We developed “Tot Bot” robot, which enables a kid to see its surrounding on the tablet screen and then reach a selected point by a touch on the screen

Environmental Stimulation plays a big role in the intellectual development of a person, especially in the first two years of life(infancy). Studies and experiments have shown how enabling babies to explore their surroundings can create an encouraging atmosphere to grow. An assistive tool as such would particularly help infants with physical disabilities. Such an attempt has been made in this project, to provide a visual interface for the infants to be able to select their destination on an iPad screen and then reach there with no difficulty. The Pioneer 3dx robot is used as a carrier for the infant and coupled with iPad air 2 to create a visual interface.

The Tot Bot utilized a simple app made on iOS to communicate with the microcontroller and send data of the desired position. Once infant taps on the screen, the position of touch is translated to angle of touch from the line passing through the focal length of the camera. Once the angle is obtained, the Tot Bot turns and aligns itself to the angle. Tot Bot then starts to move forward in that direction having the object of pursue always in the center of the robot.

Two methods had been employed in the robot to stop it and avoid object collision. There was an ultrasonic sensor in the front of the Tot Bot, which sensed when the robot has reached close to the object, stops the vehicle and then pulls it back a little. The other method targeted the grey scale value of the four corners of the screen. When the grey scale of the corners matched each other's range, that indicated the robot has reached very close to the object in case the ultrasonic sensor has no surface to detect. This method can also be used to stop the robot in emergency by placing a hand in front of the camera.


© 2017 by Haiming Gang

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