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Note: sorry for the blurry pictures, they are nearly 10 years old!
The Atomic FireBot was a robot designed to compete in the 2001 Trinity College FireFighting Competition. It's name was a parody of the hot cinnamon candy, the "Atomic FireBall". Atomic FireBot was my first (and last) entry into the competition and it was a spectacular failure! Prior to competition, it had performed with about 98% accuracy. I spent months in the hot, stuffy, rafters of my parents attic where I had installed a practice maze. Unfortunately, the 3 times that the robot was performing for the judges, it misbehaved. I never was able to track down the cause of the failure.
Atomic FireBot used an OOPic for it's microcontroller, and employed several hundred lines of code. To detect the room which contained the candle I used a UV Tron PMT (on the middle level to the left of the fan), which performed brilliantly. That sensor is well worth the $85 USD that the sensor costs. I constructed a light baffle with two photodiodes at the end in order to detect the flame (the black box at the top of the robot). The light baffle gave the sensors a very narrow field of view, and the two sensors formed a differential circuit whereby I could detect the edge of the flame and steer towards it. A line sensor mounted on the bottom of the robot - another photodiode and an LED light source - enabled the robot to find the entrance to the rooms and the ring surrounding the candle. A three blade fan and motor were used to extinguish the candle.
Two continuous rotation servos with built-in encoders were used to move the robot and track its position. Two Sharp GP2D12 infrared distance sensors (mounted on the bottom level on the center bolt, facing outwards) were used to locate the walls, and a bumper around the front of the robot protected it against unseen obstacles.
Overall I was well pleased with the turn-out. Sure, I wish it had actually performed at the competition, but all-in-all it was a fun project. If I had to do it again I would have started earlier and practiced more. You can never have a substitute for good field tests!
The Atomic FireBot has long since been dismantled and sacrificed to the good of other robots.