Robo-Mail

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We had to design an autonomous device that can deliver mail parcels to letterboxes situated along a straight track. The track was 5.5m in length, with 10 houses situated in five opposite pairs on the left and right sides of the track, equally spaced at intervals of 1m. In front of each house was a basket, representing the mail box, in which the parcel was to be delivered. Each pair of houses will have a traffic bar located along with it, holding a small transmitter that transmitted a signal directing the robo-mailperson which parcels to deliver to which letterbox. These transmitters transmitted a Morse Code message via infra-red, similar to the operation of a TV remote controller. The signal was transmitted once the device crosses the first pressure pad (green) into drop zone and stopped transmitting once the device moved past the second
pressure pad (red coloured line).

Robo-Mail On the run, delivering mails

Robo-Mail On the run, delivering mails

The parcel for this scale demonstration of your system was red, blue, or yellow marbles. These marbles were loaded onto the device at the beginning of a test run, but no interaction with the device was allowed while the test run was in progress. The precise number and positions where the different parcels need to be delivered was not be known prior to a test run, and instead must be determined by correctly detecting
and interpreting the emitted signal. No more than 4 marbles of each colour (a total of 12 marbles) was to be delivered in a signal test run.
In addition the transmitter on the traffic bar emitted audio tones to indicate whether the occupant of the house is home or not. It transmitted one frequency if the occupant of the left-side house is away, a different tone if the occupant of the rightsided house is away, and both tones if neither occupant is home. It was not desirable to deliver these precious parcels if the occupants were out, so in this case a ‘sorry we
missed you’ message was delivered, which we represented in this scenario as a black-coloured marble. Naturally these ‘sorry we missed you’ marbles were only left if there was a parcel intended for that house but the occupant was not home. It was assumed that no more than 4 ‘sorry we missed you’ message need to be carried for a single test run. The device had be autonomous – begin, move, and deliver the parcels under its own power. It must initially fit within a 400mm x 400mm x 400m cube. The device must feature a switch to start – that is, once placed in position on the track to start the run it must begin its autonomous operation after the switch is turned ‘on’.
Robo-Mail Left View

Robo-Mail Left View

Robo-Mail Right View

Robo-Mail Right View

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