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Robo-Busser Answered

I am an bus-boy at an Italian restaurant and once monthly we have event called wine tastings, the waitress goes around and pours wine and every fifteen minutes or so a bus-boy that is brought in just for the event goes around and passes out food on a large tray. Because of labor laws and school (during the school year) the bus-boy's only job during these wine tastings is to pass out food and total the bus-boy is getting paid 6-7 hours wages for only an hours worth of work. Me being lazy and labor cost conscience think that it is just a waste of money to have a bus-boy when a robot could do the job for only the money to charge it up. My idea is to take the iRobot create and add a visual "People" sensor and a weight sensor to make a robo-bus-boy, or a bus-bot, I haven't really decided. In order to do this I will have to wire a series of LED's into a power source. One series of LED's must be blue, signaling a command to take the plates on the bot. Another series must be red signaling to place plates that are finished on there, flashing red LED's will mean that the robot is at weight capacity and will go back to a specified area to unload the trays by the normal bussers. Now the three problems I have not explained yet are as follows: Sliding plates, making a shoulder level, high-class, stylish stand, sensing when the bot is at weight capacity. To make the plates not slide I will use a clear rubber "gripping" substance that I have rolled up from when I had carpet in my computer room. To make the bot stylish and not at all an eye sore I will use an aluminum sheet metal and the waitresses trained style eye. For the weight capacity issue I will wire and electronic scale to the bot and program it to change the LED color when a certain weight is reached and in some cases when the max weight is reached will change the behavior of the bot from making laps around the dinning room to going to the wait station. When at the weight station the bot is reloaded and a reset switch is pressed and the LED change to blue; then laps are resumed and the process repeats till there are no more people left.


I really don't think that the robots would be able to hold all of the equipment you're talking about, much less food on it...stand, scale, sheet metal, sliders...plus, with it being so high up, you'll probably have a balance issue...just my two cents, but if you know how to program it, and make it carry what you are describing, more power to you!

I got the final weight and some advice from a soon to be nuecler physicist. Final weight with food, 10.986 pounds.

You mean like, the robot, stand, decoration, food, motors, sliding arms and such? Wow, that surprises me. Well, good luck!

its from recycled kitchen parts and if you've ever worked in a professional kitchen then you know that it all has to be light as can be but support a heavy weight.

Cool, how are you going to make it know where the tables are? If you get a create, I'll look forward to seeing a video of this.

i'll put IR transmiters from extra remote controlls on the tables and program it to stop for a short time, then it will move onto the next table.

These will actually need to be oscillated at a certain frequency in order for the Create to see them. DIY Virtual Walls

A couple other things:
How are you going to train people to know which light pattern set means what? The staff will no doubt figure out the system, but your guests may not. I recommend a character display that could give instructions in English. Or you could just put a printed guide on every table explaining the lights... that's cheaper.

When the robot is reset and sent back to work, does it return to the last table it came from? Or just start the pattern over? Should it just start from the beginning each time, I suspect you'll have the people at the end of the line never getting their plates taken.

Do you have a scale that outputs electronic data you can use to trigger the robot to return to be emptied? Most digital scales output weight information, you'll need to process the information and do a comparison of the current weight vs. the max weight. This may or may not be too much work for the Command Module's "brain"...

hmm, good point. What I would do is and two suport "legs" with wheels in the back and if that dosen't work a little time in the shop with the robot could give it some extra bot-power (change out the engine or overclock the batteries. since I already have the supplies i'll weight them out today. Also the plates with food are about 5.3 onces and use six plates a robot thats just a thousandth of a pound less than 2 pounds