What would you build with a taller Misty that has a much greater load capacity?
At her regular height, Misty II is about 14" tall, and she can’t tow or carry anything very heavy. But she can sit behind the (metaphorical) steering wheel of any locomotive platform you build for her to drive.
For example: We’ve prototyped a “lift kit” for Misty (we’re calling it Robo-Chariot) that lifts the robot to about 54". The new rig interfaces with Misty through her UART serial port, and Misty “drives” the platform with a skill that receives standard API commands and reformats them for the new motor controller before sending them through the serial port.
All of Misty’s intelligence and capabilities (with the exception of the system responsible for managing the smooth locomotion of her treads) remain available for use in your skills. You can customize a locomotive platform like this with sensors and other hardware that Misty needs to move about and perform tasks effectively for your use case.
At 54" tall, Misty is pretty close to eye level, and we’ve tested the carrying capacity of this platform by standing on it while Misty drives around. That means:
- Misty can take pictures, stream audio/video, and capture other types of useful data from roughly the height of a standing human adult
- Misty may be more successful at moving about and recognizing faces, without asking humans to crouch down to her level
- It can be easier – and perhaps more natural – for humans to talk to Misty, see her display, and interact with her bump and capacitive touch sensors, without asking her to hang out on an immobile surface like a table, desk, or podium
- Misty is less likely to be a tripping hazard for the humans she hangs around with
- Misty can transport substantial loads from one point to another
We’ve made an early version of a build guide (these are not comprehensive assembly instructions, but should give you a rough idea of the process behind building something like this) and the bill of materials for the Robo-Chariot available online.
What possibilities does a taller, stronger Misty open up? Does a 54" robot make it easier to design and build robot solutions for problems that are more difficult to solve with Misty at her regular height? How would you customize this platform for your own use case?