We flipped on the power switch for our robot named Security. Then a low rumble erupted from somewhere in the room. The song Mr. Roboto began to play and the robot danced, moving back and forth, spinning and turning, playing its lights–all to the music. It was hilarious! We learned how to change the robot’s software so that I could control the pattern of the robot’s dance. I made the dance longer, more complicated, and even more fun than it was before!
A lot of our robots now talk, play sound effects, or play music, including Security, Roamer, and Mechatron. They have different ways of talking. Roamer uses a text-to-speech chip that my Uncle Chris helped solder into place, and the others use a tiny sound board that reads MP3 files from a micro-SD card. Most of the talking robots say “Roger, roger” because we want them to be a bit like the Battle Droids in Star Wars. It is so much fun to make them say things!
One of the mp3 sound boards we use in our robots
When I first saw Roam-bot I thought he was pretty cool. He talked (at this time we had no talking robots) and he had a aluminum box that hides all of his wires. He was neat, and could go by himself using ping sonar.
When you first turned him on he says “Ready, roger, roger, find best direction” in a deep voice then turns his head to each side saying the number of inches until an object. He says “_ inches, _inches, _ inches” Then goes the direction in which there is the most amount of inches. Now that’s pretty awesome!
We ran into a problem when we came to the point were we needed a caster. No sizes fit his front. While waiting for different sizes to be delivered, we temporally put on a furniture felt pad on so we could still play with him. It worked great! Still none of the sizes fit, so it became permanent. He now can only go on wood floors, but thats okay because we have lots of it!
Roaming Robot – Top View
Roaming Robot – Front View