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Thread: humanoid pico-itx robot

  1. humanoid pico-itx robot

    Hello,

    Currently I am working on putting together a humanoid robot that-

    1) has a double knee
    http://www.bauerindependents.com/SHO...va_legsbuy.htm

    2) gripping hands
    http://www.bauerindependents.com/SHO...gripsbuy10.htm

    3) head like an I-droid


    4)some kind of integrated wifi so that it can be controlled through something like tight vnc

    http://www.tightvnc.com/

    and 5)a pico-itx computer for a brain.

    http://www.mini-itx.com/reviews/pico-itx/

    and something similiar to the ER-1 for a personality. I think that a personality model that is behavior based, but also individualized by the end user is cool.

    Asbrandsson
    Last edited by Matt; 09-14-2007 at 11:13 AM. Reason: adding some thoughts/ matt:embedded youtube video

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    Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    and something similiar to the ER-1 for a personality. I think that a personality model that is behavior based, but also individualized by the end user is cool.
    Can you expound on this? I'm curious how you are building a personality and I'm not familiar with the ER-1 intimately. I'm super curious about how people are approaching adding personality to robots.

    Like I mentioned in the chimp head thread, I've often thought about using an internet chatbot (like alice) to create a plug in personality. It would work like this:

    - Human speaks
    - computer turns speech into text
    - text is sent to online chatbot
    - chatbot replies in text via web
    - text is output as speech
    - animatronics programs animate a robot head (or chimp head )
    I think that would be pretty easy to build, yet very impressive to the casual observer. Keep us informed on your project!
    Last edited by Alex; 09-14-2007 at 03:04 PM.

  3. Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    Hello,

    I think that the problem with chat bots is that they are basically kind of stupid, not the idea but that they are not very intelligent- although I think that once they get big enough of a data base they have some kind of personality.

    The ER-1 is vision based and uses a if/then behaviour based set up- so you can make the Robot whatever you want. It would be nice to create a program that would self generate if then senerios. then without writing an infinite set of if then's a robot could create them itself. I think that alot of the problem with the ER-1 is that is was designed to run off of a labtop and at that time there was not a small powerful portable pc around.

    Now I think that if they could make a duo or quad core pico itx mother board and a 100 to 300 gig micro hard drive the market for personal humanoid Robots would be there.

    Asbrandsson

  4. Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    I have been working on AI and NLP apps for about 20 years, the biggest problem I have is that VR only works worth a crap when in command mode with a limited vocab. When in dictation mode, recognition is unusable, which is needed in a chatbot application.

    My NLP does not have much personality. It is more of a natural query, but what you put in is what you get out. basically it is stuff like this:

    i: Liz is my best friend.
    i: My best friend's phone number is 913-555-1212.
    i: What is Liz's phone number?
    r: Liz Woodman's phone number is 913-555-1212.

    So not a lot of personality, but when I was a kid and playing with apps like Eliza, I was shocked that it could not process ANY information and could only make stupid remarks that sounded human but were worthless. My idea of a chatbot is more like the computer on Star Trek Next Generation. It can take commands, store information and then recall it in different forms.

    Anyways, home automation was only a platform interface to my NLP apps, but I am still working on that platform. I hope to integrate more AI once the basics are done. Sooo I think we could make a chatbot out of any robot, but the vocab would be very limited.

    What is needed is a VR system like microsofts but that can accept parameters in the fixed dialog and use dictation to fill in the variable words, so instead of: Who is Vaughn? and Who is Liz? Command recognition would be: Who is PNOUN? Then it would scan all known PNOUNS and try a match against them. Without this, all is futile. I have contemplated hacks, but have not come up with anything.

    My current approach is every time a new user is added, for example. I write another VR pattern with the new user name. But this sucks because what should be one pattern "Who is PNOUN" can eat up hundreds of lines of voice recognition phrases...

    Someday though!

    Vaughn
    Last edited by Vaughn; 09-17-2007 at 12:12 AM.

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    Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    Quote Originally Posted by asbrandsson View Post
    I think that the problem with chat bots is that they are basically kind of stupid, not the idea but that they are not very intelligent- although I think that once they get big enough of a data base they have some kind of personality.
    Well, sure of course. I merely like the idea because it could be done cheaply and it's a start with what technology is out there. I figured someone out there would have built an AI chat program that was at least a little entertaining, but maybe not. If a system like what I was proposing was built at least it's made in such a way that the backend AI could be swapped out and upgraded as better systems evolve.

    There is something to be said about having an actual physical head animating in front of you and responding to your actual voice. Granted, the technology has a looong way to go. But a chimphead chat bot would be a cool school project for some students.

