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Roomba mapping and quadriplegic assistive device Answered


I am a high school student in the San Francisco bay area. After attending Maker fair this past weekend and talking to the instructables staff, i am going to take on one of your challenges and developing a roomba mapping platform, and much more.
Because i am still a student, i don't have the funding to purchase my own roomba, so this is my application for the scholarship.
I have attended many lectures that have been made by the Stanford DARPA team, i would like to take some of their ideas and apply it to the roomba platform.

My roomba will be able to map it's surrounding, where it will then process that information, creating an optimum route. I will also utilize complete use of all the sensors that are provided so you can keep track of everything that is going on.

Mapping will be one feature, there are plenty more.
A nice control system for your roomba will be made so you can access everything you need to know about battery life, run time, dirt picked up, etc....in a nice GUI layout. RSS feed can also be sent to your laptop or cell phone so you know what exactly is happening with your roomba.

And because this platform will be used very often to guard my precious projects, i will throw on a wi-fi video camera and control system. This will enable me to control the roomba over the internet to scout around and see what my dog is up to. The video feed will also be told to record one pass around the entire house, if anything abnormal appears (chair knocked over, loud nosies, etc.)

I am also a member of this years Palo Alto High School Lemelson-MIT invent team. Our project is to create an assistive device for quadriplegics so that they can control their world using countless lase r activated household items. Our quadriplegics friend Henry Evans said that it would be amazing to be able to control a roomba that drives around and plays with his dog.
I will make it my personal goal to create a platform which henry can use to control this roomba using the assistive technology our team is developing. (http://robotics.paly.net/)

There are plenty of other things i would like to add on if i have the time. The main goal is to make the roomba map it's surroundings, and be controllable by our friend Henry.

I have so many more ideas i would like to add on to this if i have the time, and i ensure you that i am very capable to complete these goals by the required time frame.

I'm very excited to take on this project, and i believe that with your help i can really do something amazing here that can be appreciated by the entire robotic community.

--Daniel Fukuba
Palo Alto High School

5 Replies

SacTownSue (author)2007-06-28

I love this idea and with so many of us aging baby boomers starting to accumulate mobility difficulties this will be increasingly useful. I understand you as saying you will use the "Create" for R&D; and hopefully add the functions to Henry's Roomba. ? Will it walk the dog? and cleanup after it? That would be really great. ? Is Henry's dog a canine assistant? You and he could use the laser to point at things and teach the dog to fetch what the laser is pointing to.

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dfukuba (author)SacTownSue2007-06-28

I hope to get some basic mapping down with the Create, utilizing as much of the on board tools as i can. Once i get some "Brains" into the create, we will start to add tools that the Create will be able to use for assisting people who host disabilities. If we have to time to research it, we will try to get it to communicate to the dog. But currently Henry has a computer which synthetically speaks for him. The Create will just be an "extension" for disabled people. It would really help a quadratical physically "Play" with the dog, something they can not do on their own.

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dfukuba (author)2007-05-23

Another thing i would like to note, is that I will take advantage of 3D-Printers and laser cutters (which i have access to at the Tech Shop) to make the Create look as stock as possible. Because the challenge is to work with the roomba, i do everything i can to use the stock roomba, add components on when needed and keeping them as discreet as possible. Thanks, --Daniel Fukuba

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TheMadScientist (author)dfukuba2007-06-15

isnt' the challenge to modify a create, not a roomba? pretty sure the features are different for both of em (eg no vaccum on the create, no expansion bay on the roomba) or did you just word that wrong?

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sam (author)2007-05-21

Nice proposal! Good luck... I better get started on one of my own before there are no ideas left..

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