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Lets talk robotics - sensor suit - crash test dummy - chess player - entertainer - $300 Christmas pr

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posted on May, 12 2012 @ 05:31 PM
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So here is the idea... lets develop it with more ideas.

To create a robot for the home, that is just a first into the market kind of product like the Vic 20 computer was in 1980 when the first pc for the home was on sale at Christmas for a couple hundred dollars.

So you need a room, and in this room, you place your receivers in the corners of the room and calibrate their location in 3D space on your computer so that when you walk around wearing sensors on your long johns the movements appear on the screen.

So now then, in this way as you move about this room, your room, you could be controlling a robot in someone else's room. Based on your input. And infrared sensors would be ok or any type. Infrared are cheap.

And that other person you have met in a game room, for robotics, has put on their long johns and is now controlling your robot in your room.

So will it try to kill you? If it wasn't made out of NERF material it might and it might succeed. Something to consider when interfacing with other people controlling your robot. The safety factor. Easily managed I would think.

So then while that person is controlling your robot on-line with them in their room, you can record its movements locally. And not only that but you can plot it's movements. So now then you might think well what kind of movements are those? Well it works quite easily by having hollow legs, and fluid is pumped into one foot, and then the other, and as the weight is transferred, the robot can easily lift its almost weightless other NERF leg. Jointed at the knee and ankle with servos which are getting cheaper every day and cheap as borscht in China or Korea.

So you might be wondering yes but is this really what people want to use their robot for? To interact with another person? Well many people would to play chess, and to learn dancing, and for pure fun. If you need more flexibility and better faster weight shifting you can spring fire a set of ball bearings from one leg to the other. You know by going up the leg, across the pelvis down the other leg.

The idea is to keep this robot as light weight as possible, and in that way their feet will be heavy enough to be stable and mobile. By transferring weight from one foot to the other, by sending weight up the leg, and down the other.

So once you have some recorded movement, and the software will provide that with a mouse click, some times you will need to center the robot. That is so the software is in sinc with the position of the robot and sensors in your 3D space. And it could be your playroom rec-room or bedroom etc. The sensors and receivers for infrared are small.

If you wanted full mobility around a house, you need more sensors in hallways etc.

The idea is to start small. So this robot can sing and dance and entertain and play games, controlled by a pc through a wireless or bluetooth interface, and do useless chores. Anything that requires very little energy because it is light weight. And you want it super light weight for safety reasons. So it can be around children.

So it has two web cams on its face, super small and lightweight and they are very small and cheap these days.
2 cm cubed. And hi res at that. And a speaker and mini-microphone ears. And what ends up making you the developer wealthy, is your foresight into involving your customers in the progress and development of your NERF robotic systems and software programming. You make it modular.




posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:06 PM
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If you wanted to give it some brain capacity, you could, but mostly it would work from memory and recorded movement.

If you wanted to give it some artificial intelligence, then you would need to provide a small stage so that the amount of intelligence it would need would be small as well. So if you provide an environment, and as an example to play chess, while it is seated. At a board that it comes with, so once you center the robot, it can move pieces by itself by 'knowing' the 3D space associated with the board, through the pc software. Software that would come with the basic model.

So then, chess playing software is running on your pc designed to interface with the robot. That software merely sends commands to the robot, to move pieces. The board itself knows when you move a piece. The board interfaces with the pc, and it merely looks like the robot is doing the thinking. It is being controlled through a bluetooth interface.

If you wanted to have it respond to you, then like any voice recognition software you need to train it a bit. But still if you speak clearly, and in a way such that the speech recognition software can understand, it will respond to certain words and phrases. And you can expand its dictionary and let users do that as well.

So by providing a context, a chess game, you already have a lot of work done by others that you can use to give the robot the appearance of having some intelligence.
And you should also have several other games, that are easy for kids to play.

Kids don't mind if the robot repeats itself. They use their imaginations.

If you want a serious attempt at AI, then you need to add some things. Depending on how life like you want it to be. For instance....a hypothetical AI weather widget for your desktop.
If it was a farmer, whose job it was, was to get to the fence and ring the bell to call the cows for milking, in spite of the weather, then as the weather feed came in to your desktop from the weather service, it would respond in like manner. So on a hot day, he pauses and wipes his brow and gives you some farmer wisdom about a sunny day, and complains that it is too hot. So he is responding to random events. And he does so because you have a set of rules, that tell him what to do, in each instance.

