Let's Make Robots!

I dunno, some sorta desk bot head or something?

Keeps one company, I suppose

So this guy happened last night. I have been inspired by the work of Mr. Protowrxs and his Box Head Robot and thought I needed a little deskbot as well. I also wanted an excuse to run more plywood through the laser cutter. That said, I give you, "The wood box desk thing".

There really is not too much fancy going on here. Just a nifty box, a pan and tilt and the LCD. I wrote a bit of code to move the head randomly, but beyond that, I am using the Arduino IDE examples for the SRF-05 and LCD. (Ping library and the LiquidCrystal library if you are interested.  There is nothing inside but some wiring and a single pot for the LCD contrast.

I think that's it, like I said, I have no idea what I am going to do with him, maybe add a Dagu Compound Eye and have him follow my hand around...

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You understood exactly what robotics should become... more attractive, have attitude and personnality, original, refreshing and a human hearted builder behind it... like talented artists in past days who knew how to nicely combine mechanics-beauty-and-personnal creativity.

First, let people fall in love with it... afterward a million new ways of using it will emerge from your imagination. Like, for example, a short minute of interacting with a too much busy stressed worker who needs an urgent break. This little robot might do the job nicely to redirect his focus on its fluid random life-like head motions... instead of his stressfull life. A lot more is its potential.

Keep on good ideas like this...

Denis, psychologist, Canada

The wings on the head make me think of "Asterix" from the "Asterix and Obelix" cartoons.

Thanks for the kind words, guys...  I dunno -maybe this should become a kit. I am getting a lot of, "webcam/ face tracking" thrown at me, maybe that is a direction to go?

If you all would indulge me, can I pick your brains? 

Here is what I have so far, I would appreciate any brainstorming you all might have...

  • Slightly bigger, more head travel, more uC room
  • Already fits regular Arduino and Picaxe-28, could use some more room for a shield on top
  • Full-size servos? 996's? Beefier pan and tilt? 
  • Different "decks" for the head --more utilitarian, lotta mounting holes + more "human like" head?
  • LCD or no?
  • Slots on side for speaker inside?

Gimme what you guys have, I will take what ever you got.

I don't know about making him bigger-I could see that going either way. I think what makes it lovable is partly the wood and partly the Ultrasonic "eyes." (For some reason I don't see the head fins being as cute in acrylic.) A small speaker or piezo so it makes little sounds like Boxhead would only add to the appeal, but I don't know that a more human like head would do anything except take you "into the valley." You had a steapunky tadpole about a year ago that I could see having a real marketable influence on this as a product–brass furnishings maybe. I don't know if the cans on an HC-SR could be effectively electroplated but it would be worth looking into. Another advantage of adding a kitted product like this to the line is that I think you could feel good about the kinds of people it was appealing to-craftsmen who are interested into learning electronics and μ controllers, as well as computer geeks who appreciate the beauty of this kind of handcraft. Facial recognition/tracking could work but it would require addition of a camera that would alter the visual character. Even a compound eye would make it more spider and less of a little desktop pal. The LCD can stay or go, but if it stays, maybe encourage people to program it to extend the personality aspects. Perhaps it could be an option that, if not used, the hole for which is covered by a brass plate or a wood ornamental frontispiece. It is fun to imagine what could be, but honestly I love the little guy as is.

That looks really fantastic.

If you're saying this one isn't a diamond (not even in the rough) then I must disagree! This thing has CHARM! The wood, the mortise and tenons (sp?) and the head fins are just fantastic! He's like a miniature Walter II in some ways, but to be honest there's a better name for him and it should be obvious to all I'd think: Arthur (because he's a little work of art.)

It's an odd thing when a piece of automata makes you want to reach out and pet it (in this case scratch it behind the ears.) Proto's Boxhead had something of the same effect on me, so I see the connection. I know it should sell through RocketBrand primarily, but if you could meet the production scale I could see a run of a thousand of these selling out at ThinkGeek in days.

Like the wood, any chance a kit in the works?

Looks good :) I really like the wood. Some time ago I made an "Arduino mp3 alarm clock" -> http://www.bajdi.com/arduino-mp3-alarm-clock/ Should have a box like yours made for it.