BZRobot – Raspberry Pi based Robot
Imaging creating your own robot from scratch. He has the ability to move, watch, listen and speak. He can even download some useful skills from the internet. All this can be done with normal electronic parts, which can be found any where in the market.
Raspberry Pi Project
At first, we just wanted to create a raspberry pi based vehicle that possessed artificial intelligence on par with GPS. This vehicle, like some other Arduino based smart vehicles, has the ability to move and detect the distances of different directions. Then it can act while it moves. It can go back or change direction when something lies ahead. All the logics are written by Python, which is a simple language for beginners. I think most people with basic programming skills can master it in a few days.
After this, you will find that the only thing it can do is to check the distance and move around. Rather boring don’t your think? So we decided to do something different: Why not make it like a real person?
As we all know, a normal person can do the following things easily:
A robot must have similar functions to a human for it to be called a robot. As an intelligent vehicle, it already has the ability to move. So we must find some hardware to give the raspberry pi the ability to watch, listen, speak and even to smell.
A raspberry pi camera is a good choice for viewing something. It can take 500M pixel pictures and identify objects even at night using an infrared camera. It acts as the eyes of the robot(obviously). We can also put it onto a fixed servo to let the whole set be the “Head” of the robot.
As for the ears of the robot, we add a tiny microphone to the raspberry pi board then it will be able to ‘hear’ the ‘voice’ that its surroundings make. But we have still not considered the recognition of the sound. We believe if we gathered the ‘voice’ there must be something that can help to improve the ability of finding the meaning from the sound.
Speaking is an easy part in the project, we simply add a speaker to the mainboard and then it can be controlled in many ways.
We can also attach some other parts to the robot, but these tasks should only be done when the main objectives of this project have been satisfied- speaking, listening etc. For this is an extendable frame so we can input more and more hardware into this robot and put it through the stages of evolution in the future
The most interesting part in the robot, the software is the “Brain” of the bot and the quality of the software has an enormous impact on the robot. So we plan to focus more attention on this area in the first stage.
We designed an extensible framework which can support more and more “add-ons” in the future. This framework can let other developers develop new functions for the software. For example, a developer can programme the bot to have the ability to identify moving objects through the kinetic visual watching system and another developer can let the bot detect dangerous substances within the environment(with hardware add-on support). The framework is based on the library of the robot software system, which is called “Perception”.
After more and more people know about the BzBot and it’s software system. They can contribute some very useful and interesting add-ons for it. People can use the cheap electronic parts and various add-ons to make their own BzBot smarter and smarter. Imaging one BzBot from US communicating with another BzBot in China someday. All the software and hardware add-ons will be stored in the “Warehouse”. You can download some free add-ons or pay for more useful commercial add-ons for specific usage.
Now. Keep observing our website for future progress.