Shooting for hardware cost less than $500

Arm kept light by mounting the motors all on the base, with long thin flexible shafts and bike brake cables actuating the joints. A raspberry pi zero w, controlling 10 or so steppers. A chain of shift registers controls a series of dual h-bridges, connected to a few RPi GPIO

2 cameras on the grabber like a freaking robot ostrich that serves you. Cheap stereo webcams, with simple structured light for easy rangefinding to avoid obstacles

Skills brainstorm:

Potential apps

  • Is this trash? App
  • Close this door if it's left open
  • Any door is an automatic door
  • Any lightswitch is now connected
  • Go set the thermostat, I'm cold
  • See what the dog wants app
  • Stocking shelves
  • Shopping
  • Pick up dirty clothes
  • Training mode, repeat this motion
  • Action editor with timeline like audacity, add particular spots to aim for visually
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Video game, it digs through fridge on its own, asking you if each thing is good

Types of apps

  • Go do something
  • Bring me something
  • Send me pics to make decisions
  • Everything is a smart thing

Arm design brainstorm:

  • use <$15 dremel flexible shafts to keep swung weight low on arm
  • use bike brake cables wherever possible, even cheaper than flex shaft
  • Use all the same stepper motors to reduce BOM
  • Extension/retraction arm for adaptable leverage