New unicorn robot


For a few weeks I have had this kit - Smartibot - waiting to play with - finally got around to it. A cardboard-based, app-controlled, AI-enabled robot kit - now that is too tempting!


The kit comes with the parts for one of three models,  including a unicorn robot. A battery pack (takes 4xAA batteries not included), two motors, a bunch of nuts and bolts, 2 screwdrivers, 3 plastic balls, 2 wheel hubs, bunch of elastic bands and a very cute control board. The rest is cardboard including the wheels. The control board seems under-utilised for this task, even on a quick scan; on their kickstarter site, they show it controlling 4 DC motors and 10 servos. 



I was initially concerned it wouldn't have the rigidity needed; it does (even after being accidentally dropped down a flight of stairs) 

The app is free to download for both Apple (see below) and Android. The AI bit initially (certainly on IoS) comes from a cool routine that uses a phone's camera to move when it 'sees' a person.


It was a positive experience to build it; apart from adding batteries, everything was in the box or downloadable. The kit is available to pre-order at http://thecraftyrobot.net/wp/product/smartibot-basic-kit-preorder/

So the next stage is to program it. The company has released a blog post discussing a way to program it - something to try in the future. 





All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Programming Anki's Vector robot

With the sad news that Anki is shutting down (https://www.vox.com/2019/4/29/18522966/anki-robot-cozmo-staff-layoffs-robotics-toys-boris-sofman) I thought it was time I start playing with the SDK for the Vector robot. In this short post, I providing a quick overview of getting going with this with a simple program based on the tutorials Anki provide.




Installation
I am using a Mac (more details are available here https://developer.anki.com/vector/docs/install-macos.html) but there are instructions for Windows and Linux.

- You need the Vector to have been set-up previous on a tablet, and an account set-up on the Anki Cloud.
- Install Homebrew - available here https://brew.sh/
- Using Homebrew to install Python3 brew install python3
-Now install the SDK python3 -m pip install --user anki_vector
- Lst but not least configure the set-up python3 -m anki_vector.configure - that is it. The configuration tool tells you where the serial number, etc is, so makes fairly a little easier.


First  Program
The tutorials have a number of useful Python examples. With them, as the basis the code below,  Vector moves off the charger and says "Hello Scott" - not earth-shattering but fun.


"""Hello World
Drive off the charger 
Make Vector say 'Hello Scott' in this simple Vector SDK example program.
"""

import anki_vector


def main():
    args = anki_vector.util.parse_command_args()
    with anki_vector.Robot(args.serial) as robot:
        robot.behavior.drive_off_charger()
        print("Say 'Hello Scott'...")
        robot.behavior.say_text("Hello Scott")


if __name__ == "__main__":

    main()


I am going to enjoy playing with this a bit more.








All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

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All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon