Parallax BOEBot book: Chapter 5. Tactile Navigation with Whiskers
Another great chapter from the Parallax documentation for the Board of Education shield bot kit for Arduino! Chapter 5:
Tactile switches are also called bumper switches or touch switches, and they have many uses in robotics. A robot programmed to pick up an object and move it to another conveyer belt might rely on a tactile switch to detect the object. Automated factory lines might tactile switches to count objects, and to align parts for a certain step in a manufacturing process. In each case, switches provide inputs that trigger some form of programmed output. The inputs are electronically monitored by the equipments processor, which takes different actions depending on if the switch is pressed or not pressed.
In this chapter, you will build tactile switches, called whiskers, onto your BOE Shield-Bot and test them. You will then program the BOE Shield-Bot to monitor the states of these switches, and to decide what to do when it encounters an obstacle. The end result will be autonomous navigation by touch.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.