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DIY Web-Controlled Robot That Takes 1 Hour To Build

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the make-it-crash-from-afar dept.

Open Source 56

fixpert writes "We hooked up Pinoccio (an Open Source, wireless Arduino-compatible microcontroller) to a Pololu 3pi Robot to create an unmanned rover that can be driven via the Web. We posted a quick video where you can see us driving our Web Rover in Nevada all the way from Brazil. We used the iPhone's built-in accelerometer as a super-intuitive interface for driving the bot. You can read all about the project — how we built it, what you need to make your own (including source code), and a simulator of the accelerometer interface that you can play with. We're hoping to make Pinoccio the perfect platform for Software Developers to learn how to hack on DIY hardware."

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Upskirt Porn... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42880527)

its coming back!

Build? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42880549)

Don't they mean assemble?

Re:Build? (3, Interesting)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880719)

Aren't they ultimately interchangeable?

Re:Build? (4, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880813)

When the parts are already made, then not really.

Think of it this way, when you get a piece of wood, cut it, plane it, drill it, and end up with a kitchen table, you built it. When you buy a kit from IKEA and snap a few pieces together, you assembled it.

However, the terms are used interchangeably. When is the last time someone who built a computer actually had to lay out a circuit board and soldier parts to it. On the contrary though, when you buy your new dell computer, the assembly involved consists of plugging in the keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, printer and turning the power on.

Re:Build? (1)

garutnivore (970623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42881923)

No, no, no. It's not *building* unless you grew the tree, cut it down, and milled it yourself.

Re:Build? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882077)

That's just silly. if you grew the tree, you would be farming. If you cut the tree down, you would be lumber jacking.

Yeah, I know what your saying. Its a matter of perspective.

Re:Build? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882257)

And at least half the tree contains your DNA somehow.

Re:Build? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42887409)

That actually turns out not to be a very effective furniture polish.

Re:Build? (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885967)

If you want to build a robot you must first invent the universe...

Re:Build? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42888419)

It doesn't even stop there - "wood" in your sense is a manufactured product. Skipped over cutting the tree down (those fuckers are heavy, it's not a simple task at lumber sizes), cutting or splitting into parts, storing these correctly to season or run through a kiln, then re-sawing down to lumber sizes to start working in your shop.

Similarly looseness is used in 'hand-made'. Did you use any powered equipment in any step of the process? Then you've got some pretty reasonable arguments to deal with.

Disclaimer: used to be carpenter and cabinetmaker. These arguments got pretty hard and heavy during the marketing of the "traditional" woodworking boom in the 80s. Bloody few people actually worked the process all the way through to be correct, and fewer still would pay for it. (I eventually learned a real respect for plywood.)

captcha... "values"

Re:Build? (4, Informative)

solidraven (1633185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880887)

No, never ever claim that around EE graduates. We despise things like this being called "building". If we build a robot we carefully select components, consider several circuit layouts, battery efficient motor operation, draw circuit boards, solder everything by hand to make prototypes, redo the flawed parts, ... What they did was take a few pre-made modules and stick them together with pin-headers. You could teach a 8 year old to do that. So yes, there is a very large difference in assembly and building. So you might ask why we haven't shown off hundreds of these things: Building these sort of robots is fairly easy, they just don't have any real use. A simple analog circuit can be far more elegant and useful!

Re:Build? (3, Insightful)

phaggood (690955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882919)

> No, never ever claim that around EE graduates. We despise things like this being called "building"

Never, ever claim it's 'cooking' unless you graduated a French cooking school!

Never, ever claim you taught something unless you have an education degree.

Never, ever claim you improved cleaned a room unless you've gotten the dust levels down to some ridiculous clean-room PPM.

Never, ever claim its 'programming' unless you're doing it in binary.

Geez, anal much?

Re:Build? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42883743)

You completely missed the point.

Buying raw materials, prepping, mixing, cooking is cooking.

Taking a frozen meal out of the freeze and nuking it is not cooking, it's heating (although people call it cooking or making)

I think you can figure out examples for the rest of your list as it's not hard

Re:Build? (1)

phaggood (690955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885011)

> frozen meal

That example is like taking a Roomba out of the box and putting batteries in it (i.e 'not building')
Taking frozen peas, a jar of curry sauce, a can of potatoes and a can of garbanzo beans, heating all w/o burning then pouring over a pile of minute rice *is* cooking.

