Can I make a stationary robot ?
Absolutely, as long as it respect the "rules" described below and the
"The Three Laws of Robotics", also described below.
Can my robot do "x, y or z" ?
Start by reading the "rules".
If you have the time and knowledge to accomplish more than the minimum requirements, feel free to do it.
But remember, it is better to have a robot that does the minimum requirements first, then improve it. Than having no robot ready for the show.
What can my robot accomplish ?
(more than the minimum requirements)
Welcomed Robots additions :
- Detect a sound source and move toward the source.
- Follow an object, like a star, a fake Sun (a slowly moving light), or another robot.
This is useful if solar panels equipped. However do not expect to
recharge battery by tracking an LED movement.
- Pickup some load and bring it somewhere else.
- Capability to return to a charging station (or simply a corner) once battery voltage drop to a certain level.
- having a wireless camera, or camera with software helping in taking some decisions.
What are the robots requirement ?
Before you start your robotic project, Please, take some time to read
this f.a.q. and "rules".
They are usually not absolute requirements, but needed for practical reason.
We ask anybody who has to "break" one or more "rules", to get in
touch with us first. We probably can find an arrangement.
The following Rules or requirements are loosely based on the "Three Laws
of Robotics" by Isaac Asimov...
The Three Laws of Robotics are as follows:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a
human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except
where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection
does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Asimov himself added a fourth, or Zeroth, law to precede the first
4. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to
come to harm.
Three Laws of Robotics (wikipedia.org).
For the LinuxAstronomy booth at SCALE, a Robot should :
- relate to the astronomy or space theme.
To help you get some inspiration take a look at the following :
Robotic exploration of the Moon (wikipedia.org).
Lunar rover (Apollo) (wikipedia.org).
All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (wikipedia.org).
Space Exploration Vehicle(Lunar Electric Rover "LER"), (wikipedia.org).
Scarab (lunar rover) (wikipedia.org).
Lunokhod 1 (wikipedia.org).
Lunokhod 2 (wikipedia.org).
Chang'e 3 (wikipedia.org).
LORAX (robot) (wikipedia.org).
- It can also be a stationary robot, such as a robotic telescope.
It does not necessarily have to be a robot on wheels.
- not be a submersible, such as a boat, raft or submarine.
This point because the theme (astronomy, space), but also because of the added difficulty on the show floor.
- Be programmed using the Linux O.S. or any Unix variant.
It can be programmed using another O.S. especially for a beginner.
However it should have the capability to be programmed using Linux or a Unix variant.
If not sure, inquire "BEFORE" you buy anything.
Get in touch with us, if this is a problem for you, somebody might be able to help you.
- not be planed to intentionally damage another robot or person.
If equipped of the following, please, get in touch with us first :
- dangerous chemical (torch flame, acid...).
- dangerous component such as missile launcher...
- glow in the dark as well as daily light, destroy any Geiger counter a few miles around...
If the robot has any of these, simply get in touch with us first, we might be able to find an arrangement.
- Not triggering building fire/smoke detectors. We are indoor.
If your robot has a steam engine or any heat, steam, etc. generating device,
please, get in touch with us first, an outdoor activity might be a possible solution.
- have proximity sensors (distance evaluation) so robots do not run into each others, neither ran into a wall.
Front sensor(s) need to be activated only when the robot move forward.
Back sensor(s) need to be activated only when the robot move backward.
Proximity sensors can be activated all the time, this is just to make it easier for the robot designer.
- be able to run in low light environment.
The show is in a dark room.
A solar powered robot, would run only on batteries, the solar cells,
would have almost no chance to get enough photons to be usable.
So, solar powered robot are fine as long as they can also run on battery.
Such as when located on the dark side of the moon, or a cold Martian winter...
- be able to run on a bumpy surface.
Our Martian ground is not as flat as a table.
- be about 4 x 6 inches maximum, about 10 cm x 15 cm.
(roughly the size of a Parallax robot).
Please get in touch with us if you need a bigger size.
This is just to allow a few robots, to run together on a table.
- have a low center of gravity, or a device allowing it to counter-balance, or back off.
The reason is, the ground is not flat. As an example, robots can ride on a tilted slope around a crater.
- be able to survive rollover.
If a robot tilt to much and rollover, it should be straight forward to put it back on his wheels or feet. Human assistance is OK, but just a quick move.
Adding some kind of sturdy enough, fairing around it, can help to protect small electronic parts.
- have enough autonomy to last a few hours.
Any battery replacement should be quick and painless.
- Robot owners are in charge of getting batteries, to last three full days.
- be relatively simple to program.
- Source code, should have plenty of comments.
In case a robot owner get sick at the time of the show, somebody else should be able to take over, with minimum instructions.
- in case some reprogramming is needed, the owner is responsible to have
a computer station available.
Robots should be present on the show the whole time, everyday.
However, it is acceptable to be replaced be a substitute person, part of the show. But please, let us know about it.