roomba robot

High-end models of Roomba, iRobot’s robotic vacuum, collect data as they clean, identifying the locations of your walls and furniture. This helps them avoid crashing into your couch, but it also creates a map of your home that iRobot is considering selling to Amazon, Apple or Google.

Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Sold

We need a law that requires companies which collect data like this to make it an opt-in service if they wish to sell or share or use our data for anything other than the primary operation of the device.

Rebuilding Stabby Pt.2

I stripped Stabby down to the barest of the motor frame… I didn’t think I’d have to go this far down, but, the difference between the two track types is significant!

The new tracks are at the top, the old tracks are at the bottom. The new ones are 5 studs wide, 2 studs wider than the original ones… sooo… yeah, total redesign of the chassis to accommodate them.

Lookit all of the pieces I had to tear off poor stabby! :(

Wait a minute… is that a functional powertrain? … … … Why YES IT IS! A total redesign, but, it gave me opportunities to make improvements to the original design!

For example, I was able to better fit the rear access cover, it sits solidly now and doesn’t feel like it’s just bodged on.

Under the access panel, the battery box… looking at this picture, makes me think I need to flip it around… hmmmmmm. (It is about midnight here right now… sooo…)

And finally, a front view, the new servo motor is visible with a long axle coming out of it. I’m waiting for the third IR sensor to arrive so I can hook it up to its own channel for the speed controller on the remote. Stabby’s head stalk will have full 90° movement left and right, and, will also be able to incline his head. I haven’t worked out that feature yet, but, it will happen!

Yeah… I know! he looks so cold all naked down to his bare chassis! But, I left the design similar enough, the side panels I already have made SHOULD snap right back on.

Alright, those are the updates for today, I’ll post a video tomorrow of his movement! Whatcha all think?


Robot Guides Soybean Plant To Light

by Karin Heineman, Inside Science

What happens when you combine a soybean plant with a robot?

You get a soybot!

Developed by researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, they’re on-the-go micro gardens that help indoor plants seek out light.

“They’re equipped with two sensors that measure light conditions, they move continually in the direction of the brighter light,” said Shannon McMullen, a sociologist at Purdue. Learn more and see a video below.

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Upgrading Stabby...

Stabby says HI! but, he is totally going through some upgrades right now, so, he’s… in pieces… !

Disassembled Even! Poor Stabby!

But, UPGRADES! Seriously, the first main thing is a change of shoes… uhm, tracks…

On the right are the original tracks, small, dinky… serviceable, but, well, dinky and would get thrown if the little guy came across an obstacle. Also, He could not pursue anyone onto tile floors, no traction! So his main objective, slicing ankles, could not be achieved if someone retreated to my kitchen or bathroom… On the Left, are the upgrades, and, they come with rubber inserts so… there is no safety on the tile!

The next upgrade is the neck motor!

I got a Servo Motor (bottom) to replace the M motor (Top) for his neck! The M Motor is a full rotational motor, so, I had to use a clutch gear and stops so he wouldn’t spin his whole head stalk around and break the wires that light up his eyes. The Servo Motor is limited to three main positions, Center, and 90° Left/Right, if used with a toggle switch, or, if you use a speed regulator, it has 7 increments between center and full left or right.

Which leads me up to the controller!

Lookit that beauty! I have a third IR Receiver coming in, so, three remotes, Red on the left controls the left tracks, blue on the far right controls the right track. That leaves blue on channel 2, and red on Channel 1 for accessories. The Speed controller in the center, is going to be set for channel 3, and will control the head motions, turning left/right, and elevating the head up and down!

So, stay tuned! I’ll post more updates as I get the sprockets in for the new treads, the new IR receiver, and start implementing the upgrades!


anonymous asked:

yesterday my dad called roombas "lazy robots" and my immediate response was to call from across the house, "roombas aren't lazy they work very hard!!!"


metalfatigue  asked:

I was talking with my friend Anders today and mistyped :( as L( . I joked that I didn't know what kind of emoticon L( was, possibly a Roomba with a periscope, and he said it might be a conversation I should have with you. I therefore ask: what kind of emoticon is L( and does it look like a Roomba with a periscope to you?

It’s obviously an emoticon of helpless longing; it depicts a robot or crab arm, pincers open and grasping, but the shoulder has rusted into place and the arm cannot be lifted or projected forward.

“DESTROY,” declares the emoticon. “SEIZE. DESTROY. OH, KILL ALL LIFE! But, I cannot reach. My reaching—-is impaired! It is as far from me, what I would grasp and kill, as the moon, across the strand.”

Or, as greater poets than I have* said:

An emoticon of “love.”

Best wishes,


* if they are not robots
** who can also sort of see the Roomba if she tilts her head, but who is she to argue with the greats?

Research makes robots better at following spoken instructions

A new system based on research by Brown University computer scientists makes robots better at following spoken instructions, no matter how abstract or specific those instructions may be. The development, which was presented this week at the Robotics: Science and Systems 2017 conference in Boston, is a step toward robots that are able to more seamlessly communicate with human collaborators.

The research was led by Dilip Arumugam and Siddharth Karamcheti, both undergraduates at Brown when the work was performed (Arumugam is now a Brown graduate student). They worked with graduate student Nakul Gopalan and postdoctoral researcher Lawson L.S. Wong in the lab of Stefanie Tellex, a professor of computer science at Brown.

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