–By Nicky Guo
In project 2, I decided to make a robot program that wakes up people who are studying or working at the table and are about to fall asleep or have fallen asleep. Specifically, there will be a huge hammer of my own design and assembly attached to the robot arm gripper, by sending data to the robot arm to make him from a static standby state to active, and then from top to bottom to smash the sleeping person. The initial source of inspiration came from the fact that I often accidentally fell asleep in the middle of studying, thus preventing me from completing the tasks I had planned in time. So I hope that in the near future, there can be such smart technology that can help me stay awake in a gentle way. My research/design question is how I can make robots wake people up the users in a gentle, enchanting, and effective way. Such a robot program should not be designed to wake up people exactly like an alarm clock, because that would be boring and startling, and thus the user would become bored and uncomfortable and stop using it. Therefore, with the design goal of being fun, and gentle, but effective, I began my design and production process.
Design of the physical tool
The first is the production of the physical object: the hammer. In order for him to effectively wake up the user, the hammer is designed to be very large, so that the increase in the force surface will also enhance the user’s feeling of being hit. As for the choice of materials, I chose a softer material for the head of the cone, so that I could wake the user up but not hurt them or to the point where they couldn’t take it. At the same time, I chose to use a hard material for the rod of the hammer, compared to the soft material, so that the hammer can be more stable to be attached to the gripper. Therefore, I used a rolled-up blanket as the head of the hammer, and then inserted the internal cardboard wallpaper roll, and then used the tape to fix its joints.
The next step is to design the trajectory of the robot arm/hammer. I want to design it a little more interesting, rather than a simple rigid move and hit people. To do this, I added some anthropomorphic elements, imagining the robot as a treacherous but lovable character. Before the hammer falls on the user’s head, the robot will do a set of preparatory activities. If the user can wake up in the middle of the preparatory activities, he still has a chance to avoid being hit by the hammer.
For programming purposes, I use the method of sending data to the robot, referencing the example in the course module. When the mouse moves to a different numbered area, it triggers the robot arm to move. For example, area 1 represents the stationary state, while area 2 will cause the robot arm to start moving until the hammer falls, and the mouse over area 3 will cause the robot to return to its original position. Due to time and technical limitations, this prototype can only be controlled by the mouse for now. But in my vision of the finished robot, it is able to automatically detect the user’s state and then perform a series of activities.