Wall-E Goes Corporate, Offering Telepresence Service

I guess if you are going to build a robot to do something boring like telepresence, you might as well make it cute. That’s obviously what [Andrew Maurer] was thinking when he built a telepresence robot using a Wall-E toy. The result is kind of adorable: Wall-E is holding the 5-inch HDMI screen that shows the video, and can scoot around in true Pixar fashion under remote control.

It’s also a neat build on the inside, using a Raspberry Pi for the brains and an Adafruit MotorHat to control the motors. The original toy didn’t have motors, so he added a new RC gearbox and motors to drive the little fella around. Installed behind Wall-Es eye is a USB webcam. Running behind the scenes is a mumble server that does the audio, a copy of Chromium that shows the video, and an Apache server that feeds the captured video to the other end of the conversation. The whole thing is tied together by a few scripts that kick things off appropriately and allow the user to remotely control Wall-E. It’s a cute build, and hopefully Wall-E can still find his EVE while performing his new corporate duties.

[via reddit]

The WALL-E Robot

[Dino’s] latest Hack a Week project, the WALL-E Robot shows quite simply what you can create from a few dollars worth of toys from garage sales and cheap stores. When he found the WALL-E toy at a garage sale, Dino decided that he had to give it a brain. Using the geared motors from some Rumble Robots, the H-bridges from some $5 remote control cars (after his own H-bridges cooked themselves), an ultrasonic sensor and an Arduino, WALL-E was brought to life.

The WALL-E Robot might not be the brightest bot, or the most stable, but the project definitely demonstrates some effective scrounging for parts that would have done WALL-E proud. It also shows how even the most simple projects can cause the most headaches when they don’t go right. Check out the video after the break for the build details, a demonstration and to see a man talk to a toy robot.

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BAMF2010: Look sir, droids!

Ask any engineer what originally sparked their interest in technology, and almost universally the response will be a Hollywood film or TV robot — Star Wars’ R2-D2, the B9 robot from Lost in Space, or Short Circuit’s Johnny 5, to name a few. Engineers need a creative outlet too, and some pay homage to their inspirations by building elaborate reproductions. At this year’s Maker Faire, droid-builders had their own corner in the center hall, their work ranging from humble craft materials to ’bots surpassing their film counterparts in detail and workmanship.

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Mail-E email checker

[Totoro] sent in this cool little email notification device he made. Using a paper model of Wall-E, he added some servos and connected it to his computer using a PIC. Mail-E has independent arm rotation and head rotation. He admits that the PIC processor is major overkill and plans some upgrades such as making it wireless and using a little better suited chip to control it. Not bad for a proof of concept.

Autonomous Cookie Monster

cookie_monster

[DJ Sures], who built the autonomous Wall-E, is back with another creation. His new autonomous Cookie Monster is certainly an interesting build. He had the cookie monster plush toy already so the first step was to flay the blue beast and insert a skeleton. He used another robot for that. There are two servos for the wheels plus one for each arm and one for the neck. There’s a distance sensor in the mouth. He built a custom board for the PIC18F4685 microcontroller which is running the same 2D mapping code as his previous bot. Check out the video of it in action below. Continue reading “Autonomous Cookie Monster”

Autonomous Wall-E

[djsures] went crazy on his Interactive Wall-E toy. Wall-E just didn’t have enough bounce in his step, so [djsures] decided to give him an overhaul. He went through the entire robot and replaced most of the joints with servos, giving much more control and adding head tilt. All of this was wired to a microcontroller housed in Wall-E’s body. The distance sensor was mounted in Wall-E’s neck, so when he turns his head, he’s actually surveying his surroundings.  Check out the video after the break.

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