Instructables
I believe I have created a robot that's functional, helpful, entertaining, whimsical AND simply amazing.

The ServerBot. Built upon an iRobot Create.

A robot with the ability to move reliably between any room in the house while carrying a payload, in our case, a serving tray on top. The ServerBot has a much greater potential with other tasks of moving laundry and such. The elderly could appreciate a ServerBot to help transport just about anything around the house.

You are in the Kitchen with a tray of popcorn and drinks for movie night. You have more to take out but can't carry everything in one load (or you are physically disabled and are unable to carry everything). Just push the ServerBot CALL button and within a minute or two ServerBot arrives to assist you. Place your items on top and press the button on the ServerBot for the room you want it to deliver its payload to. Off it goes.

It knows its way around, carrys things for you, talks to you, and won't bump into things.

This is a Live Working Model that we are actively using at my house. My goal with the Create has always been to make something USEFUL out of it. So far this is IT. This project will continue to evolve. We have plans for interchangable bodies, one of which will be a big Ice-Bucket so it can roam around with cold drinks at a party. As-is, it can roam around at a party to deliver drinks and horsdevours and return to the kitchen for re-stocking.

The ServerBot can be covered and re-covered in different fabrics to match your decor or a party theme. This covering is held on with scotch-tape, I'd suggest something less tacky. Ha!

The current ServerBot has evolved over a period of time so I don't have good pictures of it's construction. I am now documenting the building of the next one in more detail so keep watching.

This bot is not as complicated as it may look with all the following technical mumbo-jumbo. If you can solder, then you can build the circuits without any trouble. You don't have to use the same body I did, anything will work (a cardboard box would do just fine). Very few parts are required and all parts are readily available online or at your hardware store.
 
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robobot311226 days ago

good idea. I guess the part for which we need maximum concentration is the smoothness of the ride. If it is not smooth it will be the last time the guest comes to your home.

rockyt7 years ago
how long will the motors driving the wheels last? Seems like they were getting a bit bogged down by the weight of the tube, and the items its carrying.
JoeCreate (author)  rockyt7 years ago
The Create doesn't even seem to notice the tube. I've had it run for at least two hours straight driving before getting a low battery. iRobot did a really great job with the motors on these things. They are super strong, I certainly could not have designed a better, stronger, drive system on my own in the space they fit it. This is one of the reasons I like the Create so much. It is very versatile with it's very-powerful battery and drive motors. Other than being low-clearance, it could power through just about anything. If you get too close, it'll wrap you shirt up into the wheels with amazing force :) I think the "strain" you are hearing from the motors is just the speed control. Even at low speeds the power is amazing. I'm pretty sure a bucket of ice with drinks in it would not be a problem. The battery may not last as long, but I don't think the motors would have a problem moving it around.
JOE I love your server bot!
lust a thought, could a lift to be able to raise and lower the tray to deliver at different heights?
JoeCreate (author)  zclark2 years ago
I do have another version with a lift on it using a linear actuator to raise and lower it. It was intended to be a Laundry-Bot which would go to a pedestal with a laundry basket on it, lift it off, and deliver it to the laundry room, and bring back an empty basket. So many ideas, so little time :)
Mr. Rig It7 years ago
Cool, makes me thirsty just watching it. Good job
yah
raykholo4 years ago
Several weeks ago,I started working on a similar infrared beacon, however using an astable 555 oscillating at a 600hz frequency, running off 3 volts.  It works great, but a problem that I am having is the range of the IR Signal... 
Can you tell me about how far this beacon can reach out?  (IR can be seen through a camera btw)  and if you have any ideas to extend the range...?   I will try mine again using some different IR Leds in case that was the issue, but any input you can provide would also be helpful.

Thanks

JoeCreate (author)  raykholo4 years ago
I was able to get up to 6-feet consistently with a 100ohm resistor, when I removed the resistor completely (PIC has about a 30ma limit on it's outputs), I can get over 10 feet.  I don't use any lenses, just the LED running on 3v (use the smallest resistor you can without going over the LED's current limit).  I'm basing this off of the Create being able to receive an valid "byte" at that range.
nazculi4 years ago
Looks cool, too bad I have a split level
How does it handle stairs? ;-) Seriously, this is an amazingly useful idea. We don't have a house where we could get much used out of it but anyone in a ranch or slab home sure could. A+!
JoeCreate (author)  red_metallic7 years ago
Thanks Everyone. This is certainly a specific robot for a specific task in a specific environment. It is guided by compass and beacons to keep it on-course (so hopefully it won't even be near the stairs). It does have cliff-sensors so it can stop if it detects a drop-off. It works best on smooth hard floors. The drinks do tend to rock a bit when it encounters a 3/16" lip between the wood and carpet areas, so I don't do that. It really does have great potential. Lots of possibilities and it really isn't as complicated (hardware-wise) as it might look with all those nasty wires and circuit boards.
Very impresive work. What updates have you made on it? Also, you mentioned other project for serverbot. Anything you can let out of the bag? Good job, I'm going to give it a shot with a dirt dog and I would appreciate all the hand holding you can give.
cmgd5 years ago
That is probably the best instructable i've ever seen. I'm so gunna buy this once i get the money, 1 more year, im only 13 years old =P
Derin6 years ago
no 256 dollars min

