Say Hello to Heelo

heeloProto1.JPG

I want to make an adorable robot. I've wanted to make one ever since I saw this video of the robot Mira. So the quest began.

Ideally, I want to make the robot out of RobotGeek parts, as they're plentifully available to me, are low cost, and this robot could eventually become a kit. I decided that I wanted the robot to be able to sit in place, but be able to spin freely, so I started looking at the RobotGeek Continuous turn servo. I'm hoping that it's up to the task - if not I'll need to look at an Pixy camera so that the robot could track color blobs and color codes.

After a couple of terrible sketches, I enlisted the help of Wade to see what we could do. We played around with a couple of options for the tilt mechanism, eventually settling on a 180° RobotGeek Servo. Since we don't have any 'back' brackets, we had to so some clever assembly to get it working. I came up with the idea of using the 4C's idler to attach to the 180° servo, and Wade figured our we could brace two side frames together with a plate. We still need to cut a proper plate, but we used so spare plates from other projects to make a prototype. We

After our initial built, wade made some improvements to the robot, making a better mounting rig for the camera and adding a buzzer. He started working with the Pixy's code and I helped him getting the servo settings right to get some basic color tracking down.

We're tentatively calling the robot Heelo after Kat recommended we call it something that sounded like Heliotropism . We started at Helios, which turned into Helio, which begat Heelo.

We've still got a long way to go. We're evaluating the RobotGeek servos to figure out if they'll give us good enough control to make the robot lifelike. We've also toyed with the idea of using a raspberry pi as a main controller and doing some more advanced vision processing, though I think we want to keep this at a little lower level, at least for now. And then there's the question of shells. We'll probably start by designing and 3d printing some shells, but we don't quite know how the robot will look. Time will tell I guess!

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