This Video Has a Twittery Touch February 28, 2009Posted by williamself in autonomous robots, robotics, Twitter.
Tags: iPod Touch, robotics application, robotics project, Twitter
Or: how to have fun using an iPod Touch, Twitter and a mobile robot
Here’s the scenario: a guy on his way home from the office sends a Twitter command, “Prep movie 15”, to his robot. The robot reads the command, waits for a bit, pops corn and queues up a movie. Go ahead and read that again. Fun, eh?
I vowed to keep this entry simple, which in itself won’t be easy. The technology mashup involved in this video provided more enjoyment than I’ve had in twenty years of proof-of-concept projects. Even though I won’t let this become a 25-page technical paper, shop talk pegs the fun-o-meter, so if you’re dying to know the glorious technical data please post your questions.
As you’ll see in the video, we combined mobile communications, social networking software and, of course, one of our own mobile robots.
This scenario hints at our development trajectory. When you look at our robots, you think, ‘Oh, a wheeled robot’. But, you see, the robots are designed to grow in tandem with the user. They’re built with expandable and distributable control systems, powerful motors and strong metal. Plus they come with attachment mechanisms.
Soon, you’ll see our wheeled robots gaining new structure: arms, grippers and maybe even a humanoid torso. We’re not promising a fully capable R2-D2 or Rosie robot. Those would probably cost you $50,000. We are promising good technology and useful robots. Plus fun. Plenty of fun.
Key Project Components
- Apple iPod Touch
- WiFi networking
- Twitter as a two-way, easy-setup, secure, mobile-accessible robot command messaging system
- Automated setup of our entertainment center using a USB based infrared transmitter
- Do-it-yourself hacking: popcorn popper setup built in an hour using a hot-air popper, foot switch & various parts
- Simple yet repeatable robot motion control & sensing software code
- USB based controllers and sensors
- Netbook computer
- Our mobile robot, Coppa
- The fun & challenge of devising an actual task for a mobile robot
Put all this together and your next movie experience can be automated like never before.