    BTW- We just got word on Friday that the chimp head is discontinued
    We may have to save our last one for the TR museum.

    Quote Originally Posted by asbrandsson View Post
    The ER-1 is vision based and uses a if/then behaviour based set up- so you can make the Robot whatever you want.
    I'm only familiar with the object recognition side of the ER-1. The functionality where you can load up a database of objects to be recognized. I'm not familiar with the if/then part for AI. Is there a link with info on this somewhere?

  6. Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    Hello,

    Evolution Robotics www.evolution.com has a part of their site with some demo programs on it. I will try to set up a couple of sreen shots of what it looks like.

    One of the problems with vision software is that you need a data base of objects for the Robot to work with. And they have to be object photographed with a neutral background, otherwise the Robot has trouble picking out what the object is actually made up of. Is it a shelf or is the window and the shelf what makes up a shelf. It can recognize a few faces I think that it is something like eleven faces and then it starts to get mixed up. I will have to use something that will determine distance from object as well then it will be easy for the Robot to move around useing only one camera.

    Asbrandsson

  7. Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    Yeah, of course! An animated head is an awesome project and I want one. If you watch my Magic Box video( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emfp-6VGi7U ), I would just run the same system into the head. I am advancing the software even without the head. But the sooner I get one the better! I will have the thing talking, listening and running scripts 2 hours after the Phidget interface is hooked up!

    I was just commenting on the limitations of current VR for streaming recognition for applications like chat-bots, translators, interfaces for the hearing imared, or HA interfaces... I completely agree an animated head should not be held up over this limitation.

    I definitly was not trying to shoot down the project, just talking about it. My approach is just to use it for usefull things like Outlook interfaces, HA Avatar, reading emails, Caller ID announcement, etc. Most of my TTS responses try to be humorous and entertaining, but not in the old school Eliza fashion. I think our visions of what it would do are not far off. Hell, I think my system knows more "Your Mama" jokes than you can find on any single website.

    I released my software (object code at least) so people are invited to use it for projects like this and I am glad to adapt it for anything. I will post a link in a few days. There is a link on my forums to it, but I used Gagashare.com to host the files, but I am going to wait until I get my own download page in a few days before I start posting the link everywhere else.

    I would love to see people able to use my Phidgets interfaces and vCrib in all kinds of projects, and will support anyone who wants to try. I am not ready to release all my source, but if anyone is interested and since it is just modified Phidget code, I would be glad to give out the source for my Phidgets app. Just holla!

    Vaughn

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    Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    Quote Originally Posted by asbrandsson View Post
    One of the problems with vision software is that you need a data base of objects for the Robot to work with. And they have to be object photographed with a neutral background, otherwise the Robot has trouble picking out what the object is actually made up of. Is it a shelf or is the window and the shelf what makes up a shelf. It can recognize a few faces I think that it is something like eleven faces and then it starts to get mixed up. I will have to use something that will determine distance from object as well then it will be easy for the Robot to move around useing only one camera.
    Asbrandsson
    You guys should check out Bob Mottram's stuff if you haven't seen it yet. He is doing some amazing stuff just using webcams:
    http://sluggish.uni.cc/monoSLAM/monoslam.htm
    http://sluggish.uni.cc/rodney/vision.htm
    http://code.google.com/p/sentience/

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    Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    I released my software (object code at least) so people are invited to use it for projects like this and I am glad to adapt it for anything. I will post a link in a few days. There is a link on my forums to it, but I used Gagashare.com to host the files, but I am going to wait until I get my own download page in a few days before I start posting the link everywhere else.

    I would love to see people able to use my Phidgets interfaces and vCrib in all kinds of projects, and will support anyone who wants to try. I am not ready to release all my source, but if anyone is interested and since it is just modified Phidget code, I would be glad to give out the source for my Phidgets app. Just holla!

    Vaughn
    Thanks for the offer! I've been pondering lately about adding an area to the site where people could profile their projects and leave updates, videos, pics, source files, etc. Sort of a home base for the project so others could stay informed, use the code, grow community around projects, etc.

    I envision it as an archive of robotics projects that could house a ton of useful information that is curently scattered all over the web. A community driven archive for robotics. There are probably tools already out there for this and maybe we can figure out a way to seamlessly add them to the site. Something like sourceforge or google code maybe? If people have ideas on this I'd love to hear them.

    What do you guys think? Do you think people would use it?

  10. Re: humanoid pico-itx robot

    I spoke too soon. How funny! Check out this Product that Engadget pimped this morning that appears to de-validate everything I said about conversational limitations of VR!

    http://www.cognitivecode.com/products.html#desktop

    This looks awesome, but I wanted to code it! Damn day job is runing my life! =)

    Vaughn

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