R3-14, The Personal Assistant Two Years In The Making

One of the great things about hacking together projects these days is how many powerful subsystems are readily available to reuse. [Sanjeet] took full advantage of a whole slate of reusable pieces when he built R3-14 — a personal assistant robot that you can see in action in the video below.

Many people started out in electronics building something simple like a crystal radio or an LED cube. But how far could you get if your projects had to begin at the most basic level, by drawing out copper wire, fabricating coils, capacitors, semiconductor devices, and batteries? Even if you know how to do all those things, it would take a lot of time, so there is no shame in using off-the-shelf components. By the same token, [Sanjeet] uses Google Assistant, 433 MHz RF transmitters, and a Raspberry Pi as components in this build. Along the way, he also contributed some reusable pieces himself, including an LED library for the PI and a library to allow Siri to control a Raspberry Pi.

The post is interesting because it shows how the design evolved with an initial metal prototype giving way to a 3D printed body, and with several iterations of software. We did however wish for more details on the software and code, and we hope more details are forthcoming.

Meanwhile the project is still a good inspiration. The face tracking drives servos to move the robot’s head and LED eyes make it expressive. The 3D printed model is impressive by itself.

We couldn’t help but think of all the home robots from 1985. Of course, if Google and Siri aren’t mathematical enough for you, we’d suggest swapping R3-14’s brain for Wolfram Alpha.

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