It can run on batteries or better a 6V-12V AC adapter or two or three ...
The upper body and wrists rotate 360° ... the arm joints cycle in about a 200° arc as needed.
I'm using a BS2 but the µController compartment is large enough to house almost any robot controller.
BTW, I think the D.A.I.R. would make a great ROS project ... using the Willow Garage ROS for what ROS was designed for.
No sensors on the robot yet ... but in the future it will have machine vision and maybe some tactile feedback. A range finder may be added to each arm to help the robot find objects on a table top.
The robot uses standard hobby servos ... another version is designed for stepper motors that will be built next.
After volunteering to teach a one week class for National Robotics Week to a large group of K-6 children at the Oceanside Boys & Girls Club I continued to run a robot club for the children as I learned the things they liked and got bored with I realized there was a need for some new robotics projects to fulfill the children's dreams and began designing and building prototypes.
The children went nuts for my CanBot1 ... a small peanut can robot with two large wheels that talked back to the children in an R2D2 like language asking them questions and waiting for the answers back from the child users.
I then realized that the most common toy every child in the world has is a ball so I redesigned the product to be the BallBot1 ... cuter and safer for very young children to use and I also designed it so that even a 2-year old could pick up the robot and play with the robot making the physical appearance even more interesting in the process and that begins teaching a foundation for S.T.E.M. by teaching numbers, counting, arithmetic and musical note relationships.
I had designed the robot to be "hacked" so I also designed additional optional components to add to the robot to become a different robot ... the D.A.I.R. which is just one of the more advanced stepping stones in the product line . The next steps teach basic electronics, basic mechanical systems and computer programming while showing how a clever design can continue to grow into other and more interesting fun product designs.
My greatest hurdles with this and other robotic projects I'm working on is that I am unemployed and have no money ... my design and computer time is limited to a couple of hours a day because I share living space and I don't have a proper desk and chair nor space to work on the project part manufacturing or even project assembly.
I got into home hobby robotics because I like to play online games and saw that about 3pm every day small children getting into the games online talking to perverts and predators and the children were not learning to play nice because there are no repercussions in online gaming. So since I had wanted to build a robot since I was a little kid myself I began studying the current technologies to building home hobby robots and began to build and experiment with different technologies for home hobby robotics.
I've mostly settled on the BS2 from Parallax.com for a few reasons;
1. Parallax.com is a California USA company and so living in California I want to support a local company.
2. The BS2 is so easy to work with, so small it fits in most things, uses anything from 6VDC to 12VDC, the programming language is easy copy/paste and edit for very young children to understand too.
3. Parallax.com sells almost all other optional sensors along with supporting documentation and programming notes to make it easy to create and innovate with their products.
4. The only real thinking needed is to dream up a new project to explore using Parallax.com components and software I have that new project up 'n running in minimal time and effort.
The BOM for the D.A.I.R. is pretty simple ... BS2, 2 Pezio Speakers, 3 Continuous Rotating Servos as you want for the waist and wrists, 6 Shoulder and Elbow joints are standard servos, 1 Laser LED, 3 Display LEDs, 2 470 Ohm resistors, 1 Omicrom 5V TTL relay, a 6V-12V power source (LiPo, 9V Radio Battery or WallWart), the plastic parts I designed and made with SolidWorks and my multi-head 2-color 3D Plastic Printer.
All the programming comes from various other Parallax.com supplied programs just cutting and pasting in the correct order to perform the tasks ... there is some "original" programming from myself too as well as having to edit the original software supplied by Parallax.com on their component sales/support pages. But once you learn how to control a servo motor with PBASIC it's pretty easy to extend that to more motors and the same goes for LEDs, relays etc...
Programming for the D.A.I.R. is so simple but can be a little painstaking as it's best to program one servo movement at a time ... watch the robot movement ... then do the next servo step ... but user defined using Parallax.com PBASIC to simply move body and arm joints to specific positions to perform the task the end user wants their D.A.I.R. to perform is pretty basic. It is up to the end user to write those programs themselves.
The assignments of arm and body joints to which pin/port is also up to the end users too and so they will write their programs for those ports. I can only suggest that starting with the lower waist joint as P15 on the BS2, then the neck joint would be P14 then the Right Shoulder joint be P13 and the Left Shoulder Joint be P12 then the Right Elbow joint be P11 with the Left Elbow joint being P10 and so on until you get to the wrist joints and your choice of grippers.
Finally, if you're grippers (RoboHands) are simple enough you can have enough Pins/Ports on the BS2 to add other sensors to the robot to make it operate even more precise still using only the one BS2 module.
I've already designed a few other variations of the D.A.I.R. parts and will manufacture and assemble them as I can.
One last suggestion; As the robot picks something up with one arm it might be best to have the other arm pick up something about the same weight too to help keep the robot balanced and not rubbing plastic body components together wearing them out. I haven't tried it yet, but was thinking of adding plumbers nylon thread sealing tape to some of the joint surfaces where edges rub on flat surfaces to reduce wear and also maybe decrease friction for better robot movements.
I think the D.A.I.R. would make a great ROS project ... using the Willow Garage ROS for what ROS was designed for and would love to see some ROS teams developing for the D.A.I.R.