Soft, social robot brings coziness to home robotics #Robotics #MakeRobotFriend @cornellnews
Via Cornell News: how many social robots all look alike thought Guy Hoffman –
“I noticed a lot of them had a very similar kind of feature – white and plasticky, designed like consumer electronic devices,” said Hoffman, assistant professor and the Mills Family Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “Especially when these social robots were marketed to be part of our families, I thought it would be strange to all have identical family members.”
He envisioned robots built from warmer, homier materials, such as wood and wool; he also imagined robots that could be customized by their owners, so each would be unique. A friend gave him crocheted models of his robots and he thought: What if the robot itself was crocheted? So he learned to crochet.
These ideas led Hoffman to create Blossom – a simple, expressive, inexpensive robot platform that could be made from a kit and creatively outfitted with handcrafted materials.
Blossom’s mechanical design – developed with Michael Suguitan, a doctoral student in Hoffman’s lab and first author of the paper – is centered on a floating “head” platform using strings and cables for movement, making its gestures more flexible and organic than those of a robot composed of rigid parts.
Adafruit is all about making robot friends, promoting the tag #MakeRobotFriend (not robot enemy). Do you love robotics? Let us know in the comments below.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.