Update: Process and progress + timeline

trip to the Netherlands, Dutch Design Week, Willem de Kooning Academie, and Amsterdam was a B L A S T!! Report of the trip will be posted soon. For now, I want to keep my CPJ updated on my project!

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote the progress of my project, I think it’s a good a idea to explain from the beginning again.

I think of robots as a potential beings. Our technology is not quite there yet today, but I believe that it’s not far from now for robots and machines to be running autonomously. Today robots are not only tools for us, they are also our companions and collaborators. How do people feel about it? What exactly are our relationships to robots in the past, today, and in the future?

Therefore I am working on a companion robot that could potentially become therapy robot for children with anxiety.

This little buddy that has no name yet will run on Arduino mega with heart pulse sensor and several outputs such as voice, breathing movement, heartbeat sound, and animated eyes that reacts to your heart rate. The body will be made mainly of wood. Below are character design studies and technical sketches for fabrication.

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 9.09.46 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-04 at 9.09.04 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-04 at 9.08.45 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-04 at 9.09.13 PM

list of things to do (typed out version was posted in previous post)

 

after a lot of figuring out around the electronic part, I finally started on prototyping the body and mechanical movements that are gonna be implemented in the body

I used insulation foam from Home Depot as material for prototyping the main body parts. The planned size and shape feels right, and so far there has been no problem with the size of the room inside of the body for the electronic parts. Next I need to figure out how to build the shape out of wood and mount the electronic pieces onto the body.

I milled the material that I got so they’re ready to be laminated and then turned on the lathe to create the shape that I’m going for

breathing mechanism is coming together!!!! prototype started out from foam core, tape, and wire, then a burnt chipboard that never got put together, to a more presentable laser cut plywood to show and test out shapes for the appropriate breathing in and breathing out movement of the chest. Laser cut breathing hinges seem to be working well to show the movement in the prototypes, however, it is not moving the way I want the chest part to expand. Annet suggested to use neoprene for a more even stretch. Ryan also suggested to create an armature with foam to even the distribution of the pressure onto the heart-shaped chest.

and today I had a meeting with Alan to test out the code that he wrote to smooth out the heartbeat reading as well as setting a debounce and spreading them for multiple different output. We’re still having trouble with the LCD screen. For some reason, it works just fine when it’s directly plugged onto the Arduino board but not when it’s plugged through cables. Maybe it’s the connection that’s not strong enough? Alan said there’s multiple possible reasons this could be happening and he’s gonna help me figure it out. So now I’m gonna be working on my audio file and circuit, as well as eye expressions while he’s troubleshooting the LCD screen connection.

I’m so psyched for this project! So far things are going pretty close to the original timeline, nothing going too wrong just yet.

UNRAVEL THE CODE, NILAM’S TIMELINE

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