TOBI The Tool Bot


[TheGrue] has put together this great writeup on how he built TOBI, the tool carrying robot. Inspired by a story he read about a robot that could follow people around, using heat sensors, he decided he wanted to do something similar. His robot would carry his tools, in this case, the tools of an IT professional. Not only would it carry his tools, but surely it would give him credit as a techno-guru to have a scratch built robot following him around.

His build process is documented quite well. He approached this in a fashion where he set several iterations. Each step would add a feature and carry the old features forward. It looks as if he’s currently working on step 3, which means that the chassis has already been built, the drive train is working, it can be remote controlled, and now has some level of autonomy thanks to a propeller controller. Up next are some range finders and an assortment of other sensors so that TOBI won’t drive off any steps, or into any walls.

[via hackedgadgets]

10 thoughts on “TOBI The Tool Bot

  1. So it’s a Radio Flyer without a handle…

    …it’s a job well done, but if I saw overweight people waddling around with these things carrying their luggage and laptops for them I’d be forced to buckle down and start voting for anti-fat taxes.

  2. It really took him a year to realize a thermal tracking robot would try to follow people other than himself?

    Very detailed write-up, but like already said, it is still basically just a big RC car at this point.

  3. Sure it’s an RC car.

    But a mighty fine RC car with lots of potential.

    Just because something has been done before, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing again – either for fun, the experience or just to put your own twist on it.

    Why have people gotta be so negative all the time?

  4. “It really took him a year to realize a thermal tracking robot would try to follow people other than himself?”

    Yeah, I figured that out in the time it took to load the post. :)

    What would you suggest instead? Maybe a low-power keyfob-sized radio beacon?

  5. It seems like he hasn’t decided which way to go with it yet, either some type of RF or IR beacon on his person.

    Personally I would look into pulling RSSI from his phone’s Bluetooth radio. I don’t know how difficult that would be to do with a Propeller, but the nice part is that you only have to figure out one side of the equation. Plus you could do multiple users or objects based on MAC address. For example it could not only follow his phone, but sound an alarm if it loses contact with the laptop’s Bluetooth MAC as a theft deterrent.

    Though accurate direction and distance measurements with BT (or really any RF) would obviously be much harder than IR.

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