Brian's 2008 Sentry Robot

This is my sentry robot built from scratch 2008.

It is 4 and half feet tall.

At the top is a PTZ camera with 27 times optical zoom.

Just above the main body there are 4 fixed cameras each convering a 90 degree view: front, left, right, back. I hate the idea of anyone or anything sneaking up on me (I mean the robot)

There is a rather large 802.11abg antenna on the robot and using a similar one mounted on my house I have allowed the robot to get quite a fair distance from my home, though only wondering the streets in the dark of night.

The robot can operate as both a real, autonomous robot and as an RC vehicle.

It can do things like find a red ball on its own or search for other objects.

It records high quality MPEG2 video in its internal harddrive and transcodes to low bit rate MPEG4 for transmission over the wireless link.

I have a joystick based steering interface for both the robot drive and the PTZ drive.

I have two "brain" modules I use with the robot. A low power one that allows RC operation extending the life of the batteries, and a high power one which I use for autonomous operation and includes a fair amount of CPU power to run the machine vision algorithms fast enough to deal with the real time interactions with the environment

This robot is fast by the way. It has been clocked at 12mph on level ground.

The robot has two way audio. My dog hates taking commands from it, but she has learned to listen.

My next effort is to figure out a way for it to sign for UPS or Fedex deliveries.

Brian's 2014 Carry Robot

This is my carry bot built in 2014.

It is more or less engineered like a wheel chair with a vision system.

It can carry 160 pounds and I use it to move things around my property (24 acres) like bags of cement, buckets, and tools.

Unlike the sentry robot, this one is fairly autonomous. I can instruct it to follow me or to navigate to various locations on my property.

It navigates by GPS, road following, and fiducial markers (example marker is shown). It does obstacle avoidance via sonar or LIDAR.

(by the way, when watching DARPA or Boston Dynamics robot videos keep an eye out for fiducial markers in the videos)

I occasionally think about adding various implements such as a weed cutter, air blower, sprayer, or flame-thrower.

Adding the implements is pretty easy. The hard part is more refined navigation. I invented a low cost radio wave based triangulation system that is accurate to about +/- 6 inches, but I have not deployed the system as yet.

The downside to giving it a flame thrower is what do I do if it turns on me? ;)