Operate ontop of a large computer screen?

Hi guys,
Would the sensors on the 3pi detect a black on white line from a back projected screen? I couldn’t find any details on the sensors themselves. Has anyone tried putting the robot on a computer screen?

The specific scenario in mind is the Microsoft Surface computer, it’s a coffee table styled computer that back projects an image on the surface and also emits a tonne of infrared light to detect touch and other objects on the surface. We’re doing a simple protoype where I want to drive a robot via the screen, I came across the 3pi and its line detection.

My concern is that the sensors would just be overloaded and not see anything. However if it does work the possibilities are very cool, for example a dynamic line to follow.

Lastly, I see a maximum speed listed but how slow can the 3pi operate? Would I need to replace the gearbox to slow it down?


Hello, John.

I haven’t tried it on a back projected surface, I don’t exactly know the physics here off the top of my head, maybe someone else will answer this part.

The line sensors on the 3pi are infrared based, so the infrared from the table will probably mean it won’t work. You would have to try it out to see for sure. One time while I was doing line following on a course that was half in shade half in sunlight through a window, the 3pi would sometimes get messed up when it transitioned from the darkness to the light.

If you are concerned about the 3pi flying off of a coffee table sized space, you shouldn’t be concerned. It can go slow enough to follow a line safely on a small table. Here is someone running it on his desk at work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylyRi1Qlbl0. Here is an impressive example of what someone did on a small table (not really going too slowly): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAU_IQgiggM.


Yes I think the easiest way to is buy one of this and try it out. Assuming the built in sensors don’t work it looks like a great cheap platform to build ontop of anyway.
Thanks, I’ll post back on how I go.