LEGO OF MY NIKO
Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you (yes YOU!) can control
NIKO N900 — a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robot via a hacked Nokia
How does it work?
1. Make or login to a Twitter account.
2. Tweet one of the following commands, preceded by
“@N900Niko” — move forward, move backwards, turn right, turn left,
or turn around. (In other words, to make the bot move forward tweet
“@N900Niko move forward”.)
The Nokia N900 cellphone (associated with NIKO) will receive your tweet within a few seconds and translate
it into a message which is then sent to the NXT. The NXT interprets the message sent by the N900, and then
translates it into motor movement.
Everyone can appreciate a good Hydrazoid. Build your own with a kit from Elenco. It
only needs basic tools to assemble and once done, reacts to sound impulses. Clap your
hands and it will move forward for 15 seconds. The LEDs and illuminated fiber optic
antennas make it more than your average bot on the block. At a size of 7 x 6 x 5", don't
forget the two AA batteries (not included).
This particular snakebot comes from CMU’s Biorobotics Laboratory
modular snake robot project.
Snake robots can use their many internal degrees of freedom to
thread through very tight areas accessing locations that people and
machinery otherwise cannot get into. Moreover, these highly articulated
devices can coordinate their internal degrees of freedom to perform a
variety of locomotion capabilities that go beyond the capabilities of
conventional wheeled and legged robots. The true power of these
devices is that they are versatile, achieving behaviors not limited to
crawling, climbing, and swimming. Go to www.cs.cmu.edu/~biorobotics/projects/modsnake/ for more factoids.
WHAT THE (iPOD) DOCK!?
The Robovie mR2 is a 30 cm tall humanoid robot developed at Japan’s ATR Robotics and Communication Laboratories.
It sports 18 joints (three in each eye, three in the head, four in each arm, one in
the back), 18 servo motors, a CCD sensor 3.4MP camera, two microphones, and
a mono speaker (2W). mR2’s real trick is its communication channel (between
you and him) which is established through an iPod Touch that you need to place
inside its chest. You can control this little companion by touching the screen of
the iPod Touch, via Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), or Bluetooth.
According to ATR, mR2 can communicate info from your iPod Touch to you
by his gestures — some of which could be considered, well, umm, obscene.
This may be why there is no info on pricing or availability since it is not yet
commercialized. However, ATR states they are considering that.
24 SERVO 05.2010