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Cybert is the name of my home robot.  The moniker was derived from his base hardware platform, Probotic's "Cye", and the software and ideas from my first robot, "Albert".   My goal is to create a talking robot pet that is highly entertaining, and even mildly useful.
 
Follow the links (at left) to find out more about this project.

CybertSmall2.jpg (8004 bytes)
Cybert's new look
(photo courtesy Chris Hostetler)


About Cybert
Cybert is a mood-driven autonomous robot pet with an unlimited vocabulary! In addition to exploring, playing games, and getting into mischief, Cybert can tell jokes, report current news, weather, and stock market information, and find humans and read them their e-mail messages!

When his battery runs low he can navigate to his charger from anywhere in the house. The robot communicates with my PC via wireless modems; speech is broadcast using a pair of 500mW radios (Cybert's mouth is a small speaker).

TIME TO BUILD: The hardware additions took less than a day

TIME TO PROGRAM: Ongoing project (I add new behaviors and "dialogue" almost every day)

TOTAL COST: Less than $1000.00

MATERIALS:

Cye-sr - $845.00
This package includes:
- robot (powerful motors let Cye travel up to 3 ft per second)

- encoders (read 500 times per second)
- virtual bump sensors (6 directions)
- sound sensor
- voltage sensor
- current sensors at each motor
- radio pod (connects to PC using serial port)
- charging station
- mapping/navigation software
- .ocx for easy VB or C++ programming

Light sensor - $2.29
Sharp GP2D12 IR range-finding sensor - $13.50
Relay - $4.95
2 FRS 500mW radios - $50.00
Misc. - $20.00

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE: Visual Basic 5.0 (free CCE version)

OTHER SOFTWARE: Microsoft's free Speech SDK

BEHAVIORAL PROGRAMMING: Cybert chooses most of his behaviors based on his mood. If he hasn't sensed a human for awhile (and it isn't night time) he will become uncomfortable. This will cause him to choose behaviors that are known to make him feel better, such as moving into a well lit room. His mood also determines the volume, pitch, and speed of his voice, as well as his comments. (If Cybert detects an object in his path when he's angry he will say in a loud threatening voice: "GET OUT OF MY WAY".)

ADDITIONAL NOTES: Programming Cybert is a joy. I just sit down at the desk in my office and start writing code. When I need him in order to test something I  click on the "desk" hotspot on Cybert's map; he undocks from his charger, navigates down the hallway, comes into my office, and stops about 12 inches in front of me. When I'm done, I click on the home base icon and he goes back and plugs himself in until I need him again. I never have to get out of my chair!