Thesis

A Four-Legged Social Robot Based on a Smartphone

This thesis presents a simple four-legged robot platform that can transform a smart phone or tablet into an autonomous walking social robot. Smart phones are already designed to be easy to interact with and to assist humans in everyday activities. They are equipped with impressive computational resources and powerful sensors and can serve as a controller for a robot. By giving them four legs they have the added ability to walk about our environment and to express themselves using postures and body language. An example of such a four-legged robot is described in this paper along with a preliminary exploration of its capabilities as a social robot. Simple walking and posturing are demonstrated in ways that show how such a robot can better play the role of companion or assistant in the office or home. The platform is designed and built using inexpensive off-the-shelf components and can serve as an affordable development system for students and practitioners who wish to study social robotics.

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