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RoseRolls

What is RoseRolls?

RoseRolls is a spherical robot made by hacking a Sphero (from Orbotix). It’s aim is to create a both hardware and software add on for Sphero.

How it works?

Sphero is sold to be unbreakable. They provide a sdk to allow everyone to create applications to remote control it. But we want to change it’s hardware. We basically open the ball, and plug an additional pcb on top of his. We insert our mpu between sphero’s bluetooth chip and it’s stm32. This way we can intercept and forward any messages sent to him.  We use his api to send commands in order to control his base: make it roll and blink basically. This way we don’t have to redo ourselves the very complex navigation, balance and control system it uses.

What we add

Based on our observation that sphero isn’t really autonomous we will make roserolls more autonomous. Sphero can already know it’s position, detect collisions, make some visual feedback with it’s leds. But we will add more:

  • Transparent shell
  • Infrared communication/angle detection
  • buzzer
  • more leds: 3 RGB and 5 blue.
  • 3 axis magnetometer: sphero already has one but its too mixed up by the motors magnetic field. We add it just for test purposes

Our Architecture

Here is everything we will put on our board:

RoseRolls pcb TopRoseRolls Bottom pcb

IRDA

Irda is used to know the position of 2 spheros one relative to another: if A is emmitting and B is receiving on it’s left irda transceiver, we know that A is at the left of B. Furthermore, in the frond we put 2 IRDAs crossed in order to create a “mustache” like a mouse.

IR photodiode

Because IRDA transceivers don’t give the power received, we can’t use them to measure the reflected beam.
That’s why we added a photodiode coupled with some RC low pass filter in order to measure the distance of nearby objects. We don’t know if it will really work since the environment will be flooded with infrared.

Buzzer and leds

In order to enhance the emotion feedback we added some leds and a buzzer and we will give RoseRolls some kind of personality.

User stories

  • Use a RoseRolls as a Sphero: it must be compatible with already existing smarpthone applications
  • RoseRolls can take control remotely of a sphero and make it dance
  • Avoid obstacles while being remote controled
  • Play some music: because 8 bit music makes us nostalgic
  • Make a choreography using several RoseRolls
  • Automatically arrange some RoseRolls in a certain pattern: line, grid etc.
  • Have a RoseRolls following another one and form a snake
  • Solve a carboard maze by exploring it and find the shortest path from center to exit
  • Use mbleds as a invisible beacon or barrier.

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