With the coming new year, this post is to propose a next HIVE team
project to potentially interested participants.
We're looking to assemble an informal group of like-minded folks to
start a new project during 2012 as a team effort to build a house bot
for the HIVE. The proposed name is Cin-D LOU. We would hold a weekly
team meeting on Tuesdays, before/after the regular business meeting
and make progress each week. Individuals and small groups can take on
specific tasks and interested bystanders can follow the progress and
contribute as things evolve.
Cin-D LOU will be an autonomous robot (at 5'-2" tall) that would be
able to self navigate around the HIVE space with some initial (and
ever growing) ability for interactions, to be our version of a home-
built C3PO-like protocol droid; either overtly male/female or
The project is proposed to have four initial areas of effort.
(1) Locomotion - This would be the base drive unit. Thanks to Jon, we
have two excellent wheel chair DC gear motors. The mechanical effort
involves selecting and installing left-side/right-side drive wheels
onto these gear motors, and then mounting them on a common base
platform with two trailing caster wheels like a hoveround http://www.hoveround.com.
The base would be fairly heavy with batteries and power circuits.
Different control schemes to recognize position, do path planning and
execution are to be determined. Perhaps using the MS Xbox Kinect as
one input, plus others TBD?
(2) Arm and Hand - Here we'd use laser cut acrylic for the fingers,
hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder joints. There are
some thoughts for forearm mounted small DC motors with leadscrews
driving tendons and stepping motor drives with gear reduction. The
ability to execute programmed motion sequences like waving, presenting
a drink, or shaking hands without (or with) feedback are TBD using
networked Arduinos or such for control.
(3) Head - Here we've got a styrofoam head with a vacu-formed
replaceable face as the starting point. There are some initial
mechanical designs for eye balls (with blue LED pupils) that track
with up/down left/right motion and working eyelids and eyebrows.
Mouth and speech capabilities to be determined. Neck functions to
turn and nod the head would be included. Again, the ability to
execute programmed motion sequences without (or with) feedback.
(4) Body - Here we're looking for the HIVE artist types to make a
simple light and quick body space frame from exacto-knife cut or laser
cut cardboard or other layers using the AutoCAD 123D Make capabilities
at http://www.123dapp.com/make. This would get us an egg crate or
open grid structure that would have the outer body profile with
cavities inside for mounting necessary controls and conduit paths.
What say you all? Let's talk Tuesday.