Re:Build? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883745)

never ever claim that around EE graduates. We despise things like this being called "building"...... solder everything by hand to make prototypes,

Never claim that around technicians. They don't teach soldering or good fabrication skills in College. You'll mess it all up. Give someone the prints and the BOM and go off to do something else.

redo the flawed parts, ...

Well, we warned you. Better order more parts quick from Digi-Key and find a technician to fix it for you.

Re:Build? (1)

solidraven (1633185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42888409)

Actually, I'm not sure what college/university you went to. Here you weren't able to pass basic electronics without being able to solder properly.
And since when do we order more parts? Minimizing part count is general practice. Less parts, less things that can go wrong. Also, since when do we have money to hire technicians? Last time I checked we only have one old technician from the vacuum tube era, and he's sick most of the days. Great guy, just don't give him anything digital or high frequent.

Re:Build? (3, Interesting)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42884181)

Arrogant EE graduates with big egos and a chip on their shoulders, a.k.a. pricks (Hopefully you aren't one of them but I notice you like to use "we" a lot.) The same people who scoff at Arduinos and other easy to use electronics kits that make their expensive piece of paper (Degree) look marginal. Get over yourselves, you have the knowledge to *design* those kits.

From Merriam-Webster's dictonary - Build:
1: to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole : construct
2: to cause to be constructed
3: to develop according to a systematic plan, by a definite process, or on a particular base
4: increase, enlarge
Synonyms: assemble, confect, construct, erect, fabricate, make, make up, piece, put up, raise, rear, set up, put together

Who cares if the robot doesn't have any real use and comes in kit form. The author used "build" instead of "assemble" and now everyone is having a shit fit. Who cares again? Oh that's right, obnoxious university grads. From the definition above, they did indeed build a robot. Even if they snapped two pieces together, they built the damn thing. Hell the dictionary even says the two words are synonymous with each other. Which brings me to our next word, design.

If they claimed to design a robot that can be remote controlled over the internet then I would be more inclined to agree with you. They didn't design the physical portion, the kit. They merely designed and wrote some software that allows an iPhone to control a robot kit. Lets say I build a robot with some motors, wheels, an FPGA board, glued it together using hot glue and a Popsicle sticks, and write the software. I did indeed design and build a robot. I may have not built the motors, FPGA chip, FPGA board or software development tools, but I did take those components and design a method of assembly and programming to make them into something else.

Note: I am not directly attacking you or calling you arrogant, etc. I am just sick and tired of the antisocial, arrogant attitudes I see in some grad students.

Re:Build? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42885083)

Arrogant EE graduates with big egos and a chip on their shoulders, a.k.a. pricks (Hopefully you aren't one of them but I notice you like to use "we" a lot.)

Note: I am not directly attacking you or calling you arrogant, etc. I am just sick and tired of the antisocial, arrogant attitudes I see in some grad students.

You nailed it.

By and large, grad students and EE grads in particular, are giant arrogant pricks. I would know; I work with a few.

Re:Build? (1)

solidraven (1633185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42888949)

See my comment above to see why this is the common response. Additionally if you treat us as arrogant pricks we tend to behave as such.
As far as I'm aware nobody I ever worked with has called me an arrogant prick except maybe for a manager last year. Though that's probably because I made him look bad in front of some of his colleagues more than a few times. Just love arguing with MBA's about resource management. But yeah, except for management in their ivory tower: We all eat lunch together, we meet each other after hours, ...
So yes, us EEs are so arrogant that we totally don't fit in. As far as I know the year we graduated there were two arrogant guys out of 17. I've had more trouble with psychology graduates thinking they can read people. And don't get me started about management types.
Does make me curious though, what sort of job do you do for a living?

Re:Build? (1)

solidraven (1633185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42888669)

And here we go again, disagree with the Arduino folks and you're the devil. To use the analogy somebody else used: So you wish to compare a frozen meal put in a microwave oven with a homemade dinner?

