Robot/Personal Servant Using VB6 and Win98
Hello to all as this is my very first post.
I have visited many forums and looked up many question only to come up empty handed in most cases in the other forums.
After seeing the wealth of knowledge that was here I felt it was best to join a forum where people are willing to help each other and not provide links and say stuff like if you read this you might figure it out.
I am one who like to share my knowledge and I enjoy helping others.
Personal servant that will aid in the house work, Vaccuming, sweeping, Provide a drink and pretty much be a all around servant/companion.
See I work for a company that produces therapeutic tricycles for children and adults that are disabled.
After seeing what my company could do to help them become more physical I noticed what are we doing for them to help them out in the house where they are unable to ride a tricycle and can not get around so well.
Do we give them a wheel chair and say here get it yourself, to me that seems stupid and in most cases is very frustrating to those in the wheel chair.
Why not create a personal servant/companion for them.
I went to school in my early years for industrial electronics and have been playing with computer from the time I was 13 and I am now 46. So I have been around for a little while.
I also went to school for 3d animation and design.
I came up with this wild but very interesting and doable idea to bring all of thos talents together.
To answer your question, I will be posting videos as I have taken very complete videos of each and every step during the creation process.
My goal is to keep the cost down and to still provide a very afforadble type of robot that can be used to help the disabled or the elderly.
As we all know most of the disabled or elderly do not have much money.
So after some research I decided I would use the parallel port as the output.
Then I designed my own relay driver board to control the main drive motor.
Oh, we can not forget the countless hours of programming to make the code work just right using VB6.
Next I thought well how will someone control the robot so I decided upon using voice commands.
I wrote some software for voice recognition and amde it respond to commands such as forward left and right and reverse.
I next decided that using a old style laptop with 64meg of memory for the brain and processing would be best as soem would say why, well after you read this, you will then understand.
For a robot to be a companion it must have personality, A face, Be able to make suggestions and give a attitude kind of AI in a way.
What I have created and I am still working on is a personal servant that will upon your command move to your desired location and remembers each move it makes so that if needed can repeat the command, will talk to you with a very well spoken voice no robot voice, has a face to it that is animated and provides some comfort, will suggest a book and can read those books to you, will go to the kitchen so you may place drink or even your dinner plate on it so it can then be delivered to where you sit, Can tell jokes and remind you of important events such as birthdays and other special occasions. While you can not program in compasion and love, you can provide happyness and a companion for those in need. Mind you this is not to replace your spouse or will never get in bed with you and well atleast not yet it can not rub your feet or provide a back massage, it will provide comfort in knowing there is something there to help and provide aide.
Now I have gone on way too long with those detail I will say this.
I have been working on this for about 3 months now and my wife calls me the McGyver/Einstein and tells me I am way too smart and need to be working for Darpa or area 51.
I most recently designed a way of connecting servos to the parallel port without a driver circuit and created the software that will control the servos in any direction and back to "0".
This was the most complicated piece as the pulse width had to to be just right to make this work and we all know that the parallel port is either on or off so making this work was a bit challenging.
Now that I have the servo piece licked I can now work on designing a arm to provide useful functions.
My prototype is basically a laptop on wheels with a clamp I added to hold onto a small vaccum, this was funny as it did do quite a good job in vaccuming the carpet.
Our dogs hate it and when they see it come out they run for the couch.
If you are interested in the code to make the servo work just send me a message I will be glad to help.
I will be posting pictures and videos of this project very soon, I first have to reduce the size of the videos.
Until then I hope to hear from anyone that is interested and happy robot making.