build details

Show: section status errors & todos local changes recent changes last change in-page changes feedback controls


Modified 2018-08-27 by Josh Roy

This unit focuses on methods and strategies for debugging robots.

Most of the time spent writing a program is spent debugging that program. This issue is particularly challenging for robotics because a robot will not work unless everything else works. During the development of this drone project, we have had our robots fail because of:

  • a bug in our program
  • a bug in the library we were calling
  • bad electrical wiring
  • inadequate cooling
  • inadequate circuits

Despite ours and your best efforts, you will encounter bugs when building and flying your drone. We expect this to happen, and part of the goal for this assignment is to teach methods and strategies for debugging a robot. Fundamentally, debugging is about checking your assumptions and localizing the problem. You need to be systematic and verify each part of the system is working (or not) when finding a bug.

Often, bugs are present in a sequence: one bug masks a second one. So if you fix the first bug, it still doesn’t work, because now a second problem comes into play. Don’t let this get you down! Expect it. As you work on each project, you should expect that you did ten things wrong, that you’ll have to find and fix. So if you find one thing and fix it, expect that there are nine more things you’ll have to fix before you can fly.