A robot quadcopter with dual robotic arms

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Quadcopter's on their own are great for taking video of anything. However, beyond that, they are not very useful. Equipping a quadcopter with a robotic arm allows it to interact with the environment and perform useful tasks.

Combining this concept with intelligence and an interface gives a novel creation that can move through space and manipulate objects without the challenges of many ground based, armed, robots.

The Armcopter is a robot designed to help around the house. It is designed to retrieve items, to perform chores as skillfully as any person, while being safe and integrating seemlessly with the home environment. Even more than a robotic butler, the Armcopter would be the first manipulator home automation device, allowing one to clean, cook, or prepare by sending a voice command from their phone, performing tasks without being home.

The Armcopter is built and tested on custom firmware, but would ultimately be transitioned to the Px4 flight control software to have the support of an open source community. The Armcopter is built on the Odroid C2 system on a chip for on-board processing capabilities superior to a Raspberry Pi, without significant price increase. The robotic framework is implemented through ROS and the flight controller and on-board computer are connected over serial. To have a compatible connection between the onboard computer and the ROS framework, a port of Debian Jessie was used with ROS Kinetic built from source.

Designs for a frame that would provide sufficient airflow for the rotors, while creating a safe enclosure, were developed, but have not been implemented or manufactured. The current plan is to produce a frame from High Impact Polystrene vacuum molding.

The robotic arms, the arms control software, the computer vision, and the AI packages are not implemented.

The project has been halted due to amount of issues needed to be solved before it could be successful, namely, flight time, lifting capacity, airflow blowing items around, and aircraft weight to say the least. The task of a cleaning butler robot would be better suited to a system of multiple robots for each brand of task, such as a dusting robot, vacuuming robot, retrieval robot, etc. Therefore, the project will be on hold until further notice.

  • This project is going about the problem the wrong way

    francoisrice03/25/2017 at 14:38 0 comments

    Even though there was a lot of progress made with this project, the challenges continue to build up faster than the solutions.

    Perhaps this project is still possible, but there are still multiple projects that need to be done before it is usable.

    Ultimately, number of different robots specially designed for different tasks would be the easiest and best ways to do what this project was intended for. The Armcopter, in its ideal form, would have essentially been a robot butler. However if you try to build the best possible butler, rather than trying to make a quadcopter into a butler, the best way to do it is with a number of robots that work together each design for different tasks. It might have a Roomba to do the vacuuming, a quadcopter could be used to do the dusting, an armed robot could pick things up of the floor and place then in preprogrammed spots, and a dishwasher could wash your dishes.

    Therefore, this project is being put on hold for the forceable future, until either quadcopters become more sophisticated or other advances are made in robotic application.

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