Sure, call us obnoxious, arrogant, ... Turns out that these days it's considered electronics to just slap two "lego blocks" together with a slightly modified example code. Believe it or not, there are levels of putting things together that require very different levels of insight. People are amazed when they wish to go into production these days that they can't use an Arduino as core of their system. It's one thing to slap together some modules, it's a different story to get a reliable result that is energy efficient and economical. The difference you'll see is quite remarkable and is something most Arduino users won't be able to appreciate. It's often in the little things that most people don't pay attention to. Another thing is the analog side of the story. Most folks on the internet seem to think going all digital is the way, the elegance of simple analog solutions is amazing. Like the software defined radio projects you so often see. They brute force it by getting an ADC with an as high as possible sample rate instead of considering a more elegant solution like a Tayloe detector. Though you'd have to avoid the US due to the patent still being valid on that one.

So yes, the hostile, arrogant and "anti-social" behaviour does have a source. People with an EE degree see people claiming they can do the same with their Arduino board; While these people don't even have a clue what's going on beneath the surface. Let alone design the microcontroller itself. People seem to forget that we also have to do those sort of things. Worst part about this: Managers actually believe the entire Arduino talk and think it is feasible to take an Arduino into the production stage of a larger product.

PS: I do approve of Arduino's as quick and dirty prototyping tools for things like data logging a sensor you intend to use in a new design. Cheaper than using a logic analyzer's pattern generator and a lot more mobile. I just don't think it should be called building, because in 99% of the cases it's slapping pre-made modules together without knowing anything about what's going on.

Re:Build? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42888857)

No, never ever claim that around EE graduates. We despise things like this being called "building". [...] Building these sort of robots is fairly easy, they just don't have any real use.

Assertion fail, thought process halted...

Re:Build? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42881263)

DIY Web-Controlled Robot That Takes 1 Hour To Build

... if you have enough prior software and hardware knowledge and the parts required.

Bullshit title is bullshit. I could very well say "calculator that takes mere seconds to build!" and I launch xcalc (all you need is a computer running Linux and knowledge of how to use a keyboard).

Big Buttons! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42880581)

I like the new big Previous/Next buttons at the bottom of Slashdot pages.

Like most things in life, you don't want more... you want NEXT!

What a nice toy (2)

SupplyMission (1005737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880585)

Cool demo, but seriously, this has been done a thousand times already, in various forms, and more elegantly at that. It looks like it took Eric about 1 hour to slap together the web page to drive his little robot.

And then he produced a video with a woman driving the robot. I suppose that is somewhat original.

In conclusion... big deal. Next.

Re:What a nice toy (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42886633)

see now, i want one big enough and sturdy enough to have it go pick up food for me down the road..

Re:What a nice toy (1)

SupplyMission (1005737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42886841)

see now, i want one big enough and sturdy enough to have it go pick up food for me down the road..

Do you mean a robot or a woman?

Perfect for the zombies (4, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880595)

I want one of these large enough to mount a shotgun and chainsaw to so I can sit from the roof of whatever building I used to get away from the zombies and clear a path for my escape.

Re:Perfect for the zombies (3, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882447)

I want one of these large enough to mount a shotgun and chainsaw to so I can sit from the roof of whatever building I used to get away from the zombies and clear a path for my escape.

Why waste a shotgun? Just build one large enough to slap a fresh brain on and while they are chasing that make your escape. An RC car will work just as well and will provide hours of fun watching them chase after the brain mobile.

Perfection (1)

ixarux (1652631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880687)

Now let those pesky kids try to get onto my lawn! *evil laugh*

Where's R2D2 ?!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42880717)

Thirty years ago I expected that we'd have robots by 2013, but I never imagined that they'd just be circuit boards with wheels...

Re:Where's R2D2 ?!?? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880877)

Thirty years ago I expected that we'd have robots by 2013, but I never imagined that they'd just be circuit boards with wheels...

I would imagine there is an R2D2 toy somewhere that could use this as a robot base.

almost real time = 2 seconds delay (1, Informative)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880755)

Waste of time. Looks like they are shopping for sucker^^^^investors.

