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My iRobot Create Idea... Answered

My iRobot Create Challenge idea is this: Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and needed to use the restroom or get a glass of water? You don't want to turn on the lights because you don't want to deal with the brightness and waiting for your eyes to adjust. At the same time, you can't see where you're going, and you don't want to run into things, or worse, stub your toes on some harsh corner. The solution? Have a little guide robot. Built on the iCreate platform, the "NightGuide" (as I call it) will be able to record a path from your bedside to the kitchen, the bathroom, or anywhere you might like. When you wake up, you simply press a button on the robot to select a destination. the robot turns on low-level lights towards the ground and guides you quickly to your destination. Once it's reached the destination, it stops and awaits orders. When you're ready to go back to bed, you press a button and it leads you safely back to bed. What happens if it runs into something? Should the robot run into something while it's leading you, it stops, and increases the light it's providing to give you a view of what's in the way. Move it out of the way, and a sensor tells the robot it's a clear path ahead, you continue to your destination unimpeded. The distance and direction are handled by the Create's internal systems. Additionally, starting and stopping points can be defined by a device similar to the virtual walls utilized with iRobot's Roomba vacuum. IDEA #2 I just came up with this one, So I thought I would append it. My second Idea is to use the iRobot Create to make an item finder. Utilizing RFID information, you could place a tag on anything that you might use. Your Keys, your phone, the TV remotes, whatever. When you realize something is missing, you turn the Robot on and off it goes, when it comes near, it beeps to get your attention and give you a better idea of where to look for what it is you're looking for. IDEA #3 These just pop in my Head, so I hope it's okay to continue attaching. I was thinking about my 5 year old niece and ways to keep her occupied. For a 5 year old, what could be more fun than a robot that plays hide and seek with you? Either through use of an IR sensor, or a pyro-electric sensor, the robot would be able to find a person through heat detection. Or in another option, an RFID tag would be put on the person and the Robot could find using that. In order for the robot to Hide, it could use proximity sensors (Sonar or IR) and a photovoltic sensor to find a small dark space where it could hide, and off your 5 year old niece goes off to find it. If that's too difficult, a Marko Polo system could be introduced In which you could call out to the Robot, which it would respond with an audible tone. If that's too difficult, a wireless button press could make the robot respond with a tone. Upon finding the robot, you press a button to reset it, and play again!

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StepsoftheSun (author)2007-06-30

I replied to your first idea in another post. Number two is cool; it might be simpler to just have a handheld RFID detector though. But a roving robot would be far more interesting than that... Three's fantastic! Forget five year olds, I'd play hide-and-seek with it. Hah, but I think RFID tagging the robot's playmate is a little like cheating. One challenge would be making the robot sorta cute while keeping it small. Several detachable skins would be neat -- an octopus, a flower, and a flattened sun for instance. Then make a funny little dance for the robot to perform when it finds someone or is found.

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aarone (author)StepsoftheSun2007-06-30

Three I think is my favorite as well. What I've found out recently about RFID is that your typical cheap implementation is targeted toward reading a tag about 3 - 10 inches away from the reader. So the robot would primarily need to find the person it was looking for before being able use the RFID scanner to identify a person. Thanks for the suggestion about dressing it up. I was originally thinking about giving it just a couple of tunes for different success. One for success, or one for giving up, but a dance would be cool too!

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SacTownSue (author)StepsoftheSun2007-06-30

Skins:
http://www.myroombud.com/
I think I could do better job in most cases but I don't have a Roomba to make the pattern from.
#3 The robot could play dumb. Where's Sunny. I can't find Aarone. Starting to sound like Romper Room. A timeframe that could be changed based on the age/patience of the child.

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NachoMahma (author)2007-06-28

. I see great potential in all three.

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SacTownSue (author)2007-06-28

#1 - I have a photosensitive night light in every room. The older you get the more you like them. #2 - I have heard more than one parent say they found the TV remote in the toy box after searching for weeks and months. I used to have a boyfriend that the first thing he did upon walking into a house was to remove his wallet and keys from his pocket. No matter whose house it was. He was always looking for his wallet and keys. I say he because I lost interest in that game real quickly. I just sat down and waited. Kids also like to play with keys and no telling where they leave them. This is my favorite. #3 - That could be a useful game to include on the vacuums. It could also be handy for kids with autism that like to hide in tight spaces or wander off.

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