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Tony Thompson designed these Little Robots to help keep in touch with his fiancé. Here’s what he has to say about it:

When you’re in a room with someone, there are many different subtle ways to indicate that you enjoy their presence. Everything from where you sit to how you breath has at least some degree of significance — some degree of communication. This project was my way of performing that communicative act, when I’m not in a room with that someone.

Enough waxing philosophical: I made two little robots. One for my fiancé’s desk, and one for mine. When you poke one in the belly, the other one waves.

Besides being a cool idea, I think the implementation is pretty interesting, and worth watching. Using the open-source V-USB project, he was able to use cheapo ATtiny85 parts to interface directly with the computer’s USB ports, greatly reducing the complexity of the project. He is planning to release the project documentation in three parts, so be sure to check his site for the next pieces!


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  1. Tony Thompson says:

    I’ve posted part two, covering the firmware: http://www.tony.thompson.name/2010/02/little-robots-firmware/