The CyborgDistro is an open source project that allows anyone to build a multi-robot, multi-sensor cyborg. The CyborgDistro software currently runs on Raspbian on Raspberry Pi and interfaces with Android phones over sockets. The software can run on many different configurations of manipulator and sensor hardware.
We have prototyped two Cyborg hardware configurations:
Autonomous Cyborg Backpack: https://tandonp.wordpress.com/autonomous-cyborg-backpack/
Wearable MultiClaw: https://tandonp.wordpress.com/wearable-multiclaw/
----------------------------------------Autonomous Cyborg Backpack---------------------------------
The Autonomous Cyborg Backpack is a proto cyborg of the Distro. This cyborg has multiple robots -- many robot arms, grippers, etc. Additionally, it supports many sensor modalities such as sonar and camera. C and Java API libraries are provided with the Distro to control different sensors.
Watch the cyborg backpack in action!:
--Cyborg Hardware Specs--
- 2 Dagu 6DOF Arms
- SSC32 Servo Controller w/ custom enclosure
- Raspberry Pi 2 w/ portable USB battery and Wi-Fi dongle
- 2 Ultrasonic sensors on the sides of the backpack serve to detect obstacles and your phone beeps if you get close to something. This helps you protect the extra arms from damage.
- 2 Web Cams mounted on the backpack help you see behind you! GoPro has it backwards.
- The backpack is completely controllable via an Android application that lets you move the arms and see sensor output in real-time.
- Tekkeon External Battery for powering the servo controller.
--Cyborg Software Specs--
The GitHub repository (https://github.com/prateekt/CyborgDistro) contains four directories for useful code.
- RealTimeSystem - Python Scripts and compiled jars for running the system. Includes the Python CameraServer and SonarServer for automating these USB sensors. Looking at this folder is the best way to get off the ground and get a running Cyborg system.
- ServoControlServer - Server that runs on Raspberry Pi to control Servo Motors. Interacts with Android App over sockets to allow user to send commands to the robot from their phone.
- CyborgApp - Android App Project that allows a user to control the Cyborg. The Android App supports real-time visualization of the incoming sensor data. It allows the user to control and send commands to the servo motors to move the arms.
- Sensor API - C APIs for various popular off the shelf sensors. This is derived from my blog post (https://tandonp.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/python-sensor-libraries/). You can easily use Python CTypes to automate obtaining data from the sensors in high level python. In fact, the entire higher level logic of the system is written in Python and Java at the end of the day, but we can also control the low level polling details of sensors and actuators in C if we need to.
The Wearable MultiClaw is another Cyborg that is almost ready for human consumption! The slide-on Wearable MultiClaw can go anywhere you need a couple helping hands. Perhaps you’d like to carry some additional items on your arm. Or maybe on your feet.
Watch the Wearable MultiClaw in action:
The hardware and software used to build the device are highly scalable and cost-effective.
- The grippers are $5 grippers from SparkFun. Never before has having lots of grippers ever been so affordable (which is subsequently spawning this multi-robot cyborg revolution).
- Pololu Micro Maestro Controller ($20), the Raspberry Pi ($35), along with some batteries.
- The grippers are mounted on inexpensive ($5) fitness wristbands.
- Code for your MultiClaw in Python or using the Pololu Maestro language!
With all slide-on these robotic actuators and sensors, you will be able to manipulate the world at your fingertips -- or claw tips!
---------------------------------------------Plan for the Cyborgs-------------------------------------------
Multiple robots augmenting a human? ? You don’t have to wait until 2050 to see this become reality. There are many useful real-world applications of multi robot cyborgs that can be realized today. They can be useful in addressing problems everyone has in their daily lives.
In Medicine: If you broke an arm or sprained an ankle, wouldn’t it be nice to have a smart medical cast that lends a helping hand while you heal? Cyborgs can provide people temporary capability to grasp and hold objects. But why stop at only one robot arm? Like pasta, more is always better! Slide-on Multi-Claws may enable people to be flexible and interact with multiple objects, while waiting for an arm to heal.
For Daily Chores: If your hands are tired, get a helping hand for simple chores. You can press a button on your smartphone and let them do the manipulation of the object. Need to clean dog doo, take out the trash, or change baby diapers? Let your multi-robot add-ons provide a helping hand. No need to get your hands dirty anymore! Just sit back and control with your smartphone.
In Entertainment/Fashion: Multi-robot cyborg attire lets you lead the cutting edge lifestyle you want. And they can certainly do more than take selfies. In the home, Multi-Robot Cyborgs provide entertainment for adults and children alike. Going out, leave an impression with 3D-printed bootstraps that can tie themselves using tiny snake robots. At the mall, multiple arms serve as a butler, helping hold items for you as you continue browsing the racks. Better yet, they’ll never complain about getting tired or bored!
In Education: Cyborgs are a fun way to learn Python -- especially if you are writing Python code to control a snake robot. And if that snake robot is a highly flexible Cyborg tail? Students can subsequently become experts for highly lucrative "Big Data" companies by learning how to model intricate tail distributions! Who doesn't want to statistically model a Cyborg tail?
In Sensitive Situations: If you have to deal with insurance agents, car dealerships, politicians or the DMV, wouldn't having two cameras near the back of your head be useful? Don't go into any negotiation or dispute without a pair of extra arms to protect yourself and have the upper hand (or claw) against fraud.
For everyone: With multiple robots augmenting a human, you can have more degrees of freedom than ever before. How about something to hold that hot coffee for you so you don't burn yourself as you open the car door? What about something to reach a paper in the top file cabinet? Or an automated backscratcher? The application areas of Multi-Robot Cyborgs technology are endless.
Systems can be designed in such a way that they are noninvasive. It’s like any other type of clothing. If you don’t want it anymore, you can simply take it off. Maybe, though, you’ll even want to keep the extra arms and sensors just for the sheer power of manipulating the world at your will!
The end result of CyborgDistro is greater efficiency, precision, and control over your world when you need it. Via our free and open-source designs, we hope to empower anyone to have this power and use it to better their lives as well as the human race at large!