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

All posts tagged friday night robotics

Friday Night Robotics – BubbleBoy’s “Melodies”

This FNR I added a speaker to BubbleBoy. I wanted to see how much better it would be to make a postulation as to how BubbleBoy is “feeling”, since it has “emotions”. Those words are used in quotes because they are represented in the code by single-layer perceptrons (without being trained), which really doesn’t do justice to the amount of processing needed to accomplish such tasks. This is just a trial to see if audible feedback will enhance the user’s experience of playing with BubbleBoy.

Here is a video of an explanation of what the user can see and hear:

BubbleBoy’s “Melodies” from RobotGrrl on Vimeo.

You can download the code here!

Click to download BubbleBoyUNO v01 pde

Oh, and I streamed while making this.

Soooo, I challenge all of you who are reading this to add a speaker/sound to one of your projects. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Leave a comment if you do accomplish this challenge, I would like to see it :)

Friday Night Robotics – Creepyyy Furby Hack!

Furby Hax!

Pat (a fellow member of COSI), had an awesome idea of a hack. We could hook up an Arduino to a Furby to make it into a fortune teller! 😀 The idea is based off of one of those creepy fortune-telling devices or something.

So he brought his Furby after Fall break, and we opened it up.

Furby Hax!

Furby Hax!

Getting the skin off was easier than we thought it would be! Presto:

Furby Hax!

We did not expect to see as many gears as we did, check it out:

Furby Hax!

What on earth could all of those gears be for?!!?!

Furby Hax!

Here’s the wires on Furby’s right side:

Furby Hax!

Furby’s left side:

Furby Hax!

After doing some digging through the internet and just poking the Furby, we figured out that…:

  • The gears control the movements of the Furby- there’s no microcontroller to do this! (Back side)
  • The wires on the right side are for the IR emitter and detector and LDR in the Furby’s forehead (Right side)
  • There’s a switch in the tongue! (Right side)
  • The motor wires are the ones with the resistors (Left side)
  • We still have no idea what those other wires do (Left side)
  • The motor doesn’t work with just +5V… Hmmm!!!

Figuring out the motor was a huge roadblock. If we couldn’t figure this out… then it just wouldn’t work! A few months later of Furby sitting on my desk idly staring at me it hit me! I could use MANOI’s battery to power the Furby!

The result:

(Video on Flickr)

We’re still not too sure what to think about the result. It’s hilarious though!! 😀 There is motor burning smell when we run it, but nothing is hot. Weird eh!

All we have to do now is hook up the sensors, maybe add a speaker… and this could definitely provide some super lolz!

Friday Night Robotics – Arduino a la Soapbox

I was always looking for a good place to put Arduinos in. Those black boxes you get from electronic stores were always too heavy and not colourful enough… finally, VOILA! It appears before my eyes…



How awesome is that? At Kinney’s they come in several different colours:

  • Lime green
  • Dark green
  • Purple
  • White
  • Blue
  • Pink

The lime green is by far the best one.

This is what it looks like on MANOI!

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

Inside, is an Arduino MEGA!

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

The only tricky part for the MEGA was that I had to make a hole for the USB cable:

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

The plastic isn’t the easiest to cut, but it is easy if you have patience. I don’t have patience much, so I sliced my finger with an XActo a bit. It’s not too bad though, and it is an excuse to wear Spongebob bandaids. If you know you can’t do it, I would strongly suggest you get someone that knows how to do it. Otherwise you will hurt yourself :(

This is sooo cool though!

Wave Shield a la Soapbox:

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

Ethernet Shield a la Soapbox:

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

Arduino Diecimila a la Soapbox:

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

Sanguino a la Soapbox (needs to be cut to fit):

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

Boarduino a la Soapbox (could probably fit 4 of these in there):

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

Phewephewphhpweh! The soapboxes only cost $1.49 each. :)


This entire week I was constantly debugging MANOI in order to get it to play hockey again. 😀 Midweek my friend lent me her Chinese super glue. I glued myself to the super glue… so I bought some Krazy glue (witht he brush) and some Elmers glue.

I also found some snaps at Walmart which help incredibly to snap on the hockey stick to the hand.

My process was just constantly layering on more and more glue. Once the Elmers dried, I would add more Krazy glue. Once the Krazy dried, more Elmers… etc etc. The goal was to get it working for Saturday morning (the Tech Tent).

Everything did work by then, but it was quite a journey!

Now I am trying to find a way to have MANOI express its feelings (without movements). I was trying to do something along the lines of antennas. Take a look:

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

I’m not entirely sure though… I mean, doesn’t it look kind of weird?!?!?! It’s more scary than social!

From this angle it doesn’t look too bad:

FNR - Arduino a la Soapbox

Does anyone have any ideas/thoughts/comments?

I have also been working on getting my Arduino MEGA multi-cored by connecting with other Arduinos. Basically, the MEGA will only be controlling the servos and the other Arduinos. The other Arduinos would be controlling the LEDs, music, ethernet, you name it.

The thought came to me today that I also can make it so that the MEGA is wireless and communicates to the SSC-32 wirelessly (through an XBee). I am so excited I don’t know what to do first!!!

In the middle of the week I am going to make a blog post about the Nunchuck code 😀 People will probably find it handy.