A robot with the ability to track and follow people. It also responds to physical gestures and voice commands.

Guide:    Independent            Build started: November 2013 (2nd year/ Sophomore year)          Time require: 2 months

Humans have been on planet earth since hundreds and thousands of years. Since the beginning Man has evolved from a prey to a gatherer then to a hunter and finally to a Man who thinks beyond the boundaries set by nature. We are now questioning the creation of the universe and building huge machines and performing marvelous experiments. We are now not worried about the basic necessities like food and clothing and jobs like cleaning the garbage, waiting the tables or delivering mail are often considered boring and unproductive. Even though this situation is applied only to a limited amount of people now, but with increasing rate of advancement in technology more and more people are working in the technology sector. This is causing unavailability of people to perform the odd jobs mentioned above. However, those odd jobs need to be done by somebody.

We are now looking towards technology to provide a solution to this predicament of ours. Inspiring from this situation we decided to build a Robot which will help in decreasing this problem up to a certain extent. The name of this robot is BUTLER BOT.

Butler Robot

The first question that might have come to your mind is how does this work. Well, the answer to that is as follows:

The bot will be carrying the drinks on its tray and will be positioned at an appropriate place in a party hall. Now, you want a drink so what do you do? You just stand in front of the robot with a range of 4 metres and perform a pre defined gesture( in our case it was Namaste i.e. an Indian gesture of greeting someone) . The bot will lock your body through its software and will come towards you  using its two motorized wheels and you can pickup your drink. As long as the surface is flat, it will continue to follow you wherever you go. If you want him to stop following you, just raise your right hand above your hand and it will understand that it is supposed to stop. Then it will again look for a person doing the gesture and will follow him. Simultaneously verbal communication can also be done with the robot.

If you want to communicate with the robot, you can right away start by asking, “What is your name?” The robot will respond through its speaker. There are 6-7 commands which we have programmed it to understand. These can be changed or extra commands can also be added. Following are the commands to which it will respond along with the pre-decided answers.

Q: “What is your name?”

A:  “My name is, Alfred the butler”

Q: “Can I have a drink?”

A:  ” Yes, sir. I have got cloud 9 for you!”

Q: “Capture”

A:   The robot will click a photo of the person standing in front of it, save it on your desktop and will say,” That was a wonderful pose”.

The software of the robot has a UI as shown in the image below:

The bot is able to completely track two people with 4m of range. My parents are clearly not excited about a robot staring at them. :P

The bot is able to completely track two people within 4m of distance and lock and follow one of them. My parents are clearly not excited about a robot staring at them. 😛

The following video demonstrates the Butler Robot in action:

 

Along with me, my four friends, Abhishek Sawarkar, Anish Shah, Eashan Kadam and Kushal Bheda have worked hard and contributed equally for the success of the entire project.