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Thread: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

  1. #1
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    The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    Hi, Fellow robot builders, I am doing a series of videos showing my robots (ALTAIR EZ:1) current capabilities, I hope it is of interest to the group.




    The EZ:1 recently met the Pepper robot while being filmed for a TV documentary - it was cool seeing these two robots together.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for watching.


    Tony

  2. #2

    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    That's neat. I see linear actuators for the elbows. What do you use for the shoulders?

    Smart of you to not have more in the carton than fits in the glass :-)

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    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    @jwatte, the shoulders use two Bosch actuators working in parallel.

    I managed to buy a large quantity of Bosch worm driven actuators with integral pots on ebay. I designed a PIC based smart servo board (with current sensing) for the actuators - this allows these powerful servos to be controlled by PWM, I2C or serial. The Bosch units are high torque and quiet with zero holding current, the most arm noise comes from the elbow linear actuators. I use these Bosch smart servos for the arms and the head pan and tilt unit.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4

    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    I managed to buy a large quantity of Bosch worm driven actuators with integral pots on ebay.

    That sounds like good luck :-) Glad to see it's working out well.

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    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    @jwatte, Thanks!

    Here is (hopefully a fun, not to be taken too seriously!) video of the EZ:1 robot interacting with Amazons Smart Speaker Alexa which shows a bit more of the EZ:1 functionality.



    Tony
    Last edited by Toymaker; 02-21-2017 at 11:30 AM.

  6. #6

    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    Wait, what? The Alexa here has a different accent than yours. That's a very nice touch by Amazon!
    (I presume you set this up through Simon Says, or perhaps through a custom Skill?)
    Do you find that the Echo actually does recognize the EZ1 voice synth?

  7. #7
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    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    Yes, the UK Alexa has a different voice, I think you can change the US voice to this if you want to try it. Your right I used the Simon Says skill, but in the UK Amazon has changed this a bit as about half of the time Alexa adds "I heard" to the front of the speech which screws it up a bit! Alexa users in the UK have reported that their Echo or Dots have responded to the video being played.

    Tony

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    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles [Part 2] - Take photo and analyse - Face Recognition and Emotional and Empathy Reactions.



    For humans to co-exist with robots, I believe that they will need to show Affective Empathy (AE) so they are not just perceived as cold calculating machines. This video shows what AE might look like in a robot interaction.

    Tony


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    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles [Part 3] - EZ:1 sensor tour

    The EZ:1 Robot gives us a tour of his sensors and what they do.



    For Robots to make sense of their World and environment they need complex sensors with vision being the most important.

    Tony


  10. #10

    Re: The ALTAIR Robot Chronicles

    That's interesting! What parts go inside those names?
    I'd imagine the top camera runs OpenCV with one of the HaarCascade facial recognizers?
    Is it running on a Raspberry Pi, perhaps?

    The IR sensor, is that a single IR phototransistor, or is it a thermopile?

    What processing do you use for the microphone array?

    Finally, what display are you using for the eyes? It kind of looks like a circular array of LEDs behind some matte transparent plastic? It's pretty well done, and adds a lot to the overall interaction IMO :-)

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