Yale University - Course Number_MechEng 386

MrBojangles by JoePingPong

I am Joe Aphinyanaphongs, and I am a freshman at Yale. This is a picture of me and my dog, Mr. Bojangles. He is a Goddard prototype and will follow pretty much the same mechanical premises as the Donald's Gollum.
Mr. Bojangles likes long walks on the beach, candle-lit dinners, and woodland creatures. Contrary to popular belief, he does not like Milkbones. To see my design strategy, go here:

http://jove.eng.yale.edu/twiki/bin/view/Experimentalproduct/LoGic


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Elise by JosephineDurkin

My dog, Elise, will be following the standard re-modification of the Goddard dogs. She will be using four wheels which will soon be attached to the new steering column and to the rear of the battery.
I'm curious to see how battery size, weight, and voltage sacrifices will affect the mechanical and research performance capabilities during data collection. Also, although the wheels for Elise are on their way, I have a feeling that the treaded wheels will work to this Goddard's advantage when surveying various sites.

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Dylan by JeffWarren

I'm working with an i-Cybie dog from Tiger Toys... This is me and our test subject for these modifications, whom we have not named, so that we don't get too attached to him. I mean, look at him. Would we do that to one of our own dogs? No.

I have made modification on my dog almost identical to those done in these pictures by the dude at http://www.imaginerobots.com

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Gollum by DonaldNguyen

Gollum is crazy. Gollum is wild. Gollum is out of control!

Gollum is a modification to Goddard, the dog from Jimmy Neutron.I pretty much followed the design of the reference Goddard (a dog on a 4-wheel chasis). Although compared to the other modified dogs, mine uses a smaller battery and has a wider wheel base. The attachment of the front wheels was problematic; right now, they are held on by pins.

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Larry by Andrew Sexton

I increased the traction by outfitting my dog with studded tires. This is a very simple mechanical adaptation that is cheap, quick, and easy to implement. The studs are ordinary screws that have been screwed into the tire, and fixed in place with an adhesive. I used studded tires only in the rear, for two reasons. The first being that the rear wheels are directly attached to the motor and will be providing the power to propel the dog, and thus require increased traction on the ice. The second reason was that preliminary tests with studded tires on all four wheels, showed that the studs interferred with the steering capabilities. The dogs performed much better when the front tires were able to slide a little. However if need be, the front tires can be easily outfitted with studs as well. A scientifically lesser, yet far cooler reason for the studded tires is the bad-ass Mad Max look they give the dogs, a sure-fire hit the crowds!

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Madison by MikeKai

Madison uses two independent locomotion mechanisms in the current design version. Two front mounted, motor driven wheels propel Madison, while a rear castor wheel provides stability. Madison still functions as the original I-Cybie, while the VOC sensors tell the front wheels what direction to travel in.

In effect, Madison has two separate brains, one that seeks out pollution, and one that just wants human attention. While the original navigation system still works, the VOC system is more powerful in terms of locomotion and has the final say in where Madison goes. The large wheels have excellent traction and enable Madison to travel distances she never thought were possible. As a result, Madison retains the playful nature and movements of the original I-Cybie, yet gets serious when there are pollutants around.

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K-1 and K-2 by VicenteUndurragaPerl

We take ordinary robotic dogs and break out of their programed actions and domestication transforming them into an open, untamed, and reprogramable state. Feral robots become a source of information about the local environs rather than a distraction from them. By modifiyng these dogs we get to know them, their functionality and their potential for other uses much better than if we simply used them out of the box. Although we bought them, we also remade them. They become truly ours because we played a role in their existence.

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Angus by DanConner

You could say my robot is based on the Terminator design; I initially set out to create a most efficient puppy in terms of all terrain maneuvering and power distribution, and what has come about from this is that Techno no longer looks like a puppy but somewhat like a myriad of painful adaptations. The wheel design is based on obstacle climbing, as ‘Whegs’ are able to climb over obstacles up to ¾ of the wheel diameter. In order to facilitate this ability, his torso is overflowing with a very large motor to provide the necessary torque. Angus now relies on a 4-wheel, rear steering mechanism and sports waggling ears to get him through his day.

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Captain Planet and No Me Gusta Las Toxinas by AaronShelley

Captain Planet, and the Cyborg looking No Me Gustan Las Toxinas (for the non-spanish people that means: I don't like the toxins...). No Me Gusta is a simple feral. The dog base used is basically an empty shell (kind of like a Harvard grad...). The only thing that is kept from the original design is the two LEDs that act as the eyes and the body casing, minus the legs. There is a plexy-glass plate rivetted to the front with to motors mounted on the right-angle-bends on either end. There is a plexy-glass battery-shelf off the butt of the dog with a servo mounted on the end. That servo is connected to a rear differential with two free turning wheels on separate axels (the separate axels are to allow for easier turning, since the outside wheel will need to turn faster than the inside). And that is where Ferals come from.

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SomeDog by KathrynMatlack

An interesting technosocial question inspired by my particular robot is that of public response towards socially relevant technology. The point of the feral dog release was to convey information to the public in a mediagenic way. Dogs are the perfect instrument for this strategy: man’s best friend is cute, usually friendly, and has been known to risk life and limb for humans since cave man days. However, the disarming nature of a canine robot may have been complicated by its coupling with a military robot. Militaristic robots have entirely different connotations: When one sees a toy tank at FAO Schwartz, they are more interested in its performance abilities, especially capabilities for destruction, than in its “cuteness,” as would be likely with an Aibo or a Poochi. At the moment, all things military are en vogue, both in actual support of the USA’s many military involvements overseas as well as in a propaganda sort of way. Military represents authority and often trust, as the armed forces are the good guys, the ones the rest of us depend on to defend our ways of life. But so, too, can it represent mistrust, an imposition of force and power. Then, what kind of statement is Askim making? I like to think of him as a bearer of good news, Mercury with a wagging tail. He combines the faithful connotation of a dog with the powerful, imposing figure of a tank, thereby becoming a tool of instruction and information.

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ChusquitoPeruano by DiegoRotalde

The dog I modified is called "Baby Rocket Puppy" produced by Fisher Price.It is a largely mechanical dog aimed for young kids. Here are the original parts of the body I used. In the dogs head lay the majority of its "electronic brain", which controlled two motors, one in the body and one located in the upper head. The whole internal mechanism of the dog was removed including these motors and it's electronic motherboard. Having removed most of the original internal elements,the walking mechanism was preserved as it seemed as a good opportunity to use and expand on the already existing dog's hardware. This is my dog's special feature. The problem I encountered when using the internal steering mechanism was that the original cam mechanism used to move the legs in opposite directions required a large force from the servo. The plastic body could bearly withstand this force without deforming. An aluminum plate was added to the dog's side to provide for the strength the external body was lacking.

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Class Resources

Feral Robotics Wiki Site Contents

RobotDesign - A list of the in-progress robotic dogs and their owners.
SurveyDogs - An overview of robotic dogs available on the market, and attempts to hack them.
SiteResearch - Potential Release Sites for the dogs, and why - what kinds of toxins to sense...
ClassDiscussion - a discussion of lectures and readings for ME386, also open discussion
DogMovies - Movies of the dogs interacting with people, from miniature cameras implanted in them
LoGic - Techniques for tracking toxins in "dog packs" - team A.I.
FeralRobotResearch - Natalie's overview page for the Feral Robotics concept