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14.1.1.8 SolveMaze This routine executes the logic for solving the maze. The robot moves along the lines or turns depending on the result of rSense(). The value of rSense() is saved in the variable S for multiple usage. If the line sensors do not see the line (S 0) the robot has reached a dead-end and has to execute an about face (180 turn). If only the front sensor senses the line, the robot goes forward unless it has bumped into the goal. If the goal is found the routine returns back to the main program. If any of the outer sensors are triggered, a junction has been encountered and a turn may have to be made based on the logic in the MakeATurn subroutine. No active line following is performed as we did in Chap. 7 because the robot is placed squarely over the center of the line. Since the lines are straight and the robot moves only horizontally or vertically there is no need to check if the robot is coming off the line. The only consideration is to see if the robot is sensing a junction or a dead end. This simpli es the program so we can concentrate on how to solve the maze. Once we understand how to solve mazes the robot can be programmed for a more complicated line-following behavior if you wish. The algorithm in this initial attempt is simple because the robot simply makes random turns when it encounters a fork in the road. 14.1.1.9 MakeATurn At the beginning of this routine the robot is moved forward so that its center is over the junction (Lines 22 29). If, while moving forward, the goal is encountered then the routine terminates and returns to SolveMaze, which then returns to the main program. Once over the junction we have to decide what kind of junction it is. The possible types are shown in Fig. 14.2. If it is type (2), (4), or (6) then the center line sensor will still detect the line after moving over the junction (Lines 31 36) and rSense() will return a nonzero value. In this case we decide whether to continue going forward or turn by random chance (50 percent). If no turn is to be made then the variable m is set to 0 and the routine is terminated. If a turn is to be made instead of going forward, or if it is a junction of type (1), (3), or (5) [i.e., rSense() returns a zero] then we proceed to Lines 37 onward. The if-statements use the S variable to decide what kind of turn it was. S is used because the robot has already moved and the old value of sensors is needed not the current value. If S equals seven then the junction was either type (1) or (2) and we need to decide whether to turn left or right. A random number is used to make each turn 50 percent of the time (Line 38). If S equals six then the junction is type (3) or (4) and the robot needs
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FIGURE 14.2
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Types of junctions.
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to turn left (Line 40). If S is none of these values then the junction is type (5) or (6) and nothing needs to be done since m is set to a right turn by default (Line 30). 14.1.2 OBSERVATIONS This algorithm works, but is unsatisfactory because the robot is no smarter than a mouse wondering aimlessly through a maze. Given the same initial position and goal, the robot may nd the goal quickly sometimes and very slowly at others. This inconsistency is due to the robot making totally arbitrary decisions on how to turn. We will explore various means of improving this algorithm. However, for now, run the program and try various goal and robot positions with different mazes. Observe the behavior of the robot and see if you can think of ways to make the robot act more intelligently.
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NOTE: It is possible to place the goal in a section of the maze that the robot cannot reach. Obviously, if you do this, the robot will never be able to solve the maze.
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