But keep in mind that because the weather has a very small number of possibilities, it is easy for you to make a rule set, a behavioral set, for each possible weather condition.

So here again you see, that by creating a context, you can limit the amount of programming needed for it to appear as if it were intelligent.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:28 PM
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So at this point it could play chess and other games and it could tell you the weather in a funny way like a farmer who always complains about the weather. So it now has a personality even, since you can imagine what farmers are like when they complain about the weather.

So then these two would be modules and people could modify those modules and add things to them and develop it themselves and they could sell their small little add ons.

So then the more modules you can create, the more capabilities the robot has but it has a capacity limited only by the capacity of your pc, since the brain resides in your pc.

The robot itself, is super lightweight and maybe NERF material is still too heavy but they use it for kids toy guns and bullets and so its safe that way. You could go to a lighter softer foam. The robot is not an industrial machine, it is more of a gadget. And comes with gadgets as attachments. Since you want to sell products separately that can go with it to raise money to fund further development.

So another thing it could do is DJ. Thats a simple task. And it could do it like a pro, since you will hire one and record the movements.
And it will do it in several ways according to the style you want for parties or just hanging out.

Then as people develop it for their own parties, they will have segments with music and commentary all pre-recorded. You just buy the fake turntable and mike and headphones or whatever as part of the DJ package.
You command it to play something, it goes into your library on your pc and plays the song.

Do you want to know something about the band? Well keep in mind that voice recognition software can tell its software to look up the band in Wikipedia, and using speech software, read you page after page, in any voice.

And the voices are quite realistic.

I will show you...
On the left, select UK Bridget and type something in the box and have her read it to you.
www.neospeech.com...

So you see by using the capabilities of a pc, and by thinking in modular fashion, you can use the abilities that your pc has already, to give your robot more intelligence and capability.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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So then what would it look like? The basic starter should look like a crash test dummy to portray its safety as a device, that it is harmless, can take a beating to a degree, and is fun.

And of course you can skin it.

And if you do not see the financial benefit of being able to apply faces to the robot, then you should stay on unemployment and don't go to the hardware store to get some foam for your prototype.

It would run on battery power, be rechargeable or take triple A's. Since it is so light weight, it takes very little power to operate. You should be able to easily lift it with one finger. If it weighed 5 pounds that might be too much.

But you can do experiments and decide as you develop if you choose to do so.

So you might think well, how corny is it to have this thing act as DJ? Well if you have ever in your life looked at youtube to see what people do with their lives, they like to dance around their room with their friends to their favorite music.
And with this robot, it is programmed to be a real party style DJ, and it says things like "Lets get this party started!" and it plays the tracks you picked, or, you have downloaded someone else's DJ set, which includes the personality associated with the person who recorded the set of movements to this list of music.

Now they only need give you the list of songs, and everything the DJ does will be scripted.
You just download the script.

Other users makes scripts.

And keep in mind, it responds to voice commands, can start recording video on your command, could project it onto a wall after if you have a projector. I wouldn't incorporate a projector because weight is important.
Although you could do it easily with a shoot and share...
www.3m.com...

The technology is there but the added weight and the added expense, would mean saving this feature for the grown up controlled, expensive living-room model. Not the 300 dollar family present like a Nintendo.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 07:06 PM
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So the type of things to consider when planning this robot are its skeleton, ( the frame), the foam, (large holes with stiffer foam or small holes with flex foam etc) and the joints and servos and a controller as well as your sensors and senses, in terms of cameras, mic and speaker.
It can of course have sensors that allow it to detect objects but its not really needed and that makes it more complicated and more expensive.

You want to think in terms of what is the stage it will operate on for this module, and then plan for that so that it is not all over the place all the time knocking things over and spilling your coffee.

You could start with an Arduino controller
www.robot-r-us.com...

and then add wireless, add GPS even if you want, add bluetooth, and just get things at a robot supply to make your mock up.

Use your pc to control it once built with what is called in animation, a rig.
www.youtube.com...

So with Cinema 4D as an example, you should be able to record a set of movements to be done in your room by your robot.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 08:03 PM
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Can you figure out how to make the arms and legs with no budget?

In your garage.

Buy some cans of foam insulation, and spray it into a mold that you made by covering some scrawny kid's arms and legs with a plaster cast. A son or daughter or neighbor's kid whatever.

