Gadgets

Last week in the GIR club we had a lot of new stuff to play around with! First we got the opportunity to try out one of the wireless EEG devices from Emotiv to control virtual objects with our brain waves and engage in some biofeedback experiments. There’s some training required to translate the signals into actions and like most EEGs there is the possibility of noise coming in from facial muscle activity, but still the feeling of control was very impressive.

The device includes an API, the Research Edition SDK, which allows us to access the readings in real-time so it will hopefully be possible to design some cool psychophysics experiments.

The other news is that we now have our own Farrusco robotics kit! Below you can see a shot of our fully assembled and working robot, kindly provided by Guibot. The support structures for the bumpers, the board and the rotation servo were assembled using a CNC machine.

We also got an extra chassis with gear-box DC motors for building a proper differential drive we can use on our own moving robotic platforms.

The last part of the session comprised an Arduino introductory workshop, where we went through how to program the micro-controller, including how to read and write from digital ports, use the ADC-enabled analog input ports and how to use PWM to generate analog output.

Tiago and Bruno from INDP 2010 already put this technology to good use and assembled the world’s first robotic car for snails, which will be a major step to making the dreams of Turbo come true. We’re expecting to provide a special report on its development soon, but here’s a snapshot preview of the contraption.

We’re going to continue our study and development of Braitenberg vehicles this week, but if you have any interactive concept or idea you would like to turn into reality, feel free to talk to us about it. We’re always looking for cool projects!

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Categories: Club Meetings, Technology
  1. April 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm | #1

    I have no experience or knowledge in robotics, but i would like to share an idea of interacting with the device. What if implementing the device to follow a person or something is implemented. Making the device recognize an object which it would track down by keeping it within distance, and keep the object on the center of the camera image.

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