Thursday, December 9, 2010

End Course Project 1: Decision

Date: 2. December 2010
Duration of activity: 4 hours
Group members participating : Michaël Ludmann, Guillaume Depoyant, Anders Dyhrberg

I. Decision
We decided to do the Anti Terrorist Game idder from last lab session.

General description of the concept:
A simple game with two human players, each controlling one NXT using an XBOX controller. One player is the terrorist who has to place a bomb in the game field, while the other is the counter-terrorist unit trying to locate and defuse the bomb before the time expires and the bomb explodes. Players cannot see the playfield directly but only what their robot see through a camera mounted one the car.
Hardware Required:
We identified which hardware that was required, and Ole Caprani confirmed that it should not be a problem to get the lego hardware required. And we should be able to borrow the required Cell Phone Cameras from the Positioning Course.

Hardware List:
  • 3 NXT bricks with an option to include many more. (AU)
    • 1x for the terrorist unit
    • 1x for the counter terrorist unit
    • 1x NXT for the bomb
  • 1x infrared ball for the bomb (Ludmann)
  • 2x computers, one for each player (TBD)
  • 2x games controllers (Xbox or Playstation pads) (Depoyant and Ludmann)
  • 2x Android Phones (Pervasive Class, Ludmann, Dyhrberg, Depoyant)
Play Field:
After we made our project decision last week, we made a Field Trip to Rezultat to inspect their play field[1] the group have been allowed to use for our free disposal . This was very inspiring at we have attached a video indication the visual result of using this as the context for the game.

Work Plan:
We agreed that we initially will move out meeting time to be fixed Thursday from 16 to open end, since this time slot would give us better chances for longer work periods. At our next meeting we will try to break down all the tasks and make a full plan to uncover the workload all the way to the delivery date. At the end of each session we will distribute key tasks to be solved by group members between session. We do acknowledge that there is quite a lot of work to be done in this project.

Key Issues Identified in our last session:
  • To deal with streaming the camera images to the computers while displaying informations about the sensors readings on players screens and allowing them to control the robots in real time. (Will require dedicated SW for the Android Phones)
  • We need to implement a GamePad driver for the PC to control the units. (This is fairly easily achieved using key mapping on the PC. Mapping GamePad press to Keyboard Press)
  • The mechanical release of the BOMB from the terrorist unit could turn out to be problematic. Same could the for the deactivation mechanized used by the CTU.
  • We would have to experiment with the game play in order to keep it balanced, and fun for all players.
  • We have to make a program for the PC side to show the Video Stream from the robots.
  • We need to find/design a god play field for the game. We currently are expecting to use a city model available to us, used for tank strategy game[2].
  • (Optional control feature) An obvious extension to the game would be to use the Wireless Ethernet on the camera phones to control the robot, by forward the instructions from to NXT using bluetooth, in order to extend the range from theoreticaly 10m to 100m.

Key decisions made this session:
  • Application Platform. It seems like from our lab session, we get a lot of code served to communicate with the NXT brick, which we need, if we choose to use the Java platform. So using Java Swing was a fairly simple choice.
  • Video stream from player unit to pc. The most obvious platform today would be to use an Android based Cellphone and find a pre made streaming application, so we only have to make the PC side of this streaming program. The interface is fairly open. But it should be fairly easy to embed into our Player Application
  • Connecting the Xbox controllers, will be dune using simple keyboard mapping strategy. So each button on the controller will map to a keyboard press, and this can fairly simple be interpreted in the player application and forward the instruction to the unit.
  • OTHER ????

Assignments for next session:
Ludmann and Dyhrberg: Experiment with different pre built Android programs from Android to stream video from an android phone to the PC.
Ludmann: Start working on the player Controlled Vehicle
Depoyant: Start working on the PC player interface, base on the framework Dyhrnberg made at an earlier lab session to test the Bluetooth logger
Owsinski: Start working on the bomb


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