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


MANOI Holiday Xtravaganza

MANOI is my (first) humanoid robot that has been evolved from the MANOI AT01 kit by Kyosho. It resembles a lightning green alien lifeform that dazzles earthlings with its stylish dance moves, robot hockey skills, and antenni. Below you will find paragraphs detailing the different identities of MANOI.

MANOI, gyro move follower – June 2010

Screen shot 2010-06-09 at 10.18.36 PM

The goal is to allow MANOI to monitor how you are shaking/waving it, and have its limbs move with the motion. In order to accomplish this, readings from the gyro and accelerometer, which are mounted inside of MANOI, must be read and parsed into a pattern. From there, the movements would follow the pattern.

You can read more about it here.

MANOI, the Yankadi Dancer – March 2010

MANOI dancing to Yankadi

Nothing was designed specifically for this purpose, it was more of a coincidence to be in the right place at the right time. During the Spring semester activities fair, the Autonomous Robotics Club ended up demoing near the back of Cheel, at Clarkson University. The Yankadi club was also there! MANOI’s dance and bell ringing ended up coinciding with the beat. It was a really interesting experience!

Check out these videos to witness this awesomeness!

Additional reading material:
MANOI dancing to Yankadi

MANOI, the wild thing – June 2009

Friday Night Robotics - Wild THing

The idea behind this was to test the communication between two controller boards over a serial line. The perfect concept to test this would, of course, be with music and dance moves!

Check out the video:

Additional reading material:
Friday Night Robotics – Wild Thing

MANOI, the holiday xtravaganza dancer – December 2009

MANOI Holiday Xtravaganza

To show the festive spirit, MANOI was decorated with jingle bells on its wrists and feet, an elf cap, and a ribbon on its front. Of course, that wasn’t the entire magic of this! I programmed MANOI with some very smooth dance moves that can easily be mixed together to form a routine. The routine was so good, that Daily Planet even aired it on TV!

Check out the dance:

And here is the clip from Daily Planet! Woohoo, MANOI is on the big screen!!

Additional reading material:
MANOI’s Holiday Xtravaganza
MANOI on Discovery Channel – Daily Planet!

MANOI, with funky antenni – August 2009

FNR - RGB LEDs & Gyro!

MANOI’s antennas are mesmerizing. They glow different colours, and seem to defy gravity as they are “floating” centimeters off of MANOI’s head. There are four RGB LEDs which are hidden inside of ping-pong balls. LED 1 & 3 and LED 2 & 4 are controlled independently. Check out this creepy video of them in action:

Here is some additional reading material:
MANOI’s Antennas and Tidying Up
Friday Night Robotics – RGB LEDs
Friday Night Robotics – Fading Multiple RGB LEDs

MANOI, hula hooping? – August 2009

Friday Night Robotics - MANOI Hula-hooping

This was an interesting experience of programming a motion for MANOI. Originally it started out as a hand movement, and eventually became the full-fledged hula-hooping motion! With that being said, there is probably not enough centripetal force being created by MANOI’s hips to allow a hula hoop to remain upright.

Check out the videos of the motion:

Additional reading material:
Friday Night Robotics – Hula Hooping Motion?

MANOIlangelo, the drawer – May 2009


Having MANOI be able to write and draw would open so many doors to the creation and demonstration of an AI that would have imagination and a visual recall. In MANOI’s case, it is necessary to find out if it would actually be possible to draw something. After numerous tests, it turned out that MANOI isn’t really able to draw in the way that would be useful. An ideal robot platform to accomplish this would be one that has motion in all three planes, X, Y, Z.

Here is a video of MANOI drawing a rectangle:

Additional reading material:
Friday (Saturday) Night Robotics – MANOIlangelo
Friday Night Robotics – More failures than successes

MANOI, the robot with bad knees – May 2009

FNR - Servo Mystery Solved!

With all of the strain from the previous hockey season, MANOI’s knee servos weren’t in the best of shape. Although the servos that came in MANOI’s kit are relatively heavy duty, there are a few plastic gears that can sometimes melt when the servo overheats. This has been a continuous problem of MANOI’s servos, but can be avoided when paying attention to how hot the servos are.

This is what a melted gear looks like:

FNR - Servo Mystery Solved!

Additional reading material:
Very old FNRs

MANOI, the ninja turtle – March 2009


Although it is a small task of painting a robot’s shell, this really helped shape how MANOI was perceived by others! :)

Additional reading material:
Friday Night Robotics – Ninja Turtle MANOI

MANOI, the hockey player – December 2008


The hockey player is one of the favourites! Since MANOI can’t really walk, skating is even better. MANOI’s skates are made out of lego and four wheels (so they are more like roller skates as opposed to roller blades). The hockey stick uses LEDs and photoresistors to sense if the ball is infront of the stick or not.

Here are some videos to check out the action:

Additional reading material:
Hockey MANOI – a summary
MANOI’s New Glove

MANOI, the paper cylon – April 2008

This was one MANOI’s first time doing something other than being tested! It was for a competition, SciFi’s DIY MAKE Cylon contest! The goal was to create a cylon related item. I was thinking it would be cool to have a “paper cylon”, similar to the video game idea of Paper Mario. I placed in the top 10, which won me an autographed box set of MAKE Magazine, and a year subscription to SciFi magazine. 😀

Here is the video:

Additional reading material:
Friday Night MANOI!

MANOI, the first groove – February 2008

There were some difficulties with MANOI’s battery, whereby it couldn’t hold a charge for more than 10 minutes. Once a transformer was found that could power the battery to continuously power the robot, progress could be made! This was the first instance of MANOI dancing around.

Check out the groove:

Additional reading material:
MANOI’s New Groove