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Person Following robot with an intelligence


I recently built a robot for a project now i would like to convert a simple rc robot into a person following and object avoidance robot.

Let me explain. I would like my robot to follow me around a workshop with a tray with many of my tools. I know it may sound just like laziness but to be honest i bet there is more than enough effort put into making this robot intelligent.

I have come up with some ideas so far.

1. infa red scanner with be able to track body heat radiating off my body this will allow the robot to following me. (don't worry i am on my own in the workshop so there is no one else to follow any way if needs be i could add a unique RFID tag ID that would assign to my body signature.)

2. The robot is big and therefore will need to have object avoidance built in to the system. I was thinking on using a set of ultrasonic sensors to produce a histogram of the surroundings and help map a area of less resistance.

3. The control board. Well here is the good news I can use anything a arduino, a computer, a raspberry pi and even a pic. The only key control factor is that there needs to be a out put for the controlling of the motors.

The motors are controlled through a set of two servo set up over a crisscross pattern on the joystick that control the motors.

Below is a picture of the robot as it stands now :

Please could you help me work this out.

I would aim for a USB webcam, and a reasonable beefy computer -- Raspberry Pi is probably on the low end. Pandaboard or Zotac AD-11 are other small form factor computers with more CPU power.
You probably also want an Arduino or similar microcontroller for actually driving the motors. The way you'd split it up would be to use the computer to run the webcam and image recognition, and decide where to go, and it would send commands for motor control to the Arduino which would actually control the motors.
Additional IR sensors, ultrasonic sensors, etc, could be hooked to the Arduino and the information sent the other way up to the computer, which would integrate those readings with its webcam vision.

Thank you for the quick reply. Below is a link to a simple google drawing of the set up.

Please comment on the drawing if needs be.

I was wondering if there is some software already out there that does image recognition. Does anybody know of one ? Please Reply
Also what language would i program this all in ( I would prefer to program in Python ) as it will need to connect to the Arduino it might as well be in processing to make the interface easier.

Google Drawing

You need another arrow from the Arduino to the laptop, as you'll want your logic to run on the laptop, and the Arduino only to funnel/convert data/control signals.

OpenCV has some image recognition built in. There exist OpenCV bindings for Python.

Robotics toolkits like MRPT or ROS may already have modules for OpenCV, and perhaps other recognizers, too. ROS is often interfaced/programmed with Python.

The Microsoft robotics toolkit also does image recognition, but doesn't do so well with standard Python. (Perhaps IronPython could be used; I haven't worked with it)

I have recently brought myself a x box kinect and have started on the programming for the robot to follow me.

Thank you for all you help so far.

If by any chance you have any information &/ code on using a x box kinect for following a person and sending commands to a arduino please post below.

Thanks again.

 :) :) :)


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