Archive for September, 2011
Here’s what you may not know about Learning Pet: It was created in 4.5 days.
When I heard about the Open Hardware Summit Scholarship contest, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass. The prize would do more than wonders to get this idea flying. For example: A 3D printer would be able to be bought and used to create parts for kits. Also, we would have been able to order some custom PCBs online with the winnings, too.
When I heard about the contest later on that evening was when I started (Sept 8). I created the structure and beak mechanism all in that one night
The first day (Sept 9), the mini RoboBrrd character was crafted, and all servos and LEDs tested and functional.
The second day (Sept 10), the modular electronics board was created. Featuring a slide-out drawer for the Google Android ADK This was also my birthday! Hooray!
Third day (Sept 11), all of the circuits and wiring was complete. Had some pitfalls during the day trying to use different connectors, but switched to the ones you see below in the photo. The plugs are great, really sturdy!
Here’s a timelapse of some parts of the build:
Forth day was for creating the software and documentation, and submitting to the contest rather early. My train was leaving the next day, so I had to get everything done ahead of time
We didn’t win the contest, or place in the top 3. Somehow. So this became yet another unobtained opportunity, but I can definitely say that Learning Pet was a competitive entry. The documentation webpage was a force not to be reckoned with compared to the other entries. Learning Pet has a purpose that would benefit society. Furthermore, I created a demo prototype for the video about my idea.
Maybe some people will think that it was crazy to pour in all this dedication to one robot. If it would have won, it wouldn’t have seemed crazy. Success is defined as getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down. I’ll still be continuing with Learning Pet, the idea is exciting and education desperately needs an effective use of technology in the classroom, rather than more technology in the classroom.
Thanks again to everyone who left a comment on my Google+ during the build progress! And thanks to the FIRST team that I mentor, COSI, the gang from FMCG, and all my friends for voting!
Also: I used some parts (the large servo and two RGB LEDs, specifically) from the parts that Adafruit Industries sponsored for the original RoboBrrd, so thanks to them also
Maker Faire NYC was great! We showed off four of my robots, Learning Pet, DOGCOW, RoboBrrd, and MANOI!
We were located at the Robot Square which turned out to be a really great location!
By far the most popular was RoboBrrd Food! It was so crazy. The kids kept feeding the RoboBrrd constantly, they wouldn’t stop! And if they had to stop, sometimes they would start to cry or whine to their parents. It was great! It was funny to see how the younger kids understood what to do right away, when the older ones didn’t really know. As for the adults, you had to tell them to try feeding the RoboBrrd, they never did it automatically haha! Here is a video of RoboBrrd food in action, thanks to VayaConQueso!
Learning Pet was a close second to the most favourite robot. It was great to see everyone interacting with it. Some of the kids played right through from level 1 to 5, so they could see the super duper Learning Pet victory dance celebration!
Here’s a video explaining Learning Pet thanks to the NY Hall of Science:
As for MANOI the hockey playing humanoid robot, most of the time its battery was running out! So lame! MANOI was always pretty much sitting down, like in this photo:
However, MANOI did appear at the 0:21 mark in the Engadget show. It was pretty crazy when they were filming, they were super professional, and no one knew they were from Engadget!
You can watch the Engadget show here!
One of the favourite things was explaining everything to all the people. It’s fun to see their reactions and what they think of the projects. Plus, since there are so many people, what you say each time becomes more fine tuned!
Check out all of the stuff that I brought home! I’m super excited to use all of this!
Some notables include:
- Tons of XBees YAY
- seeedstudio ADK kit WOOT
- netduino, pulse sensor, white lol shield, shapelock, tshirt (bought these )
- Maker Passport (a repurposed Hackerspace passport) with lots of cool signatures in it! AWESOME!
I also managed to see Arc Attack for the first time in person ever! It is super cool, definitely recommend it! The sound seems so much clearer than anything else. The blue shining in from the glass was really amazing too, and all of the waves in the wall. I waited in line with a friend from university, Matt Krass, and his friends so it was pretty awesome. (I then forgot to say bye as I left, DOH! Was in a rush to get back to my robots!)
At the end of the Maker Faire, there were these blue ribbons being given out, and everyone I asked had no idea what they were. I asked the guy giving them out, and he said that they are *only* for awesome projects. To be honest, I got a little upset at this (my projects aren’t awesome?! whaaat?!), but he was kind enough to visit my table and hear me explain all my projects!
Here’s a video of me explaining ALL of the robots thanks to Chris Connors:
And then after that, he awarded me his very last Maker Faire Editors Choice award! Wow! Yay! Thanks again, Chris!
The trek back home was interesting! My parents drove down to bring me back. The fog in the Adirondacks at night is intense! We slept in a Walmart parking lot too I was super tired the whole time, falling asleep a lot.
There were some people that I didn’t get a chance to meet, hopefully next time there will be that chance! Special thanks to Jonah and Katherine for letting me sleep on their (very nice) couch for OHS and Maker Faire! Thanks to everyone who made the Maker Faire NYC 2011 so much fun! It was a pleasure meeting everyone who came by the table, and hope to see you all next year!
The sale for Buttons for Arduino and Meters for Arduino has been extended (it was actually extended starting on Monday but I only posted it now xD) until the end of Sunday in celebration of a fantastic Open Hardware Summit and World’s Maker Faire NYC!
Meters for Arduino
Buttons for Arduino
Learning Pet had a fantastic time at the Open Hardware Summit!
Before the summit started, we were sitting at the sculpture robo-busking for votes! At that point, Ian came over and wanted to do an interview! It was an excellent interview, and he uploaded it really quickly at the summit so we could get more votes for the scholarship! Thanks Ian!