It's spelled Pinocchio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42880947)

The puppet's name "Pinocchio" (as they correctly pronounce) is italian and it has a "H" inside. They spent their time registering a "IO" domain from a country I didn't even know it existed, and they didn't look for the correct spelling.

Re:It's spelled Pinocchio (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882707)

all the cool hipster projects have a .io domain.

it's a demo project(advertisement) for http://www.indiegogo.com/pinoccio [indiegogo.com] . there's a link the summary but the link has a typo on it(ironical? funny?).

Re:It's spelled Pinocchio (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883085)

(sorry the link with typo is in the actual article itself).

I'd post this without +1 but fucking slashdot has made it too fucking complicated and last time I tried to do that it lost the message I was editing.

Re:It's spelled Pinocchio (1)

Gravitron 5000 (1621683) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883783)

They probably misspelled it intentionally in order to avoid getting sued by Disney.

Re:It's spelled Pinocchio (1)

fixpert (2839521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42887067)

Disney doesn't own the rights to Pinocchio, it's an old Italian fairy tale. If you want details, it's kind of a sad story: http://pinocc.io/faq#faq-wheres-the-h [pinocc.io]

From Brazil to Nevada? (1)

TheHonch (1390893) | about a year and a half ago | (#42881217)

How did they get it through the customs? Anyone who knows how many kilos it can carry?

Re:From Brazil to Nevada? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883055)

they never needed to.

they just needed some chick in brazil to have an iphone.

actually interesting project (1)

Max_W (812974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42881323)

Robots are needed not only on Mars or in a nuclear power station.

Nobody want anymore clean dishes in restaurants. The job is to clean plates and put them into dish-washing machine.

Or cleaning public toilets. Not for any money, not immigrants. Nobody wants to do it.

If a robot is built who can do it robustly, controlled and protected by a server program via Internet, it would be the new industrial revolution.

Re:actually interesting project (1)

phaggood (690955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42881813)

I'm thinking of a more educational use; Curiosity landed on Mars a few months ago and I think it would have been the awesome-est STEM-related outcome had hundreds of thousands of middle-school kids been able to take a break from their standardized test reprogramming, er, studying and instead they got a $200 kit to remotely 'explore' the alien landscape that is the dirt patch behind the school.

Re:actually interesting project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42884069)

Nobody want anymore clean dishes in restaurants... Or cleaning public toilets. Not for any money, not immigrants. Nobody wants to do it.

Nobody wants to, but there's plenty of people who'd rather do that than starve. Around here, illegal Mexicans do that work; their employers are mostly Republicans who support racist anti-immigration laws - because that's how they can get laborers for less than minimum wage. You can get your lawn cut and gardens trimmed for $100 an acre in my area, thanks to illegal immigrants employed by racist conservatives. Dishes washed, babies changed, restrooms cleaned - it's all Mexicans who aren't eligible for welfare, living in crowded flophouses and sending most of their money back to families in Mexico.

If a robot is built who can do it robustly, controlled and protected by a server program via Internet, it would be the new industrial revolution.

It'll be some kind of revolution, all right. Maybe a bloody one, if the rich folks don't get their heads out of their rectums.

Downside (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882157)

...you can see us driving our Web Rover in Nevada all the way from Brazil.

Sadly, someone's going to read this, think 'perfect IED' and put the hacker space in quite a bad light.

How is this different from Make(27)? (1)

DBCubix (1027232) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882331)

I had my undergraduate students build something similar back in 2009 on top of a Roomba platform, which in turn was based on ideas from Kurt's "Hacking Roomba" book. This solution was featured in Make Magazine volume 27 http://makezine.com/27/ [makezine.com] It was the same principle, build a remote surveillance platform that could be driven over the Internet and they did it for under $200. How is this solution (5 years later) any different? I'm not asking to be mean, I would like to know if this solution is somehow technologically superior to something done 5 years ago or were the authors simply unaware of prior development?

