Volt: A Traveling Companion Robot I Built with my Dad

Robotics Technology
Volt: A Traveling Companion Robot I Built with my Dad

Volt is a companion robot I built with my dad over the past two years.

His base is from an motorized golf caddy. His torso is from an industrial arm we found on Ebay.
His neck, arms and brain are from a Meccanoid. The rest of his parts are from miscellaneous computer hardware and pieces from model kits, binoculars, and Chappie ears. He was inspired from several movie robots including Johnny 5 and Chappie. This is the third version of Volt (He is a “work-in-Progress”) — he has undergone several major revisions — especially with his arms.

This video shows his development:

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His base is a modified CaddyTek caddy — it was perfect for our project, as it solved our mobility issues (Legs are harder to design and build, and balance is another issue altogether). It has a built-in “follow” mode, which makes it so much fun to bring him places!

Currently, we consider Volt to be an entertainment robot, but that is soon going to change. We will be adding a DYLO, to control his servos and will be “leveling up” his interactivity by incorporating Cubic.ai. Eventually, we would like for him to be bipedal as well.

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Working on Volt’s electronics has been challenging. My dad taught me how to strip wires, solder and crimp connectors, and has started working with me on coding and web design. The next few weeks, we will be adding some more features to Volt such as adding an AUX-in port, and new battery systems. We also will share our build diary on the internet so people can learn how we created him, and how they can build their own companion robot too!

We have brought him to several Maker Faires, and can’t wait to bring him to the World’s Maker Faire in October now that he’s a bit more “polished”.

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Volt’s purpose is twofold:  serving  as both companion and social experiment. Ray has been bringing his bot to many local establishments to observe the public’s reaction.
You can check out his progress at RayRumore.com, follow Volt’s adventures on Twitter, or subscribe to Volt’s YouTube channel.

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Ray Rumore

Ray is proud to reveal the fourth iteration of his companion robot "Volt". As Ray developed his robotics and wiring skills over the past two years, Volt tripled in size and began developing a basic personality. He is composed of a motorized golf caddy, Mecanno servos and (temporary) brain, reclaimed computer hardware, and an industrial robot arm . Version 5 will see an big boost in his AI programming with the addition of Cubic.ai, enhanced physical capabilities, beefier servos, and improved communications systems. You can check out his progress at RayRumore.com

View more articles by Ray Rumore


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