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“A wise robot once said to me through Serial.println- that robots teach us about ourselves.”

MANOI in 2010 and beyond +

2009 was a pretty good year in terms of getting MANOI to do stuff! I figured out how to make MANOI write, walk, and dance around and be on TV. I have a pretty good template for programming MANOI too, and it seems quite rugged. 2009 also gave me the chance to learn the limitations of this robot, that being the knee servos.

I was always under the impression that “great” humanoid robots can walk, run, and kick very well, basically being the best robots in RoboCup. MANOI will never be a RoboCup robot, since the knees are too weak and the stronger knees cost $300 a piece. I realized this a few months ago, admitting it is sort of harder 😉

But, MANOI can be an interactive robot and do funny things… so in 2010, I’m going to focus more on the appearance and movements of MANOI. I want it so that the person interacting with MANOI can become attached to it, feeling that it exhibits an actual persona, instead of a programmed robot. I really feel that this was evident in MANOI’s Holiday Xtravaganza, but it still needs some improvements.

The first few steps would be to decorate MANOI’s head with two ears and two eyebrows. I’m considering antennae instead of eyebrows, because I don’t really want MANOI to come off as an uncanny human, but rather a friendly alien. I already have the two servos needed for the ears, so I’ll probably do those first. 😀

Getting various sensor data will also be key in making MANOI more sociable. Currently there are three sensors on MANOI- the IR sensor, the gyro, and a LDR which is used for shaking hands. I’m thinking that those sensors alone are going to useful enough, for the time being.

It might be cool to have MANOI communicate back to a Mac so that the computer could produce audible results (like my Robbie the Robot science fair project).

There’s lots of possibilities out there, so this is pretty much a blog post of my scrambled thoughts. 😛 2010 will be interesting, for sure!

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