This is an ambitious project with many challenges. It is (unfortunately) just a hobby with the resource constraints that this imposes, but assuming I don't go bankrupt, go to jail or die; I'm am putting every reasonable effort into progressing this project. It is both a creative outlet and a tool for personal growth.
Here's a list of what I hope to achieve (both short- and long-term).
- Large enough to operate outdoors and in limited human environments. Think R2-D2 size rather than table-top or carpet rover. Costs will be higher though.
- (A little) Sci-fi styling here and there. 70's and 80's childhood of Star Wars and Alien(s) having a big influence.
- Four stowable wheeled-legs allowing staged development with modes of travel:
- Compact 4-wheel slow manoeuvres.
- Expanded (stable) 4-wheel manoeuvres.
- Quadrupedal walk.
- Compact 2-wheel balance.
- Expanded 2-wheel balance.
- Upright 2-wheel balance (think Boston Dynamics' Handle).
- Bipedal walk?
- VR style head tracking and FPV for tele-presence.
- Two main arms for remote manipulation. Possibly a smaller arm (or two) for more delicate tasks.
- Learn Linux & ROS. On-board Raspberry Pi(s), Arduino ROSnodes and monitoring/control via laptop and/or custom remote.
- Investigate higher level behaviour algorithms, machine vision, mapping, speech recognition, speech synthesis and AI.
- Investigate possible practical applications. I'm thinking disaster relief with appropriate sensors and equipment. Skill transmission via tele-presence. Provision of power? Water filtration? Load carrying? Security monitoring and warning?