Keep in mind you do not want a metal skeleton though, you want it safe enough to poke a kid in the eye.
SO you want a flexible safe thin pvc or similar. And forget about fingers at first. Too many servos.
He or she will have to wear gloves and have pinching grasp only and really no strength to their grip at all.
Except to maybe pick up a chess piece or some light weight prop.

But you can dress them! And so can your potential buyers.
Providing the clothes are so lightweight they hardly weigh anything at all. Super lightweight fabric.

If you want the robot to converse with you informally, then you need to program it to do that.

And it is not an easy task. Lots of AI attempts like this have been made. Look up the Turing Test as an example.
But what it would look like is the software thinks, and how it thinks is it plans what to say if you ask a certain question.

So the software needs to know the basics of simple sentence structure. Then it needs to have the capacity to form a sentence and it can steal one from the net and use it if it knows where and how to look up a key word.

Lets look up something in Wikipedia and assume that the first main sentence is what we are looking for or the first paragraph, and lets pretend that if it hears you ask a question on that word, the robot will read the first paragraph to you.
So lets make pretend conversation with our robot and test this idea...

So Sam, do you know anything about tree forts?
So then here is the WIki link that came up on key word tree fort
en.wikipedia.org...

Tree houses, treehouses, or tree forts, are platforms or buildings constructed around, next to or among the trunk or branches of one or more mature trees while above ground level. Tree houses can be used for recreation, work space, habitation, observation or as temporary retreats.


Sounds like robot talk to me.

Lets hear Bridget say it, so copy that text and paste it into Bridget's demo box. Bridget and all sorts of voices are in all the usual places on the net where you find things you want BTW.
www.neospeech.com...

Now if you want a more heated conversation than one you might expect from DATA on Star Trek Next Gen. then maybe you are not prepared for the actual amount of work that you would need to do in order to tell it what to say if it hears anything under the sun.

So you want to avoid the open ended conversation. So if you want it to converse, then it needs to be steering the conversation. And it needs to make it fairly short and sweet.
It can talk about the weather because weather has a limited set of variables.

It could not talk philosophy.

edit on 12-5-2012 by Rocketman7 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 08:42 PM
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Another example of how to profit by this would be a module that is a copilot. Or sidekick, that attaches to games.

So to do this you collaborate with a game developer and he injects code in the game which will hint you through the robot. And since it uses Windows' programming to operate, it uses the default robot voice TTS that you have installed for that purpose. Windows speech recognition and speech synthesis, or text to speech interfaces. (TTS)

As a programmer myself I know how easy it would be to add smilies and have the smilies trigger emotional responses in the robot. According to the smiley.

So if your robot subscribed to a service in India, that took newscasts and converted them to text with smilies your robot could tell you the news like an RSS feed with feelings.

You needn't worry too much about the details as long as you remember to keep things modular.

And when the robot was not engaged with you, then it would be doing something like reading, so that it looks more natural than standing at attention.
Like SIMS. SO you have lots of things already done on the pc that are just waiting for the interface to be developed. And standardized. And if you know anything about these types of technology revolutions then you would know that the ones in first, usually maintain the lead in the industry, if, the people play their cards right.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 09:14 PM
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So then, you have the power of smilies, you are now ready to create another module, the character story.

Where the robot tells a heart warming or scary story, while carrying out the actions according to its own nature.
And this it does from a script. So where do you get the scripts? People love to share these sorts of interactive things with the group. They want to tell their friends what happened too and they want to do so with vigor if you are a young girl as a for instance, you could send an email that would tell your friend things through their robot as if you were telling them a secret, or even just telling them a story.

You can take that further to a multi-media production with the adult living room model. and that could be for anything including a form of remote parenting, where you get to tell the kids something or it is passed to them from Robby the robot while it imitates their mannerisms.

So far in all of this thread I have enlisted things that either already exists in some form for free or at low cost.

Its not a matter of if this type of thing will become a reality, it is just a matter of when.
Arduino Robots in youtube


But by using super lightweight foam, and a weight transfer system from shoe to shoe you can make it mobile.

It doesn't need to do a lot of walking though. It could use mostly its upper body, and that is run on servos. Small plastic servos that have no trouble moving a foam limb. All the movements are orchestrated by the pc software. It merely send signals to the controller, which sends signals to the servos.
And tons of software to do that is probably already there for the Arduino in the form of shareware.
How to make an Arduino Controlled Servo Robot



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 09:44 PM
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Something else to consider in the engineering of movement is that a servo can wind a spring very quickly, and a spring can do work. That work can be released by a trigger expending the energy quickly, or in a timed measured mechanical response.

