At Gnomedex in-between my hack/how-to sessions I got a chance to chat with the folks who made a Podocast robot that was controlled via Ink on a Tablet PC. They might publish the information on how to make your own in MAKE! Here are the specs, some more info and a lot of photos…Mack D. Male and Dickson Wong – are the two guys that brought the robot to Gnomedex. Andrew Ng and Ashish Patel – the two guys that worked with them on the project in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
The website for the Podbot is http://www.podcastwizard.com/robot/. There are pictures of the Podbot, of the team, some video, and some information (such as a blog-like story page).
Here are some specifications:
Length: 21 inches
Width: 12 inches
Height: 14 inches
Maximum Speed: A little slower than walking speed…
Torque: Enough to carry around 15 lbs of weight!
Battery Life (motors): An extremely long time…
Battery Life (tablet): Around 4 hours
The on-board tablet pc is a Toshiba Portege M200, and the controller tablet we’re using is a Compaq TC1000. The Podbot has a USB hub inside that connects the webcam, ground effects (neon lights) and the serial connector (that connects to the circuit board for controlling the motors). The two back wheels have a servo motor for each, and are powered by a 6V lead-acid battery. The circuit board is powered by a 5V battery and was built from scratch. The Podbot is controlled over wifi, and the communication protocol we’re using is SOAP messaging implemented by Microsoft’s Web Services Enhancements 2.0. Everything is written in C# and .NET.
The software is called Podcast Wizard, and we’re hoping to release a public beta version in the next month or so. The goal is make podcasting far more streamlined, so you can use one program from start (planning the episode and recording) to finish (publishing and promoting). And we’ve got a number of really cool features in the works too.