B. UCI - Robotics & Child
1] M-CLE: An Embodied Constructivist Learning Environment using a Hacked Fisher Price SmartCycle: (Fall 2008) | Project Video | Project WebPage | Download Thesis
M-CLE is a physical learning environment in which synergistic artificial intelligence through the use of robots (creative agents) is employed to embellish the creativity of the child. In M-CLE, the child uses a modified Fischer Price SmartCycle (that is wirelessly enabled by replacing the proprietary microcontroller with a custom microcontroller) to create floor art through a black creative agent that is embellished by the other agents using synergistic AI techniques.
2] Anthropomorphic Learning Facilitator (ALF): (Summer ’08) | Project WebPage
The goal of this project is to build an AI system that would play creative and constructive games with the child such as building blocks. Having worked out most of its technical details, this project would be completed in collaboration with Fabien Spindler from the Lagadic Research Group at l'Irisa/INRIA Rennes to implement a custom 5DOF robotic arm manipulator with the group's Visio Servoing Platform called ViSP.
3] Magic Turtle: (Summer ’08) | Project WebPage
The child controls a Robotic Turtle by creating patterns on its shell by using objects such as small balls or M & M Candies. Each object is a vertex in the pattern that actuates an underlying sensor that maps its position with respect to other vertices. As soon as the child creates a second vertex a link is created with the first such that two vertices form a line. The child uses this basic relationship to create more complicated patterns such as triangle, square or others which have personal meaning to it. The goal of the turtle is to stimulate the child’s creativity by providing it with multiple perspectives of relationship between objects.
4] Electromechanical Puppet: (Summer ’07) | Project WebPage
The goal of this project is to explore the dynamics of human-machine interaction by building an interacting system where both the human and the machine (in the form of a virtual animated puppet) vie for the control of an electromechanical puppet or robot that mimics the human arm. This project is more of an artistic endeavor where the machine is allowed an equal latitude of expressing its desire to control. The publication of this project appeared in the Fall 2007 issue of ‘Interface’ Magazine that is quarterly published by the cross-campus research institution CALIT2.
5] Omni-Directional Robot: An Autonomous Multi-Axes Line Following Robot (Fall ’07) | Project WebPage | Project Video
This omni-directional robot is a line following robot. However, the key characteristics of this robot are that it is able to efficiently turn and follow multiple axes such as N-S-W-E as opposed to following just a single line. Moreover data can be wirelessly uploaded to this robot. The robot uses a grid pattern to move radially. It has four omniwheels that are arranged in a square. Mounted on the frame underneath each wheel are paired infrared sensors that monitor the board surface detecting the grid. An optional wireless robot controller was built too.


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