Arman's stuff
Rovio Redux

(Sun Apr 18 15:17:23 2010)

Robots are awesome. No, seriously. AWESOME.

After working many of the kinks out of my robot experience (see last blag), I've come to a few conclusions. First of all, robots are absolutely awesome. Especially ones with video and remote (ie, over-the-internet) control. My Rovio has both, and I've figured out how to access both to a great deal of success. The only part I haven't fully utilized is the sound; I can get sound and video, easy, but actually *sending* audio is a bit more of a chore.

The robot has a complete web interface; every option can be set via a web page. In fact, you can even control the robot with a keyboard through the web page; it's actually quite well made. Usually, robots like this (or other niche hardware) has fairly lousy web material. The support site is well maintained, and there are lots and lots of things you can find about the Rovio. In fact, there are even several PDFs that explain just how to take apart, reprogram, and otherwise modify the little 'bot. You can buy extra base stations, so the robot knows where it is around the house (up to 10), and you can get special headlights to illuminate a little better than the... uh... underpowered one it has. I, of course, have already started on my own design, one that involves sticking a photo-diode in front of the light, and using it to perform any number of single-bit tasks. Given more time and energy, of course, I would like to add a host of other things to it... facial recognition, room mapping and memory, remote "brain" server... the list goes on. The more senses and actions available to a computer, the more things become possible; with minimal modification, I could get the robot to follow a stripe on the floor with high precision; with a little programming, I could add a "you are this tall" line on the video feed, so I don't try to go under things that are much too short.

But, beyond all that, I could use this 'bot to show off my house to guests, or to "visit" home when I'm away on business (or, for that matter, take with me on business so I can show off my hotel room). I can check in on the house when we're on vacation, or even use it to do simple tasks - run into a button to turn on a light or cancel the days garden watering due to rain, that sort of thing.

Rovio and I? Yeah. We're going to go a long way together.


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This blag is tagged: Ie, Linux, Opera, Robot, Rovio, All