7.f. Using the compass

This example program demonstrates using the magnetometer in the Zumo Shield’s LSM303 3-axis compass module (described in section Section 3.d) to help the Zumo coordinate ninety-degree turns and drive in squares. With the Zumo Shield Arduino Libraries installed, the sketch file can be opened in Arduino by selecting File > Examples > ZumoExamples > Compass. This example also requires the LSM303 library to be installed.

Because the batteries, motors, and motor current affect the z axis of the magnetometer much more strongly than the x and y axes, this program calculates the Zumo’s orientation using only the x and y readings from the magnetometer, assuming that the robot is always level. In order to prevent external, locally varying magnetic fields (e.g. from rebar in a concrete floor) from affecting the Zumo’s navigation too much, the program measures the magnetic heading before each turn, then turns ninety degrees relative to that heading.