how to connect barcode scanner to visual basic 2010 Dealing with Failures in Software

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Few robots work perfectly when you flip the switch the first time. Failure is common in robot building and should be expected. As you learn from these failures you will build better robots. Failure can occur at the onset when you first try a new design, or it can occur at any point thereafter, as the robot breaks down for one reason or another.
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MECHANICAL FAILURE
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Mechanical problems are perhaps the most common failure. A design you developed just doesn t work well, usually because the materials or the joining methods you used were not strong enough. Avoid overbuilding your robots (that tends to make them too expensive and heavy), but at the same time strive to make them physically strong. Of course, strong is relative: a lightweight, scarab-sized robot needn t have the muscle to tote a two-year-old on a tricycle. At the very least, however, your robot construction should support its own weight, including batteries. When possible, avoid slap-together construction, such as using electrical or duct tape. These methods are acceptable for quick prototypes but are unreliable for long-term testing. When gluing parts in your robot, select a glue that is suitable for the materials you are using. Epoxy and hot-melt glues are among the most permanent. You may also have luck with cyanoacrylate (CA) glues, though the bond may become brittle and weak over time (a few years or more, depending on humidity and stress).
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Use the pull test to determine if your robot construction methods are sound. Once you have attached something to your robot using glue, nuts and bolts, or whatever give it a healthy tug. If it comes off, the construction isn t good enough. Look for a better way.
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704 TIPS, TRICKS, AND TIDBITS FOR THE ROBOT EXPERIMENTER
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ELECTRICAL FAILURE
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Electronics can be touchy, not to mention extremely frustrating, when they don t work right. Circuits that functioned properly in a solderless breadboard may no longer work once you ve soldered the components in a permanent circuit, and vice versa. There are many reasons for this, including mistakes in wiring, odd capacitive effects, even variations in tolerances due to heat transfer. Here are some pointers:
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I If a circuit doesn t work from the get-go, review your wiring and make necessary
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I If the circuit fails after some period of use, the cause may be a short circuit or broken
wire, or it could be a burned-out component. Example: if your motors draw too much current from the drive circuitry you run the risk of permanently damaging some semiconductors. Certain electronic circuit construction techniques are better suited for an active, mobile robot. Wire-wrap is a fast way to build circuits, but its construction can invite problems. The long wire-wrap pins can bend and short out against one another. Loose wires can come off. Parasitic signals and stray capacitance can cause marginal circuits to work, then not work, and then work again. For an active robot it may be better to use a soldered circuit board, perhaps even a printed circuit board of your design (see 6, Electronic Construction Techniques, for more information). Some electrical problems may be caused by errors in programming, weak batteries, or unreliable sensors. For example, it is not uncommon for sensors to occasionally yield totally wacky results. This can be caused by design flaws inherent in the sensor itself, spurious data (noise from a motor, for example), or corrupted or out-of-range data. Ideally, the programming of your robot should anticipate occasional bad sensor readings and basically ignore them. A perfectly acceptable approach is to throw out any sensor reading that is outside the statistical model you have decided on (e.g., a sonar ping that says an object is 1048 feet away; the average robotic sonar system has a maximum range of about 35 feet).
PROGRAMMING FAILURE
As more and more robots use computers and microcontrollers as their brains, programming errors are fast becoming one of the most common causes of failure. There are three basic kinds of programming bugs. In all cases, you must review the program, find the error, and fix it:
I Compile bug, caused by bad syntax. You can instantly recognize these because the pro-
gram compiler or downloader will flag these mistakes and refuse to continue. You must fix the problem before you can transfer the program to the robot s microcontroller or computer. I Run-time bug, caused by a disallowed condition. A run-time bug isn t caught by the compiler. It occurs when the microcontroller or computer attempts to run the program. An example of a common run-time bug is the use of an out-of-bounds element in an array (for instance, trying to assign a value to the thirty-first element in a 30-element
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