Sunday, June 10, 2012

Upcoming robot changes

I feel really bad that I have neglected this blog so much.  Months ago I had intended to integrate a pair of VR glasses (head mounted displays) and a head tracking device to control the robot.  The robot head would have acted as an extension of your physical body allowing you to look around the room as if you were really there. But along the way I got drawn into a number of other VR projects instead.

Free motion VR game tracking
Virtual Desktop

I have managed to do some maintenance and experimentation with the robot - mostly in the form of wireless networking.  My office layout is such that it is almost exclusively walled offices instead of cubicles so it is impossible for me to rove from end to end on a single router.  I tried many different configurations of routers and antennas both in the office and on the robot and have never found a workable solution.  Instead I just put several access points and remotely signal the robot to switch access points when I move from area to area.  Annoying? Yes, but it's the only way I can maintain a good connection throughout the office.

Also, I still have a lot of problems with the robot "browning" out and the computer dying during the docking sequence.  I finally decided just to redesign the head and put the battery back in the computer.  I don't want the additional weight but its the only way I can stop the robot from losing power.  I'm working on that change in the next two weeks and will report on it.