C-R-M: pretty cool hexapod video ...

Pretty cool hexapod face tracking video. Very slick!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oXuSXCKJeY

Enjoy ! JCD

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pogo wrote:

Now /that/ is how robots should behave - that is true fluid biological immitation - im more than impressed. If it walked id be more amazed, but it is the most impressive hex that ive seen i think.
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Sheesh, between that and <http://beatbots.blip.tv/ , I'm really starting to feel like my robots are lame because they don't track faces.
I know that OpenCV has face-tracking stuff... I just need to figure out how to cram some hardware that can run OpenCV into something robot-sized. (Or, use an external computer, which is probably what the hexapod is doing.)
Any thoughts on the smallest/cheapest computer board that could run OpenCV?
Best, - Joe
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If you got a CMUcam or AVRcam or similar device, you could probably get your bot acting very similar to this right now, cueing in on a colored ball rather than a face. Get it to track back and forth, and then jump backwards when the size of the object increases quickly, etc.

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True. And with the right background and clothing, you could get it to do that with a face too. But that's cheating!
Best, - Joe
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Learn more and discuss via: <http://www.strout.net/info/science/polywell/>
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Well, there's such a thing as the learning curve [meaning try the simple things FIRST as a step on the way to doing the more complicated stuff], plus how much time, money, and effort you really want to invest into something that does no more than react to something that looks like a face.
Plus, with a CMU/AVR cam, you can probably set the color tracking to skin tone, once you get it tracking a ball. Also, after you try the FIRST step, you might decide the whole effort is just so much whimsy.

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I guess different people find different things easy. Over the weekend I downloaded OpenCV and had a simple face-tracking demo up in about 20 minutes. To interface a CMU/AVR cam would have taken me much longer, I feel certain.
Of course there's still the issue of exactly what I'm going to do with it, and where I'm going to stuff the computer. But a robot that does no more than react to faces is still far cooler (and more intelligent) than any other robot I have a chance of building in the next few years.
And yes, of course it's mainly whimsy -- but let he whose robot actually does something useful cast the first stone. Personally I think giving up on the idea of building a robot that's actually useful is a key milestone in one's journey through hobby robotics. On the other hand, there's much to be said for getting beyond the typical wander-around-trying-not-to-bump-into-things stage.
Best, - Joe
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Learn more and discuss via: <http://www.strout.net/info/science/polywell/>
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Joe Strout wrote:
[snip]

I would like to make a slight modification to what you say. I think it is OK to give up on building a robot that does something useful for the first few robot; however, having something a robot that does something useful is still a reasonable and desirable goal for the longer term.
> On the other hand,

My $.02 (and less than 100 lines to boot ;-)
-Wayne
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Yeah, having a demo program running on your PC is a little easier than having one connected to a vid cam and running on your mini sumo, etc.
Do you know whether the "spider" had its own visual processing on board, or was connected to a remore PC?

As I indicated, I'll bet it would be just as impressive if the cam caused the bot to respond to circular moving objects. After all, spiders don't know about faces, they just react to moving things that might eat them, and vice versa.

Say what?
How about a robot that can patrol your house when you're away from home, and send pictures of intruders directly to the internet.

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It was connected to a remote PC.

I'm in the camp that considers remote-controlled vehicles to be more, well, RC vehicles than robots. :) But I do recognize that they face many of the same engineering problems and there is a great deal of crossover in the two hobbies.
Now, a robot that patrols your home on its own, recognizes any people it sees, and gives you a call on your cell phone if anybody comes in that it doesn't know -- THAT would start to border on a useful robot. Though only marginally so; it would be simpler and probably more cost-effective to just put a camera in each room with a home entrance. And most people would say that this simpler solution is not a robot, since it has no moving parts.
Best, - Joe
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Learn more and discuss via: <http://www.strout.net/info/science/polywell/>
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Yeah.
Now, THAT is cheating, if you want to talk about cheating :).

I'm talking about autonomous control for the patrol bot, not remote control.

Actually, in my opinion, a camera in every room is wasteful #1, and extremely intrusive of family member privacy #2. No one wants this.
We're roboticists, not home security technicians, after all. A well designed security robot will seek out sounds such as breaking windows, recognize intruders using PIR and motion sensors, and send pictures to the internet from anywheres in the house.
You don't immediately need facial recognition in order to build something useful.
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wrote:

My robots are VERY useful, thank you very much! They keep my bank account from getting too big. Keep the door from closing, etc ... Ha! :-)
jcd
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I should have tracked this info down and posted it originally - here is their website: http://www.micromagicsystems.com / You can find some videos of the thing walking, close-ups of design, etc.
Enjoy !
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