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Slot.it autonomous slot car - analog and digital

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  • slot.it
    started a topic Slot.it autonomous slot car - analog and digital

    Slot.it autonomous slot car - analog and digital

    Hi all.
    It looks like we've beaten Google to the market

    We'll release today the ALPHA version of Slot.it autonomous vehicle firmware for any O2 chipped car.
    Note that this is not oXigen specific: once programmed, just place it on the track with no additional hardware (but one magnet under the track). NO lane changers, NO sensors, NO RMS needed, and FREE for anyone with a base oXigen system. Applies to analog and any digital systems, and of course you can still drive the car normally when connected to an oXigen controller.

    It's still Alpha, so anything can happen, but the car can run on any track, and as far as we can tell any digital system.

    It's a really simple concept. Press two buttons and the chip starts recording controller's data. Drive one lap. If you're happy, save the data, else reset and repeat. Disconnect the controller, place the car on the track, and see what happens.

    You need a oXigen chipped car, one SCP2 with oXigen controller to drive the car around in recording mode, and the dongle to upload the new firmware to the car. The only other thing that's needed is the oXigen magnet signalling where the finish line is - then you can have the autonomous car run wherever you want - analog or digital track.

    When it runs in autonomous mode, the car doesn't need (actually, it must NOT be connected to) an oXigen controller, so you can have pretty much as many cars as lanes, with no controllers, nor dongles.

    It works and it's simple, surprisingly good on our test track, fun to see and use, and you may test it during the Christmas holidays.

    It supports (this Alpha release) up to approx 7" lap time but up to 14 should be possible in future. The car sysnchs with the finish line, so longer laps may create greater synch issues, but as long as you brake early, and accelerate late and not too abruptly, it should work. What's most important is to avoid wheelspin, and drifting, both being completely unpredictable.

    Currently I would not recommend yet anyone without an oXigen system to rush buying one for this reason alone. There are a lot of other good reasons to buy oXigen but if you already have it give it a go and let us know.

    Look mom - no magnet:
    [youtube]wDtqCsBTSg8[/youtube]

  • MrFlippant
    replied
    Got it to work. Putting the car on the right part of the track was either too tricky for me to nail, or the sensor really needed to be embedded in the field. By putting a magnet right on the chassis with some blue tack, I was able to power the car on into pairing mode to pair with my controller, as well as into boot mode to install different firmware. Car is back to normal now.

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • slot.it
    replied
    I thought I replied, didn't I? Can't find it. In any case IMO the easiest thing is to remove the body from the car, place the magnet on the Hall sensor (with blue tac or tape), and put the car on the track to reset it. Make sure the controller is turned off! If the polarity is the right one it should go straight in BL mode, otherwise reverse the magnet.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scorpio
    replied
    I was persistent, I just kept trying different positions. I noticed that I got a solid red light on the chip. The wheels did not turn. Once I got over the excitement that the car was still stationary I lifted it off the track. Tried a few more times and noticed I could repeat it.

    I got bootloader ready, selected car B1. With the bootloader dialog on screen i placed the car on the track and hit return straight away.

    I hope you have some success too.

    Regards
    -s

    Leave a comment:


  • MrFlippant
    replied
    I'm pretty sure I tried this, but I'll try again soon.
    When you did this, did your car run the motor for .5s until it stopped because it didn't see the magnet? At what point did you start the bootloader searching for the chip? Before? During? After the wheels moved?

    Leave a comment:


  • Scorpio
    replied
    Success - rollback!

    OK, I managed to rollback to boot_carB1_2_13 from boot_carB1_3_15.
    Took quite a bit of fiddling with the magnet and the position of the hall sensor.

    I used a stock slot.it CN07 race magnet with the 4 small dimples uppermost to the underside of the track.

    When I placed the car/hall sensor directly over the magnet the car would take off in playback mode.
    If I placed the car about 5mm behind the magnet then I was able to get bootloader to connect & re-flash.



    The black line on the car is the position of the hall sensor and you should be able to make out the line on the track indicating the position of the magnet.

    Hope this helps

    Regards
    -s
    Last edited by Scorpio; 08-03-2016, 01:22 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrFlippant
    replied
    Originally posted by Scorpio View Post
    1. The car will only play back one lap then stops
    2. Playback mode - the car does not run at the speed I drove while recording - runs about half the speed.
    1) How long is the lap/time? The recording can only be 9.5s long. If it's longer, there will be problems like that. I noticed it when I did a really slow lap trying to see if lane changing did anything.
    2) Might not be detecting the S/F line correctly. The code puts the car at pit lane speed until it finds the S/F line in order to begin the recording.

