Cin-D LOU house bot project for 2012?

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
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 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.


Sounds like an excellent project, I’m in.

I’ve got several large lead acid batteries that would work well, but they may be badly sulfated. I’ll start looking into that.

We're looking for some good electrical engineering to make/take a
control signal to power the two wheel chair motors to go forward/
backward, radius turn left/right, rotate about center left/right, and
then some navigation ideas too.

Anyone is welcome to chime in...

As you already know I am definitely in!

With regards to the electronics we may want to come up with at least a general mechanical design of what is wanted first. With stuff like this there is plenty of wiring so you want the harness to be routed nicely. It will also give us a good idea of what electronics we are going to need.

I would say the best option for powering the the wheelchair motors would be h-bridges. We can either buy some that will have nice features, but be expensive, or we can make them ourselves out of some mosfets and use opamps or the like to control them digitally. Other than that movement should be software driven.

I’m thinking ARM for the controller board. In any case to be reasonably cheap most of this will probably need to be custom electronics.


At least one of the STM32 ARM dev boards I donated have a MEMS
accelerometer on them already. Just saying...

I have a 6 dof IMU and a gps I’m willing to throw in. Just in case

Inside the Hive, you’d likely be better off with a couple fixed IR beacons and a compass. Then put a rotating scanner on top of Cin-D to get a direction to each beacon.

GPS can be hijacked you know…

Lol @ GPS hijacking. Although I am afraid the roomba wall or that IR jammer we built may cause a bit of a problem :slight_smile:

Although I think we should use GPS to intentionally hijack it. Sense GPS normally doesn’t work indoors anyway, a hijacked GPS could be tricked to work perfectly… Hmmm, that might be a very fun side project!

heh, when someone pops open google maps on a phone in the hackerspace
it says you are at the south pole.