Pet (work in progress)
August 29, 2014
I have not built my first robot yet - waiting for the parts. But I have the plans for my second robot ready. He, just a little ambition :D. My second project will be a prototype for a robot that can be sold as a consumer robot. I will call it Pet - working title.
This is how I imagine it. When you order Pet, it will come in a nicely designed box. In that box you will find a shiny sphere, a little smaller than a soccer ball. One size of the ball will be flat. You will also find a smaller box that contains a base plate with an electrical cable. No on/off switch. No manual.
So what will you do?
When you plug the base plate connector to the wall and put the ball where it seems to fit, the robot will self activate.
Pet will start to walk around, observing things that have bright colors. It will look at people and then blink its "eyes". Nothing spectacular. But when you take it off the ground, it starts shaking its legs. And when you put it upside down this becomes worse, and it even makes some grumbing noise.
But when you leave it alone, it will slowly open up a bit. I plan to build the prototype with RC, so I can test some behaviors with focus groups. One thing for sure, with its limited set of possibilities it should be very expressive. I am inspired by the work of Guy Hoffman http://on.ted.com/Hoffman.
Technically it means that the legs, internally, will have 4 or 5 DOV each, basically like a humanoid robot. Except that the mechanics are hidden for the most part. The arms or "wings" have 2 or 3 DOV each. And the eyes another 2. And there needs to be some servo to move the parts surrounding the eye to close. So we are talking about a 15 to 20 DOV robot here.
Let me know what you think !!