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|Cin-D LOU House Bot|
|Start Date: 1/1/2012|
Cin-D LOU will be an autonomous robot (at 5'-2" tall) able to self navigate around the HIVE space with some initial (and ever growing) ability for interaction. This project is our version of a home-built C3PO-like protocol droid. It is to be decided whether it will be overtly male/female or androgynous in form. One possible source of inspiration is this art-piece seen at the 2011 Detroit Maker faire at http://wiki.hive13.org/Detroit_Droids. A different inspiration is here http://wiki.hive13.org/AnotherBot.
The project team is an informal group of like-minded folks. We hold a weekly team meeting on Tuesdays, before/after the regular business meeting and make progress each week. Individuals and small groups can take on specific tasks and interested bystanders can follow the progress and contribute as things evolve.
The project has four initial areas of effort.
(1) Locomotion - Thanks to Jon, we have two excellent wheel chair DC gear motors. The mechanical effort involves selecting and installing left-side/right-side drive wheels onto these gear motors, and then mounting them on a common base platform with two trailing caster wheels like a hoveround http://www.hoveround.com. The base will be fairly heavy with batteries and power circuits. Different control schemes to recognize position, do path planning and execution are to be determined. The HIVE's MS Xbox Kinect might be one input, plus others that are TBD.
(2) Arm and Hand - Here we're thinking to use laser cut acrylic for the fingers, hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder joints. Planned actuations come from forearm mounted small DC motors with leadscrews driving tendons. Stepping motor drives with gear reduction are anticipated at the elbow and shoulder. The ability to execute programmed motion sequences like pointing, waving, presenting a drink, making a fist bump or shaking hands without (or with) feedback are TBD using networked Arduinos or such for control.
(3) Head - Here we've got a styrofoam head with a vacu-formed replaceable female face as a possible starting point. There are some initial mechanical designs for eye balls (with blue LED pupils) that track with up/down left/right motion and working eyelids and eyebrows. Mouth and speech capabilities to be determined. Neck functions to turn and nod the head would be included. Again, we anticipate the ability to execute programmed motion sequences (nodding up/down for yes, shaking head left/right for no, and eye and head movements during motion tracking) without (or with) feedback.
(4) Body - Here we're looking for the HIVE artist types to make a simple light and quick body space frame from exacto-knife cut or laser cut cardboard or other layers using the AutoCAD 123D Make capabilities at http://www.123dapp.com/make. This would get us an egg crate or open grid structure that would have the outer body profile with cavities inside for mounting necessary controls and conduit paths.