New Pet, Project 413

I wonder if anyone ever mouses over images anymore. Oh silly me, xkcd reference.

[Jacob] sent in his teams final project, Project 413. While sounding like something straight out of an action movie, don’t worry, it’s not the next terminator. Rather a combination of an eBox (in place of an EEE pc), omni wheels, motors, batteries, and the finishing touch – a hamster ferret ball. If this is sounding familiar to a certain web comic, then right you are, as XKCD was their main inspiration. Sadly, the web cam and ‘having a soul’ functions didn’t make it into their version, but being controlled via Wii remote is always a plus.  Check out a video after the break.


23 thoughts on “New Pet, Project 413

  1. Despite being billed as “alt text”, xkcd actually uses a tooltip, not alt text since alt text shows when an image cannot be displayed or when a screen reader is parsing the image, not when an extended mouseover occurs. Thus, for me, the mouseover text is actually CIMG0835, not your meta-(xkcd-reference).

  2. From the site:
    “Both the server and the client are written in C#.”
    “The eBox provides the brains for the robot. The OS is Windows Embedded 6.0.”

    Do Not Want.

    Also, this could have been achieved using a standalone bluetooth-enabled Arduino to talk directly to the wiimote. I hate things that are overly complicated.

  3. Interesting idea..

    I tried to use a VIA mini-ITX a few years back as a robot brain, but never finished it. The eBox looks well worth it for the money, though (as already mentioned) NOT with winbloze on it. Debian would have been more than adequate if you’re just going to scrip the hell out of things..

  4. Yeah if it was done with an arduino then it wouldn’t be anywhere near so heavy and it might not break itself like that. Hamster balls aren’t very smooth either for that sort of thing…


  5. Ardunio would be far easier and simpler to do all of this. plus it would run 12X longer. I have one of those PC’s and they suck up power like crazy, the whole top is a heatsink and it get’s hot because of the horrible efficiency of the processor in it.

    The ebox is not worth the money. get a shivaplug. lower power consumption, smaller, better processor, etc…. I’d gladly trade my ebox for a sheevaplug.

  6. I’ve GOTTA have one! My apartment management won’t allow any kind of living,breathing, type of pet, I’d love to shove THAT into their faces!!!
    HA! HA! HA! (well,you get my drift). Now if it could plug itself in for a charge at night.
    Hmm… How ’bout a wall wart charger that looks like a water bottle…!

  7. Hi guys,

    I was one of the two people who worked on the project so I thought I would clear some stuff up.

    The current incarnation of the robot could have been done with an arduino, its true. However, this was for a class project that required the use of Windows Embedded and the eBox was the provided platform. We did not choose these things, they were design constraints.

    The eBox provides way more functionality than an arduino or other low power microcontroller. The idea wasn’t just to make a remote controlled ball, but provide a path for future groups to follow and mark the pitfalls of the design. It could easily incorporate vision, tweet, run python, and whatnot if we had the time. Autonomy was a reach goal of the project that would take advantage of the beefier system provided by the eBox.

    We briefly mention some of these design choices on the website so check it out.

    Thanks for your feedback.

  8. Thise Website isnt called adrunio a day you adruino fanboys should just simmer down and check out the xkcd comic 413 then all of this will make a lot more sense besides most adruino projects on this site could be done with a damm 3$ µchip if people would bother to learn how to use them properly the adruino os a treaching tool for people who havn´t learned to use µc s yet so just chill and learn how to design youre own damm µC boards
    a lot of you are worth then mac fanboys

  9. @therian I’m the other half of the group. So… hey, from the moron side of things! Just messing, but thanks for the feedback. You’re right in that we built it to work, not so much to be a perfect solution. There are still a lot of things to clean. A work in progress.

  10. It would be better to raise the pickup coil to a vertical position inside ball, and make the charge station vertical. That eBox probably has PCBs inside it with large ground and power planes. You Do Not Want the the inductive charger to induce eddy currents in these pieces of copper foil.

  11. For some odd reason, I keep thinking about how this might be used to make something close to the droidekas from Star Wars.

    As for the arduino, how ’bout a nice cup of STFU? You got complainants? Redo the project with one or just click on the “x” at the top of your browser. Or better yet, open the command prompt, type “C:\> FORMAT”, press the enter button and have a nice day. I know I will. smh

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