did you notice the coincidence?
Derin Derin6 years ago
238 will also do

the coincidence was 256 is a main number on binary
Derin Derin6 years ago
NOW PULLED DOWN TO $195!
Derin Derin6 years ago
MAN IM DOWN TO $165!
Derin Derin6 years ago
$130 is the cheapest I can get it
_Akira_6 years ago
sheesh...thats cool! wish i had thought of it...this stuff is FAR above me but still its SO cool.
and lazy
but what if it where to be suspended from the cealing
heres what might work. sory if its a bit slopy
drink.bmpdrink 2.bmpdrink3.bmp
tony stark6 years ago
I'm going to put a entertainment system on it and make it voice activated!
karen6087 years ago
Really neat. Why did you make it that tall? I noticed the water in glass moving a bit and maybe if you had a rubber mat it would keep things from accidently sliding off. I'd like one, then I wouldn't have to deliver everything by hand to my husband!
JoeCreate (author)  karen6087 years ago
The height is just about counter-height and seemed good if serving drinks while people are standing around. I wanted to make a coffee-table height one so it could be dual-purpose for when it get's to the couch. It all depends on the intended use. I wanted to make it shorter but my wife and kids wanted it higher-up. Hmph! I cut out a circle of that non-slip rubber cabinet liner stuff. It works, but doesn't seem to be necessary. I think it actually added a little more "bounce" then without. Your mileage may vary. It doesn't really move that fast (could, but I kept it slow) to cause anything to slide off. If the Create had a slick-wheel option it would ride perfectly smooth. With the Create's nobby wheels (which is great for traction on other surfaces), it make for a bit of a bumpy ride at certain slower speeds, which is when the water moves the most. Maybe smooth-wheels will be an option some day. I made it so my wife could deliver stuff to me at the computer, but I find myself using it to deliver more stuff to her at the TV. Double Hmph!
about it not moving fast.. you could make a tray for it that had cupholders and then make some sort of lid that can cover the tops of the glasses to prevent spillage..? im sure something like that could work to get faster speed out of it.
JoeCreate (author)  karen6087 years ago
This evening it was able to carry a cup of coffee filled less then 1/4" from the rim from the kitchen to the living room (simply an L shape path on hard floor) without spilling a drop. We were impressed :)
darth2o6 years ago
Yeah, VEX robotic kit! I have one of those. We need some VEX instructables.
ItsTheHobbs6 years ago
these projects are wwaaayyyyy above me, but still an amazingly awesome job!!!!
buchd6 years ago
Awesome! The first thing i thought of for modding the body was R2D2 and Jabba's fancy drink-server. =P

Thanks for posting this! Very inspiring.
when i saw the title i thought "put drinks on roomba" Guess i wasn't too far off
JoeCreate (author) 7 years ago
I will be updating this on a daily basis until the Contest Date, and beyond. I hope that isn't against the contest rules or anything. This is my first instructable so I am continuing to add more detailed instructions, hopefully it will be easy enough for anyone with a soldering iron. I have already added content based on the Comments others have made here so please, keep the questions coming so I know where I am not being clear and concise enough.
moomoocows7 years ago
where do you get the basic bot
JoeCreate (author)  moomoocows7 years ago
http://www.irobot.com/create is the basic "Create".
thanx
iairj847 years ago
That's pretty cool... I would never make one but it would be cool to see one in action
JoeCreate (author)  iairj847 years ago
It is fun just to sit and watch it go from room to room on it's own (in loopMode). I leave a bottle of water and a glass on it so wherever I am, eventually the refreshments will arrive.
you are brilliant. I think I might do this sometime in the future, but right now I know little about anything more than basic circuitry.....I'm gonig to favorite this and rate it +
JoeCreate (author)  James (pseudo-geek)7 years ago
I am going to make another one for the Office to deliver Coffee. I will document the process of building the main board, it doesn't need the four different boards you see, that's all there just to impress you with a lot of wires and stuff ;) . It's just soldering some wires and resistors. Nothing you can't get at a Radio Shack and online for not a lot of money (other then the Create itself).
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