Electronics > Electronics

Help me build a robotic photographer wiht Sony Party-Shot


HI I'm a newbie and appreciate any help I can get. I already did a search for photographer and sony party shot and did not see any previous discussion.
Here is what I want to make.

Basically it is an Irobot Create with a light 4.75 ft tall aluminum pole on which a sony party shot module is mounted on top of.

I am not sure if the Irobot create is the best base to make the robot out of, is there one that is wider and harder to tip over?

If there is a better robot base to use let me know. I would like to keep the total project cost under $800. I already have $100 invested in the sony partyshot+digital camera.
the sony party shot is basically an automatic camera system that has facial detection that will automatic scan and rotate the surroundings looking for people to take photos of. I envision using it at corporate parties, weddings and just random stuff for fun.

I have never done any robotics work, but I am very techy. My programming experience is very small. I took a BASIC class about 12 years ago in college.

It needs to be around 4.5 to 5 feet tall total so the photos look like they were taken at a normal angle. I will probably add some kind of bumper system at the top, because it's bound to get knocked over. I may also weld up some aluminum tube anti tip extentions so the unit is harder to knock over.

OK, that's the background here is my questions.
I want to program it to randomly go around a room and pause for say 40 seconds , scan and take shots, then move around 10 to 15 feet in any random direction and start all over. I think the Create base will need to stop or the camera will get too confused and not do a good job. I have never used either device so perhaps this hypothesis is incorrect.
I looked at the Create Module's instructions and see that it has some demo modes

"MODE 0 Cover Create attempts to cover an entire room using a combination of behaviors, such as random bounce, wall following, and spiraling."

I like mode zero, but I think I would only want random bounce, not spiraling. Can anyone recommend a programmer to do this? I have searched the web and there are a few instructables using an Arduino controller. They are almost perfect for what I plan, except the robot never pauses for it to take photos.

I also want some kind of sensor so that it does not run into objects and people. I've seen the roomba hit things before they change direction. I'd prefer the sensor be used to avoid hitting things; i was thinking a 2' proximity would be fine. The arduino obstacle avoidance robots use a sonar sensor and it seems like their avoidance is a pretty small range, maybe a foot or less.

Should I jsut buy the $235 ez robot kit with the Create module from irobot? Has someone already made a robot that does this sort of thing I can just buy? Seems like a pretty basic function set, but I've never built a robot.

Any other suggestions will be appreciated. thanks for your time.

PS originally posted this at the robotreviews.com an EZ robot, and one person said they might be able to help me program it, but said he was pretty busy..... but I figgured maybe someone here might give me a better solution.

this other forum thread is the most detailed I've gotten


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