

If you don’t have the Buggy but are considering getting one, read the other post with general impressions and an overview the assembly process.

Silicon chip also reviewed the Buggy a while back so you can check that out, too.

Yours sincerely,

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