June 5, 2014
This is D. Jay Newman, also known as Dangerous Thing (as in "A little learning is a dangerous thing.")
I built several robots in from the late 1990's through the early 2000's. I had several articles and one book, Linux Robotics, published. Then my wife became extremely sick and I had to quit work to become her full-time caregiver. I was also forced to quit working on robots. Lately I realized I had to build things again or not be true to myself.
I've begun working on the troupe: Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, and eventually Chico. The theme is steampunk with a little borrowed from the Marx Brothers.
Steam Automaton Groucho: built on a wheelchair frame, with a NUC for brains, and a hierarchical set of BeagleBone Blacks for control and sensor systems. His primary tasks will be multi-camera vision and human interface experiments. I am working in making ethernet cameras out of RasPis. I have most of his internal components, but still need to get the wood to make the body of his frame. The eye stalks will be powered by Robotis MX-64s.
Steam Automaton Harpo: I bought a used Troussen Robotics Hexapod that I'll be using a BBB for the brains. I'm also working on a small laser harp as a side project for him to play. He will communicate with various beeps and cartoon sound effects.
Steam Automaton Zeppo is a basic differential drive robot, also bought used. I will also be using a BBB for the brains.
Hexo: Another kit, this is the Hexy kit. I'll see if it can be powered by a BBB, but I may have to use a Teensy 3.1 on it. He is meant purely for humor.
Eventually, Steam Automaton Chico is planned to be some sort of balancing robot. I don't have any particular parts for him yet.
Most of the decorations will be created by my coming Real Soon Now 3d printer, a Kickstarter. Luckily I have too much to do to be impatient. I will put the individual robots up as projects as soon as I can.