I actually did go to some of the talks! Specifically, the ones in the morning before the break. The Arduino Team’s keynote was really really great!
After that, I sort of hung around the cafeteria area showing off Learning Pet! A lot of people said they would vote, which was really great! After the crowd died down, I went into the cafeteria area to watch the stream and maybe work on some ADK stuff.
That was when the creator of ThingSpeak himself caught me and said Hello! ThingSpeak is a really cool Internet of Things website. It’s relatively small and new, which is why I like it compared to the others.
He told me about the location data parameter in the API. I never knew this existed! Then I was wondering how to get the location from Mac OS, if there was actually a framework for that. It turned out that there was! Wow! And it was since 10.6 too! I never knew this! Making it work was really great, it was only checking to see if it worked was what we really got caught on (because the XML file goes from oldest to newest).
It was then when I saw David Cuartielles from the Arduino team when I waved, who joined the table. We were talking about Learning Pet, and it turned out that he was the one who created the Processing ADK Tool! Wow! What a cooincidence!
I told him about all of the bugs, and asked how I can fix them. He showed me the code for the ADK tool, and walked me through how to build it in Eclipse! Building a tool for Processing is a little different because you have to tell ant that there are some things that are already pre-compiled, so it doesn’t have to check them.
I played around with the code for a while and sort of got used to the way things work. There are some places where it will be tricky to be able to do what I want to specifically do.
We also tried to figure out why there are four parameters on the Arduino side, and only three on the Android App side. It turns out that the Arduino is the one telling the Android what App it needs, rather than the other way around. This means that of course the Arduino side needs the description and website parameters. Which I guess makes more sense in retrospect
I’ll definitely be helping out more with this Processing ADK Tool stuff. The thing that motivates me the most is that when I first got the ADK and Android, I figured that this should be about 10x easier and 50x quicker than making an iOS App. It wasn’t, and many other people feel the same way, but now it is my goal to make it so.
We did listen to some of the talks while we were down hacking and learning on some code. They were really good! I didn’t manage to get to the breakout session, but they were all sort of scattered and I wasn’t listening to the directions anyway… playing with the code was more fun.
Oh yeah! And I also bought a hackerspace passport from Mitch Altman! It is so cool to see them in real life, they look like a real passport!
The Demo session was fun, lots of people loved Learning Pet and also said that they voted for it! However, when they announced the winners, Learning Pet didn’t place in the top three. I really appreciate everyone voting, though. To be honest and somewhat egotistical, I think Learning Pet’s documentation was the best and most complete. No one even came close!
Here is a video by johngineer about Learning Pet! Thanks johngineer!
Watch video on Vimeo
The one thing that I would improve though, is to make the organizers a little more friendly towards everyone, and not just caring primarily about the sponsors. Yes, it is important to make the sponsors feel good since without them then there wouldn’t be this event, but it is also important to make the people at the summit itself feel good also. For example, at the demo session one of the organizers was talking with all of these sponsors in front of my demo area and goofing around and taking photos, but never bothered to say hello or ask about my project. It was sort of uncool and unmakerly (if that’s a word). The way I think of it is… you might as well be friendly to everyone, because we are all in this together!
All in all, the Open Hardware Summit was great for connecting with some of the people I have met online! It also turned out to be a great learning experience for building tools for Processing, and seeing how the Processing ADK tool actually compiles with API v10 rather than v7 (it is literally just setting the number different hahahaha)!
Also, Learning Pet appeared in the Adafruit blog randomly! It was awesome!
RobotGrrl’s robots will be at Maker Faire NYC Saturday and Sunday!
Featuring my robots!
MANOI- the hockey playing robot
RoboBrrd- the virtual food eating robot
Dogcow- the robot that is driving around randomly
Mini RoboBrrd aka Learning Pet- learn how to sort numbers from lowest to highest *and* blast UFOs!
We will be located in Zone A, the Robot Square!
Also, check out Jonah and Katherine’s Scrapyard Challenge talk! It will be an excellent source of information about creating an event in numerous places in the world. Truly amazing and inspiring, and they may mention RIP Banff too!
We hope to see you there!
Thanks everyone who voted for Learning Pet in the Open Hardware Summit Scholarship! It was much appreciated! We didn’t place in the top 3.
Here was a fantastic interview by Ian Cole, thanks so much Ian!
The future of Learning Pet is that there will be time spent on apps4arduino to make some money in order to be able to purchase some laser cut parts, 3d parts, and boards.
Here are some stats of the contest that I collected from the webpage:
- 51.9% had a prototype
- 48.1% showed a demo in their video
- 51.9% had a website
- 3.7% released their hardware files under a license for the open hardware definition
- 22.2% had their hardware files available
- 14.8% had a bom
- 5.6% released their source code under an osi license
- 22.2% had their code available
- 40.7% had documentation
- 22.2% had additional videos
- 59.3% said what they would do with the prize if they won
- 18.5% demoed while at the ohs
You can check out all the documentation for Learning Pet here:
Learning Pet will be at the Maker Faire this weekend, so be sure to say hi! (or whatever hi is in robobrrd language)
Introducing Learning Pet, a mini RoboBrrd with a very large theme- education! Learning Pet enriches lessons by creating a physical interface to interact with the virtual world.
We demonstrate a number sorting game, where the student interacts with the robot to blast virtual UFO’s with the lowest value. Correct answers are celebrated with a wing flap, and each level-up with a dance. We use the Accessory Development Kit to interface with mobile devices while away from the computer.
On LearningPet’s webpage, it has all the detailed information about the hardware, software and design. There is also a handy checklist at the top, so that at a glance you can quickly see the important facts.
It would be awesome if you could vote for Learning Pet in the Open Hardware Summit Scholarship! VOTE here!
Here is a YouTube playlist of all the videos!