RoboGames 2012 was a blast! RoboBrrd met some new robot friends and interacted with tons of kids, I presented about the Robot Party, and got to talk with some very interesting people! The best part was that it was all able to happen quite last minute thanks to help from the organizers, so thanks guys!
I helped out on Thursday with setting some things up, but on Friday was when all the robots showed up and you started to meet people! It was pretty crazy, here are my robots in the pit area!
While playing with MANOI, the actual MAKER of the MANOIAT01 humanoid kit shows up! Wow! This was totally astonishing, MANOI was the robot that got me into non-lego robots, so it’s a big deal!
He was really great and replaced the gears in one of MANOI’s knee servos! Pretty soon MANOI will be able to do some one-legged balancing tricks perhaps!
This here is what the table looked like with all the robots alive!
We had tons of kids play with RoboBrrd! Some of them said they actually want to go in to robotics so that they can build their own RoboBrrd. How cool is that! Here is one of the champions of RoboGames with RoboBrrd!
One of the kids managed to get all 4 hats to balance:
I also gave a presentation about the Robot Party at the little speakers series organized by Heather Knight! It was a lot of fun. I have no idea if anyone could hear me, but there were lots of pictures to look at at least!
The robots from Robot Japan were great. Here is one of my favourites, the robot is actually wearing the maker’s own kimono!
I also met Lem from robots-dreams, who was very kind to interviewed me! You can read more about that here, or check out the video below.
One of the coolest things ever was being able to meet Jeri in real life! I’ve had some questions about NFC antennas in my brain for a bit of time, and since she works with NFC it was good to be able to ask and get a response instantly.
Super Awesome Sylvia was also there, it was great to meet her! She really likes robots, perhaps one day she will build her own complicated robot or something!
All in all the RoboGames was great. My robots didn’t really fit in because they weren’t as violent as everyone else, but maybe next year there will be more animatronic robots! Maybe there will even be an animatronics category, for the creations that are a bit more than just art, but too cute to be classified as a ‘robot’. Looking forward to it!
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!
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 :P)
– 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!
After getting the initial communication between RoboBrrd and MANOI working, I went and fixed some things and added new commands. There are still some aspects that are iffy about the communication, mainly due to timing and the part that there are at least 8 places where if something doesn’t work at the right time frame, then the whole process won’t work. With communicating information without many handshakes and checksums, it is known to not work all of the time.
I made a new video about RoboBrrd and MANOI with the commands. I like the angle used for the robots in this video, it portrays the social cue that they are talking to eachother, which they are, but in their own robotic-mesh way. :3
RoboBrrd now has passive behaviours, which turned out to be really cute and fun. I love how passive behaviours always add so much more depth to the robot. Only problem is the sequential and timing aspect of them, sometimes they override the sensors. Also, the gurgling of the speaker can probably be fixed with a capacitor and resistor. I moved the speaker to the main board from the communication board because it wouldn’t work all of the time. It was really fishy. :/
Last week I worked really hard on RoboBrrd to try and finish something (anything!- just trying to make it work!) for the MAKE: Bots With Character contest. One night I stayed up really late trying to debug the TLC5940 PWM shift out circuit. The next day I ended up scrapping it and just using the Arduino MEGA’s PWM outputs (there are a lot of them!).
Luckily, the contest was pushed back, so I have more time to write the written tutorial. The written tutorial is getting pretty long, it is quite surprising!
The second bio-inspiration video and the design video will be next on the line. Also going to make a character overview of RoboBrrd for the contest.
I am crazy for this contest because I live, eat, breathe social robotics, and having character in your robot is an important part of that and so many people forget about it! I want to show the whole world what it would be like if robots were their own sentient species! I want to be able to get people to make their own interactive robots so that they can experiment too! It is all so super exciting with so many exclamation points!!!!!!!!