Honda Worldwide | ASIMO . Not sure they'd like the bill however
A group of helpers wants to build a robot for the school and they have asked for my help. To be honest when I first heard of this I thought the robot would be a walking model but no, nothing like that, and I'm not sure how to describe what the school will get so here's what info I've got so far.
Apologies for not sending this info through sooner, been absolutely hectic as usual! As concisely as possible here are a list of features the staff wanted to see included in the robot teaching tool we are looking to build:
Noise sensitive - releases an audio alert when noise levels increase
Speech Pod - instant record and play back
Led display - recurring text that can be changed
Use in role play
Digital photo frame
Automatic pencil sharpener
Compartments - to put certificates in
Web-cam installed to record the class so teachers can play it back to them
Plug in earphones
Incorporating the 5 senses
Ability to dress the robot up
Move arms up and down
Eyes or mouth or both light up
Removable face features
Ability to play CD & DVD
Asks how you are?
Technology that allows the robot to mimic the children's words
The general idea is that the robot becomes an adaptable teaching resource, able to be used to introduce a topic, or to add a spark to an otherwise dull topic. We want the robot to be as user friendly as possible, so are trying to fulfil most of these requirements through individual pieces of kit, rather than relying on everything being a piece of software on the pc. Iíve highlighted the bits that I think would need to be either part of the PC or would need to run through the PC. We looked at this PC at PC world, mainly due to price, spec, and ease of access to front usb ports etc... We imagine that the tower will be built into the body of the robot, low down due to weight, and with ventilation built in to the robots body. There was also mention of digiblue cameras, but I have had these Flip Video Recorders recommended to me before as a much better and easier to use option.
Iíd like to start ordering things in the next few days as we want to begin building the robot on Monday 8th Feb. Any feedback you can give me in the next couple of days would be much appreciated, Iím sure youíll have tonnes of ideas of how to make some of the teacherís suggestions work, and hopefully be able to advise me of whether or not the PC will stand up to what we want it to do.
Apologies for the short notice, but any help will be very much appreciated
Where do I start
"Must have tusks, a fear of rodents and magnolia casework"
You're dealing with something designed by a committee of hairy-toothed idiots who were rejected from robot wars. I'd just hide from them - this can't end well.
More helpful link: White Box Robotics - Home Page
Better wrap yourself in tin foil and start practicing the robot I think mate...
mossj (4th February 2010)
Doesn't say anywhere there that it makes tea!!!! Personally I would hide till it is all over.
Simplest way to start is Mindstorms to get the basics together... http://mindstorms.lego.com/eng/default.aspx
Then you can use the awesome TETRIX that Domino and I spotted on the RM stand at BETT (imagine Mechano on steroids mixed with computery stuff!)... Lego Education - Loading...
You could easily build something from that TETRIX which could carry a small PC and operate relays for big enough motors to move about all that stuff you want to carry.
The biggest problem would be finding a suitable controller that can easily be programmed/re-programmed to do what you want.
Robotics Institute of America (RIA) uses a broader definition: a robot is a "re-programmable multi-functional manipulator designed to move materials, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks." wekipedia
I would build a SCARA robot. I have used this robot [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kOkQNDyFJk"]YouTube- Robot -LSBU[/ame]
I'd start with an old dishwasher and some flashing leds and go on from there...
To Do List:
1 Build autonomys self aware robot
2 solve wold hunger
3 buy milk
Seriously though whoever wrote that list must have a large disconnect from reality or a fundemental lack of knowlage in the field.
I would suggest that they get a Lego mindstorms NXT kit an tie it in with this Microsoft Robotics to give them an idea or more sensibly run in the opposite direction as fast as possible. With that kind of requirements list and complte lack of planning this will not end remotely successfully.
Design-wise, you could maybe make the body able to be lifted with a sack-truck - even build the thing on a pallet-like base that you can just slide a sack-truck under and wheel off. I'd go for it being plugged in via a standard wall plug, too, then there's no need to worry about batteries and you can have a full tower PC, screen and projector inside if you want.
Mindstorms robotics kit is nice, but isn't going to drive the kinds of motors that can move decent-sized arms and whatnot about. You might still be able to use Mindstorms kit but you'll probably have to connect the motors up via relays so you can use higher-powered ones.
- record a pupil talking and play it back with the voice changed using some sort of speed/pitch changing software
- record video and sound from the webcam and be able to play it back
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