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scholarship robot idea: robotic media center/surveylance bot Answered

ok, i know its a rehash of a few different ideas, but it seems like people have been abusing the ability to post and just fling ideas they can't accomplish out there, but hey, i mean, i believe that I can actually pull this one off. i'd like to create a mobile surveylance bot/media center, which would allow a person to call it over, access files, with a keyboard or by voice and allow people to record what goes on in their home, through a camera and audio reciver setup. also, i'd make it an expandible unit, meaning that if there were updates and such, you'd be able to patch it easily, or, if attachments were made, those would be easily recognisable by the system, and easy to install on the bot itself. also, it'd be able to interface with outside technology, some more notible ones being, obviously, and ipod, and other mp3 players, the ability to send it's video from the panel, through s-video, to any tv which will accept s-video, which range anywhere from pre- my 1995 crappy proscan tv, up to my new mitsubishi 1080p lcd tv. allowing a person to store his media on a device such as this, would not only allow him to have his media around the house, without sitting at his computer, but would also help him organize his files, back them up, and, well erm, lets just say, lock some files that shouldn't be accessable by others. i'd also like to add the nearly endless possibilities of this kind of machiene. imagine sitting on your couch, thinking, hey, I just got an idea for that report. only, your kinda sitting there debating weather or not to get up. oh yeah! just call the bot over using a pre-imput command, and it will take your voice and basically write, ammend, or delete any part of the assignment. ok, another one, the same situation, but you want something to do while your bored. its happened to even the best of us... maybe you'll put that new idea you got earlier down in a note, or maybe you'll have the bot read you your code once more to find that error you could never see, or maybe you'll just have it play you some music from your stored playlist. the possibilities are endless! also, its able to happen, but i'd like to add that it may or may not be wi-fi or bluetooth compatible, I really dont know if two months would be enough (i do have a bit of stuff to do ya know) to get that working, but hey, thats what making an expandible system is for!

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TheMadScientist (author)2007-06-14

yeah, thanks very much for your responce, all help is appreciated greatly. hmm, expence has been taken into account, although, at this point, I have most everything on hand (spare) that I'd need for a more or less basic model. I was thinking usb for the internals, but will look into using firewire as an alternative. i'd like to promise to enable bluetooth, but I really cant. wifi, i'm fine with, and i'm not having trouble getting the other parts together. i'm thinking about linux as an os (obviously need one for something like this) but my "experience" with it, or lack thereof is leading me back to microsoft. time to run back through the linux book again. i've been thinking about the power situation and my solution is a stationary power dock, somewhere out of the way (yet near an outlet) for it to kind of default back to and dock in.

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. I don't have a whole lot of experience with Linux, but it will probably be your best bet. Linux is still kind of a DIY OS and attracts "hardware hackers." And it's free. Ubuntu seems to have a growing base and SciLinux installed/worked well for me (I just used it for a few days to see what Linux was like nowadays).

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well, thanks again for your oppinion. I have a friend whos an ubuntu fanatic, he got me to try it, but i wasn't really into it. personally, if i can get this program to work for linux, i'm in with it, otherwise, its going to be useless for me and i'l be forced to stick with windows (ew)... eh, well, take the good with the bad...

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speaking of linux and the kind of program I need, i'm looking for something like naturallyspeaking for linux, but doubt that theres anything like that out for it yet. if anyone knows of anything like it, it would be very helpful.

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I really like your project. Seems like you might want to have levels of installation. 1-cheap and easy. 2-more functionality 3-more... So a person can do one phase make sure it works. More money comes along add the next phase. I'm not sure. I'm on disability so very little cash. I have a 13 inch TV so I just have it right next to the computer monitor. Listen to TV while doing this stuff. In a previous life I was a UNIX sysadmin and configuration management geek. I might be able to answer some questions, but it's been a few years. Did you google "natuallyspeaking" with UNIX or Linux? Perhaps try visiting various unix web sites and searching. The geeks are pretty good about having the latest toys on their systems. I'm stuck with Windows XP for now but would love a second computer running some flavor of unix for R&D;, tinkering. I miss unix.

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hmm, thanks for the feedback, as always, its appreciated. and yeah, the basic, pro, advanced setup options are a must, thanks. Also, i've found the program, thanks. hope you can find another comp to run unix on, but if your strapped for cash, find an old, low capacity computer, and burn yourself a copy of slax and run that. i'd suggest a minimum of 512 m of ram, but other than that, slax dosn't take alot. thanks again.