But by utilizing springs, you can extend battery life.

This lightweight robot may never mimic human movement, since it doesn't have muscles and tendons, but it can mimic C3PO's robotic movements easily.

So if you do not try to completely mimic a human form with your android, but rather opt for some sort of hybrid futuristic robot with a mix of human form and robotic joints, then if it does not perform fluently, it doesn't matter because people expect robots to be clumsy.

Now suppose that it fell down. Well you have two options. One you get the kid to get off the couch and center the robot. Wherever its center home is by the chess board where it is kept when turned off or you build in the capacity for it to get up.

And they used to make toy dolls that you wind up, and if they fell down, they could get up.

If face down, it has its hands in front spread apart and its legs also, and it bends at the waist until its feet are flat on the floor then it lifts its upper body.

In this case because the feet are where the weight is, and its upper body is as light as a feather it should be able to stand back up.

But the type of robot in this thread is not meant to fend for itself. This robot needs a stage area, and a theme based on a module. An activity.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 10:10 PM
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Using google Android.

So google has created an open sourced platform that integrates a small hand held computer with a touch screen, to Arduino. And it has software for everything that has anything to do with remote control toys.

But you may not want to use a handheld when it is better to just interface with the full power of your pc and send a wireless signal. Examples are everywhere including at the link above for servos. Look on the right panel for more.

I will show you an example...
developer.android.com...

Although there is more stuff available for free than you will ever need to build this robot, you want to keep it simple or else you will get lost in the data itself there is so much of it.

The basic movement needs are to hook up the servos and the controller to some 3D animation type of software so that you can direct the movements of your robot in a 3D space, in your pc, then play that back in the real world.

The actual interfacing with the robot, is first maybe just get it to be able to read that first paragraph in Wiki on any key word you say.

If you say to the Windows software (that you may need to write yourself) 'look up palace' it will look up the phrase after the words "look up".

Once you are that far, then you can go on to getting it to play scripts that include smilies which control movement. So its XML and the XML tags control the movements or movement sets of the robot.

And that then ends up looking like a web page or similar with embedded tags for speech accents and mechanical movements.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 03:19 PM
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Everything is a matter of time for those who have the desire and drive for it.

REalistically, what's hte practical need of this?

You of course admit it's a toy.

But why would a kid want a $250 robbybot as opposed to a $250 game console?

And I imagine any parent spending $250 for a christmas present might have reservations.

I think these things eventually will become so cheap that it won't matter. It'll probably go so far that gi-joe figures will walk and talk and still only cost $20. Although I not sure if that's what kids will want. Maybe they'll want the latest gi-joe expansion pack for the game on their portable PC.

Just think. Computing just keeps on getting smaller. Communication is becoming more virtual. We can already speak and hear anybody anywhere. How long before we can touch and smell and taste too? With augmentated reality, you put on a pair of glasses and you could see hte person you're talking to straight in front of you. Augmented reality is real cool. You could look at somebody on the strreet you don't know and it'd show their name above them or whatever they allow to be publicly known. It could make the real world look like it's online from an appearnace perspective. You can't touch augmented reality (not yet anyway), but the appearance part is pretty big since it transmit a lot of information and information is so integral to a modern life. The other senses are losing importance. Imagine walking into a mall and wondering where the electronics stores are. Once you query it then a glowing path could appear leading the way. Customized AR ads could appear on shop windows. In fact, shop windows wouldn't even need physical ads on them if people are using augmented reality. Of course, all of this assumes that people will even shop in-person in the future. The present large scale use of online shopping makes me wonder if we'll even do that anymore. It's been virtualized.

It's a world of increasing information and information access.

Have a look at this (this is just tip of the iceberg, and it's an old video):
I think society will move in that direction, but there'll be plenty of hickups.

I think for now this will mostly be gimmicky. But that doesn't mean things won't be made virtual. Portables are extremely useful for information in the modern life. Everything from maps and directions to text messages and phone calls and notes and business matters and so on. I imagine even hikers could point one of their handhelds at a berry to identify it and determine whether it's safe to eat. They could probably even aim their portable and get a AR view of what they're looking at.

Military pilots already use HUDs and those're like AR.

Glasses might not be economical (convenient), but google is trying it:
www.ultraportabletech.com ...
edit on 27-6-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



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