Re:How is this different from Make(27)? (1)

spiritplumber (1944222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885637)

It has an iphone on it

Re:How is this different from Make(27)? (1)

fixpert (2839521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42887137)

Cool, I'm not familiar with your project, but I'll check it out —I love Roomba hacking! I remember seeing Phil Torrone at SXSWi make a huge Frogger game using Roombas, you could play from the rooftops. Super cool. Well, I can't comment specifically on why it's different until I read up on what exactly you guys did, but I think one big differentiator for Pinoccio is under the "Why It's Awesome" section on this page: http://pinocc.io/examples/webrover/ [pinocc.io] We didn't get into it with this demo yet, but it would be pretty easy for us to attach sensors to the Rover, and have it publish data up to our API. Then another Pinoccio, or a web app (for example) could subscribe to that feed and, say, make real-time visualizations with the data. It's easy to imagine scientific applications for this. Would have been really useful after Fukushima, for example. We haven't done a great job of explaining our API yet, but it will have a PubSub model, where Pinoccio can listen to a channel / topic and react ("actuate") when certain criteria are met. Let us know if you have more questions, we're happy to answer!

iPhone in an "open" hardware project? (!?) (2)

LodCrappo (705968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883525)

"We used the iPhone.."

"...make your own (including source code)... We're hoping to make Pinoccio the perfect platform for Software Developers to learn how to hack on DIY hardware"

So you are using Apple's closed and tightly controlled ecosystem in your "DIY" open source project?

How does this make any sense? Isn't the Apple platform specifically designed to *prevent* experimentation by hackers? After all, controlling and censoring software is pretty much their main thing. Why would anyone use Apple products in an open project?

Re:iPhone in an "open" hardware project? (!?) (1)

fixpert (2839521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42886981)

Hey Lod, this is Sally from Pinoccio. You don't have to use an iPhone at all. You can use ANY device that has an accelerometer. You can even use your laptop with Chrome or Safari —basically, any device that exposes the accelerometer via the web browser. If you want to see if the device that you're using right now is supported, go to the Web Rover page and try the "Test Drive Your Accelerometer" simulator. Also, the controls are kind of secondary to this project. You could put together a web page with buttons to steer the Rover instead if you like. We wanted to create controls that would "read" well in the video —you can see the motions that my hands are making, and easily see the effect it's having on the Rover. This wouldn't have been clear if we had put together a page with buttons. Thanks for the comment!

Something is messed up in that video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42883811)

When she tips the edge of the phone towards the camera down, the device goes forward. When she points the rear of the phone down, it goes backwards as expected. But she says "turn left" and tilts the phone to the right for the robot to turn left (and just the opposite for it to turn right)

I think someone mis-configured the robot or the instructions in the web interface area

Re:Something is messed up in that video (1)

fixpert (2839521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42887281)

Hey Anon, I think it's because we filmed my portion of the video using a Google Hangout, and the way my camera is configured, it flipped the image horizontally. I noticed in when we were editing, but I thought it actually made watching the video more clear and intuitive to leave it this way.

You can do this with more features! (1)

spiritplumber (1944222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42884609)

www.robots-everywhere.com I have built and sold since 2010 an Arduino board that lets you take any phone and any tank-style toy (or car with a standard servo for steering) to do exactly this. It has a longer range, too, since it can work in any network coverage EDGE or better. Question: Why was my work never news, then?

Re:You can do this with more features! (1)

spiritplumber (1944222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885615)

Also, my rig is actually open source (the software is there for generic!java and android) and the schematic can be had for the asking (basically, send me an email asking for it, and I send you a pdf or vector).

Re:You can do this with more features! (1)

RGRistroph (86936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42887945)

I like your site and your portfolio and products.

If you want to get the free slashvertisement of a /. story, you need to use the platform to do something that slashbots would like to talk about, like maybe explore a walled-off section under the stairway of some historical building, or something.

Also, your store sends people to inertialabs.com which then in turn sends people over to robotmarketplace.com. Have it take people directly where they need to go.

Perturbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42885087)

How would the Earth's rotation and orbit be perturbed by snaring asteroids?

Name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42885829)

If this is meant to be named after the character in the children's tale, you're spelling it wrong; it's "Pinocchio".

Re:Name? (1)

fixpert (2839521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42887315)

Hey anon, There's a reason for this. It's...not a happy story, but you asked: http://pinocc.io/faq#faq-wheres-the-h [pinocc.io]
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