Here’s a vid of a hamster, in a hamster ball, controlling a iRobot Create.

The hamster controls the robot by running in the ball in whatever direction he/she likes. The ball is supported on three rollers and an optical sensor measures which way and how fast the ball is spinning. Those values are fed into a microprocessor that controls the drive wheels to make the robot mimic the motion of the ball.

iRobot YouTube Channel

4 thoughts on “Hamster-controller iRobot Create

  1. Kudos!! I’ve always absolutely adored this sort of idea. Saw a bot controlled by a goldfish somewhere once, I believe.

    I’d really like to see this same project with omni-directional wheels (think wowee rovio, etc.) I think that not having to have the robot turn to a specific heading and then move foreward would work wonders in translating the hamster’s movements to robot movement more naturally. Whenever the little critter changes course, subtly or dramatically, the whole robot stops and rotates rather than just adjusting, due to the limitations of the platform.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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