    Originally posted by Scorpio View Post
    One other thing I have noticed is that since installing boot_carB1_3_15 when running in no-autonomous mode, if the car de-slots it can take between 5 -10 seconds before the car will respond to the controller.
    This puts the driver of this car at a distinct disadvantage if they de-slot.
    Yes, this is due to the nature of the firmware. Same thing happens to me.

    As it says in the instructions, it's definitely important to drive conservatively when recording. Like most other autonomous car systems, I'd say it's best to go ahead and leave the magnet in the auto-car, and set it up to try and get a lap as close to those who will be racing against it with mag-less cars.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scaleracing
    replied
    Maurizio may be out of the office for a while

    I believe Maurizio is in China right now, so there may be a delay in reply.
    Documenting issues found can greatly help with the development of oXigen. We are doing a lot of testing here at the ScalerRacing Center.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scorpio
    replied
    Hi Mr F

    I realise the fw is not for racing. Sorry the point was more an observation.

    I've only chipped four of my cars so far so I am currently a bit limited on choice. Eventually i'd like to dedicate a car to autonomous mode but that luxury will come later.
    Being new to Oxigen I'm still exploring all the options.

    Currently I have 2 GT40's and 2 McLaren GTR's so I can run similar classes.
    I plan to chip my Scaly McLaren P1 as my autonomous car as it is fast and very stable. That should happen in the next couple of months but I plan to chip both my Audi's and both my Porshe's next.

    Really enjoying this though.
    -s

    Leave a comment:


  • MrFlippant
    replied
    This firmware was meant specifically for use as an autonomous car. If you want to race it, put the proper firmware into it.

    I'll see if I can find some time with this firmware in the next couple days, and report back my findings. Hopefully I can find something that can help you, if slot.it or others don't respond sooner.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scorpio
    replied
    Problems with Autonomous

    Hi Guys,

    I've had a good few tries now with this but I'm not having much luck.
    2 issues i see:
    1. The car will only play back one lap then stops
    2. Playback mode - the car does not run at the speed I drove while recording - runs about half the speed.

    One other thing I have noticed is that since installing boot_carB1_3_15 when running in no-autonomous mode, if the car de-slots it can take between 5 -10 seconds before the car will respond to the controller.
    This puts the driver of this car at a distinct disadvantage if they de-slot.

    I also now have another problem with the bootloader sw but I'll start a new post as it is not directly related.

    Cheers
    -s

    Leave a comment:


  • MrFlippant
    replied
    Yes. Firmware changes can jump around to whatever firmware you want, old or new, special or standard, with no problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scorpio
    replied
    Hi Maurizio,

    New to Oxigen so may be a dumb noob question;
    I'm currently running the following firmware:
    SCP2 - v2.25
    Dongle - v2.13
    B Chips - v2.13

    Which appears to be the latest, is autonomous mode operational in these versions or only the firmware provided in your link?

    EDIT - I just checked the versions and I see that boot_car is v3.15, so I think I know the answer.
    If I update to 3.15 can I downgrade to 2.13 if I have any issues?

    Thanks
    -scorpio
    Last edited by Scorpio; 06-22-2016, 03:10 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • slot.it
    replied
    The final release, for the time being, of the Autonomous car, is here.

    What's new:
    1 - maximum recorded lap time approx. 9.5"
    2 - after the lap to be recorded is completed, and up+down buttons are pressed to start the data transfer to non volatile memory, the LED goes off until all memory is successfully transferred and saved. Communication between the car and the controller restarts only once data is safe. You MUST wait until this happens before removing the car from track or you will only get a partial recording!
    3 - some tuning and bug fixing
    4 - if the lap length exceeds 9.5", the car slows down to the default pit lane speed until it crosses the finish line again, where the synching restarts.

    The most critical thing that we've come across, apart from the advice that we've given that can be summarized with 'drive smoothly and allow ample braking and acceleration areas', is as follows: when the car starts its first autonomous lap, it accelerates from zero to target speed with a smooth ramp, then keeps the target speed for 0.3", then it goes off if no finish line is encountered. This time limit serves to avoid cars from running away forever. Thus, depending on the distance from the finish line and on the target speed, it may not cross the finish line with the expected speed, hence the first lap may be the most difficult to finish properly. It may be necessary to adjust the starting position (closer to or farther away from the finish line) so that the first lap is successfully completed in the best possible way.
    I also suggest to try crossing the finish line, at the beginning and at the end of the recorded lap, with the same speed.

    Autonomous Car Firmware

    Leave a comment:


  • slot.it
    replied
    Latest bugfix release
    Have a great 2016...

    Leave a comment:

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