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slax haven't heard of it thx I'll check it out Looking foward to seeing your instructable. BTW: love the mad scientist action. I know that feeling.

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yeah, just go to slax.org, they have all the setups, modules, ect for your use, its pretty expandible, and back in HS, i used to use it to get around the school's website tracking devices XD.... stupid library media center reps not disabling bios changes on their computers

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I just thought of this: We won't get a charging dock, if we win, just a cord. So you'll have to carry a big battery on board, unless you want to plug it in every half hour..

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Xmodgeek (author)2007-06-19

This sounds like a media center PC to me. One could do this with a laptop and have a home network set up so you can stream A/V to a TV using the (SONY LF-B10 LocationFree Base Station) that dose just that. Or you could have a dedicated media server to serve up live TV, recorded TV, moves, music, etc to any computer (that could be a dedicated media center PC connected directly to a TV and be as small as a set-top box) on the network granted this option would cost a lot but hay you could access the internet and play games and do work and of course watch TV on your TV. But it would be neat to see a robot do that.

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TheMadScientist (author)Xmodgeek2007-06-21

thanks for the praise, and yeah, I'm considering allowing connection between a dedicated media center, which could store the files, and then the individual robot could trash the files, freeing up space, and yeah, that whole last two sentences thing, its what i'm going for. the ultimate multi-tasking-while-anywhere-around-the-house thing. i've always liked using my computer, but never liked just sitting there, when I could be somewhere else, watching something, ect. also, i've always hated it, when you dont have the perfect setup, dont have speakers, lack certain ports (still dont have a sd card reader thats built in, just usb port), firewire, ect. the only problem i'm having with the connecting to another computer, is how to have the robot attach to the computer automatically. I was thinking simply a wireless network, or bluetooth, but those seem to be slow, and , in some houses, cant seem to reach end-to-end with each other. I was thinking a magnetic port that the robot would just back into upon docking for sleep mode. any suggestions?

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TheMadScientist (author)2007-06-17

ok, well, i'd like to update that everything is together, and works quite well. I wont finalize it until the scholarships are given out, but will probably do it weather or not I get one. at the moment i'm working on making the overall size smaller and cooling it more efficently. other than that, i'm set.

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TheMadScientist (author)2007-06-15

i'd just like to update for the sake of activity that i've found a pretty promising voice recognition system for linux and am seeing weather or not its good for this project, as for supplies, i'm doing great, got most eveything I need and as of now, i'm organizing some files on the harddrive that'l be put into the robot. i'm also debating weather to use some simple slax to run it, or to try to use fedora core. any suggestions?

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TheMadScientist (author)2007-06-14

adding to my original ideas, wow, they just keep on coming, seeing as i've just found a spare netgear 108mbps wireless router (yeah, i've got alot of tech just lying around) its going to be capable of creating wireless networks. i've really decided to stop here, if you guys have more ideas, great! I wana hear em, but the success of this project is getting it to all work synergestically and thats what i'm going to go work on for now.

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another reason for stopping here, is yeah, nacho's comment is really sinking in in that, yeah, I may have it lying around, but chances are, you dont, and if I want to keep this esier to make (not really, just cheaper to make) i'm going to have to really watch what I all put into it... well, time to go. later. edit:// yeah, that didn't come out really too well, i didn't mean to say that "yeah, i'm going to be cost efficent and its gonna be crap" I really meant to say that "yeah, i'm going to be cost efficent, but i'm going to make more of it optional and add-able" not only will this be good for cost, but it'l also help regulate the battery useage to what YOU want it to be doing right now. no use running the wireless network right now if its just sitting around playing you music...

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NachoMahma (author)2007-06-14

. I didn't notice anything on your list that hasn't already been done. You just have to make it all work together. . Other than expense, carrying enough power is the only problem I see. . I'd start with the basic frame/carriage/transport and add on as money/knowledge allowed. USB/Firewire should be able to handle internal communications needs, with WiFi/Bluetooth taking care of external comm. . Keep us updated - this sounds like a fun project.

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TheMadScientist (author)2007-06-14

thanks to adrew mc; i'd like to add that i'l be looking into video over radio for transmission of the video signal to the television.

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