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I want to move a robot to a certain distance say 1 meter. What are the different ways that i can implement to do so? For example I can measure the circumference of the wheel and assign time of rotation to move it. what are other techniques to achieve this?

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There are far too many to list them all here but I can list the most common ones:

  • As you said base the movement off the motor RPM, and the diameter of the wheels and move for a period of time. This is not normally very accurate and can result in the robot "leaning" one way or another.

  • Use potentiometers to directly measure the wheel rotation and bring the robot to a halt when the desired distance is reached, this can be more accurate

  • Measure an external reference with somthing e.g. ultrasonic sensor, camera, lidar etc. this can have varying degrees of accuracy depending on the specific setups but can be very good

  • Use an optical flow sensor to measure the ground movement under you e.g. laser mouse sensor , this can have varying degrees of accuracy but generally very good

  • Use a ball mouse in the same fashion, generally less accurate, and needs a very flat smooth surface.

What specific application do you have in mind?

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  • $\begingroup$ GPS is useful as well, if your arbitrary distance to move is more than a few meters. $\endgroup$
    – Ian
    May 15 '15 at 13:43

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