Introduction: OCCU(PI) Bot
Learning from the lessons of the 1%, I set forth to outsource our occupy-related labor to a robotic workforce. Robots obviously have many advantages over their human counterparts. For instance, robots never get tired, they don't get cold, they don't sleep, nor eat, don't require tents, and when armed insurrection becomes necessary, robots are much more morally ambivalent. Additionally, we had a discussion with an unnamed member of the San Francisco police force and they confided in us that the police currently do not have any plan for dealing with robotic occupiers.
For all of those reasons and more, I present to you OCCU(PI) Bot; the first in a promising line of tireless, unstoppable, robotic class warriors.
Step 1: Go Get Stuff
You will need:
- A robot (My robot's name is Emiglio. He is Italian.)
- A megaphone (or battery-powered amplifier)
- An 1/8" male-to-male stereo cable
- Optional Arduino and Wave Shield (or a tape recorder and computer)
- M-type plug (also optional - see step 5)
- 9V battery clip (also optional - see step 5)
- 9V battery (also optional - see step 5)
- Soap dish (also optional - see step 5)
- 4' x 3/4 PVC pipe
- Something for a sign board (I used acrylic, but cardboard would do)
- Something to write a slogan (I used acrylic paint, but a Sharpie would work)
- Some tape, nuts and bolts, and zip ties
- And whatnot
Step 2: Mod a Megaphone
If your megaphone doesn't already have an audio input jack, add one by following these instructions.
If a megaphone is too large and/or inappropriate for your bot, or you just want to use something different, you can try using a Radioshack Mini Audio Amplifier. This battery-powered amplifier is cool because not only does it have a built in speaker, but it also has an output jack to drive any small-sized speaker you wish.
Or, if your robot just has its own darned sound system, let it speak for itself.
Step 3: Make a Sign
Making a sign is one of the most important parts. If the robot can't make it's own sign, you are going to need to make a sign for it.
First ask the robot what it would like to say. If the robot does not answer you, just take an educated guess.
Once you are sure what is supposed to be on the sign, make one on something "roboty" using "robot-ish" kind of tools.
For instance, I made my robot Emiglio a sign on white acrylic using a laser cutter. If that does not make one nostalgic for our promised robotic future, I don't know what does.
I have attached the template I used for my sign as inspiration.
Step 4: Attach It to a Post
This is probably the third or forth most important part of this Instructable.
Simply attach your sign to a post. I found that PVC looked very robot-ish.
If your robot isn't into gripping posts, it also wear the sign like a sandwich board. It is really up to the robot's discretion.
Step 5: Make a Pi Reader (optional)
If you would like for your occu(pi) bot to speak the digits of pi, pay attention now. If you think reading the digits of pi is just plain geeky and annoying, skip to the next step.
Plug your wave shield kit into your Arduino.
Put your arduino inside of a box and then connect the Arduino to your computer
Upload the "PI party!" example from the ladyada.com examples page.
Now, when you power up your Arduino, it will read off the digits of pi.
This is kind of very annoying... but is slightly better than robotic silence.
Step 6: Plug'er Up
Plug your robot's audio-out port to the megaphone. Program your robot to say whatever it wants. This is the robot's chance to be heard.
My robot Emiglio has a feature that allows me to talk through his microphone. In some ways, this makes me his inner conscience.
If your robot does not have an audio out port, fret not. You can either make a pi reader as outlined in the last step, or if that is too complicated, you can always get a cheap MP3, CD, or cassette player and affix that to your robot and load it with pre-made audio clips.
If you are feeling somewhat enterprising, you can crudely hack a cheap walkie talkie and replace its microphone with an audio out jack (you might need to add a 10K - 47K resistor in series with the audio out signal). In this way, you too can be the inner conscience of a robot.
Step 7: Power Up!
Dress your robot up in its finest attire. Make sure it has its sign and knows what it wants to say.
Once everything is all set, power up your robot and prepare for occupation.
Step 8: Occu(pi)
Identify a nice public spot and program your robot not to leave until there is justice for all.