Tutorial: Crabfu's Review of Rovio

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    crabfu crabfu is offline Bit Processor
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    Crabfu's Review of Rovio

    Just a quick review of Wowee's Rovio. ( http://www.meetrovio.com/ )

    Videos:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiLY_Z8HTVA"]YouTube - MEET ROVIO Demo (1 of 3)[/ame]
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsEKPuymbQg"]YouTube - GET TO KNOW ROVIO Demo (2 of 3)[/ame]
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsyVf4qOB3w"]YouTube - EXPERIENCE ROVIO Demo (3 of 3)[/ame]

    I am impressed. I bought this little thing from Trossen ( http://www.trossenrobotics.com/robot...led-robot.aspx ) a few months ago, and it's been a blast. Being a new dad, and a robot freak, this thing was just too geeky cool to pass up.

    The Rovio is basically a webcam that you can drive around via wifi or through the internet. I have it docked at the corner of my living room, and overlooking Shrimpfu's play area. From work, I can see what he is up to, and drive around the room and watch him play. He loves watching it move about, all of the lights are mesmorizing.... to him too. Way too cool.... makes it really fun to take little breaks at work, and feel like I'm playing with him a bit. There is also a iphone app that is quite fun, you can just tilt for locomotion - forward/reverse as well as strafe right/left by just tilting the phone like a marble table top game. Turns are via thumb drag. On a web browser, you have more controls, like camera angle, picture quality, email pic, more accurate locomotion etc. There is support for it to follow a path, but for me the fun is driving it around, not patrolling, so I don't have plans to look into that. The self docking actually works much better than I have been expecting, it seems to back track its moves and then look for the dock, which doesn't always bring it back near the dock. I find it easier/faster to just drive it back a few feet from the dock, and then tell it to go home, and let the sensors do their thing.

    Price tag on this puppy is $300, which seem to be quite steep, until you factor in the cost of parts... just them omi directional wheels will set you back a bit, and it packs quite a bit of hardware and software. A lot of the time you get a robot, because it's just too cool... but the promise of what it can do falls below what it actually does. This thing delivers, it doesn't do a heck of a lot, but what it does, it does well, and is just something that I've been wanting for a long time.

    Pros:
    -awesome wheel design that is very easy to navigate
    -self docking works well
    -browser UI is nice
    -iphone app is too cool
    -comes with everything needed to run
    -good value for what it does

    Cons:
    -not the easiest to setup to work via internet for noob like me
    -two way audio support is only for IE
    -camera has only 3 angle positions
    -headlight is not bright enough to do much of anything

    Overall, I love this thing. It makes me feel like the mars rover pilot! recommend it! especially if you have a pet or baby at home lol

    -Crabfu


Replies to Tutorial: Crabfu's Review of Rovio
  1. Join Date
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    Re: Crabfu's Review of Rovio

    Overall I've quite enjoyed my Rovio. One of the first things I did though was add a couple LEDs to the head.

    See more about the headlights here

    edit2 = Apologies for the low review numbers. I didn't realized it was there until after first edit, and I don't see a way to edit them. I promise, I would have rated everything much higher than 1.
    Earth's got chinese food and microphones.
    Earth's got porno stars and ice cream cones...
        

  2. Re: Crabfu's Review of Rovio

    How do these Rovio 'true track beacons' work exactly? It appears to be related to the more expensive North Star sensor sold at acroname . . . if there was a way to easily hack them or make our own it could be pretty useful . . . a quick google search didn't reveal anything . . .
        

  3. Join Date
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    Re: Crabfu's Review of Rovio

    They're based of Evolution Robotics NorthStar system. Basically the beacon projects a couple of IR dots on the ceiling, and Rovio effectively triangulates its position from that.

    There are a couple folks who were working on a homebrew IR beacon. They've mapped the different room frequencies so far, probably more since I last conversed with them. I haven't delved too far into that yet as it's still a ways over my head.
    Earth's got chinese food and microphones.
    Earth's got porno stars and ice cream cones...
        

  4. Join Date
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    Re: Crabfu's Review of Rovio

    I use a binary pattern printed in IR fluorescent paint on the ceiling. A cheap IR camera can light it up and cause it to flouresce. Total cost is less than $50.
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż
        

  5. Join Date
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    Re: Crabfu's Review of Rovio

    Nice writeup Crabfu! We have fun with ours around the office... that is until we shared the info with our neighbors and it kept waking up and spying on us. They dont trust us it seems.
        

  6. Re: Crabfu's Review of Rovio

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudolph View Post
    Overall I've quite enjoyed my Rovio. One of the first things I did though was add a couple LEDs to the head.

    See more about the headlights here

    edit2 = Apologies for the low review numbers. I didn't realized it was there until after first edit, and I don't see a way to edit them. I promise, I would have rated everything much higher than 1.
    congrats, you've made MAKE
    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/200...C-0D6B48984890
        

  7. Join Date
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    Re: Crabfu's Review of Rovio

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrenalynn
    I use a binary pattern printed in IR fluorescent paint on the ceiling. A cheap IR camera can light it up and cause it to flouresce. Total cost is less than $50.
    You would.
    I don't know what I'm doing but I like it. - NB
        

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