Mobile Robo-Lamby for your Enjoyment and Pleasure Answered
Sorry, I posted this as a response to the Contest announcement, but I guess I should have posted it as a new topic. This is my entry for the Scholarship contest.
First of all, I think that this contest is a great idea, and I'm kind of thrilled that iRobot is encouraging enthusiast robotics like this.
Anyway, my idea is this. I current have a (stationary) robot, which provides no other purpose than amusement. It is a stuffed animal with a servo to control its head, and motion sensors. It turns its head to "watch" people as they move around the room, creeping them out :)
By utilizing an iRobot Create, I can make the robot mobile. Now, instead of sitting on the shelf where people know where it is, the robot can occasionally move around the room, finding a nice out of the way place by a wall or corner, and watch people moving around from there. :)
I have some links to a previous version of my robot ("Lamby"), as well as some feature enhancements I started working on. If I were to make it mobile, I would have to use 802.11 instead of USB for connectivity back to a controlling PC (to support voice synthesis and recognition), or possibly bluetooth. The Roomba would get a full outfit in order to make it look more plush and less mechanical: http://www.myroombud.com/ . More details: