i.C. Hexapod (Developed 2006/7)
i.C. is a brand new hexapod robot that responds to and recognises the human beings it encounters. Retaining all of the movement and control characteristics of previous Hexapods from Micromagic Systems, i.c. adds a new level of interactivity.
i.C. is always looking for new people to meet. And when it comes across a human face it will lock on, and track and respond to its movements. It also remembers the humans it encounters by taking a photo and publishing it directly from its hexapod brain to it’s own personal hexapod blog.
“The inspiration for this project was simply to make a member of the ever-expanding Hexapod family into a piece of interactive robot art,” says its creator Matt Denton, “or, as I would put it, into a piece of ‘creative engineering’.”
i.C. Hexapod uses Micromagic’s V4b hexapod as a base platform, adding a new pan/tilt head that includes a CCD video camera linked to an off board PC running face recognition software. His website is hexapodrobot.com this site is not always on-line.
i.C. has an on board locomotion unit called the p.Brain, this takes care of all leg and body locomotion. The p.Brain runs on a PIC ds33F processor.
There is an off board Windows XP Mini-ITX PC which takes care of the face recognition and tracking (Pentium-M 1.73Ghz processor, 512Mb Ram & 40Gb HD). This PC is connected to the p.Brain via a serial link. Only simple commands such as X,Y and Z rotation of the head and body are sent to the p.Brain from the PC. This means that if the PC crashes (which they so often do!) The p.Brain will put i.C to sleep without damaging any of the servos.
There are 21 servos on i.C. 3 degrees of freedom for each leg, 2 for head pan and tilt, and one which acts as a blink shutter for the main lens.
i.C. blinks when a picture has been taken, pictures are stored locally and uploaded to a website with the time, date and location they were taken. The web site is still under development.