I-Cybie: An adorable Robotic Pet
- Feb 29, 2016
I-Cybie is a type of biomorphic robot pet. The word “biomorphic” means something resembling any living organism. The I-Cybie has the semblance of an adorable dog. This robotic dog can respond to touch, sound, movement and various voice commands. This robot has an autonomous recharge feature. There's a unique docking station for this purpose. This was the first mass-manufactured robotic toy having an advanced voice identification technology.
Image Source- https://www.hackinglab.org/icybie/image/i-cybie.jpg
Components and their general functions
I-Cybie contains 16 in-built motors for various functions. Three CPU's are there for various purposes. These three are listed below:
- Toshiba TMP91C815F (This is used for controlling motion and is also used for calculation of mood. It's the main CPU).
- SunPlus Technology Central Processing Unit that helps in performing audio playback.
- RSC 300/364 is used for speech recognition cum recording.
I-Cybie has a total number of 1400 parts. For determination of mood as well as behavior, I-Cybie uses a number of sensors. Some of these sensors are:
- Light sensors used for motion sensing and initiating a behavioral sequence as soon as it detects petting (Located on the nose and the back).
- IR (Infra-Red) Obstacle Sensor used for avoiding collisions and detecting edges located on chest array. This chest array can receive remote commands and can also be used for communication with other robot toys like another I-Cybie.
- Touch sensors (head button, back button and nose button) that can influence behavior and moods of the bot.
- 4 microphones. Three find their uses in hearing sharp sounds. And the fourth one is used for discerning voices which means that this microphone picks up individual voices and selects the right voice for which the bot's programmed to respond.
- Orientation sensor that is used by the robot to detect whether it has toppled over or not.
- 12 Encoders (3 on each leg).
- Drive dynamic feedback that can detect whether the legs are jammed or not. If they are jammed, it will automatically try to opt for suitable actions to free its legs.
It is possible to program an I-Cybie in a manner in which it will show its response to a specific user's voice commands. The speech recognition feature of this robot is speaker oriented. RSC 300/364 serves this purpose effectively. This micro-controller is capable of processing those commands irrespective of any specific spoken language on the basis of biometric authentication. The manual lists eight voice commands. These commands would enable initiation of eight various behavior categories. I-Cybie has the capability of picking up sharp sounds. It can also localize the approximate course of the sound source. I-Cybie also has a unique feature in its “clap command” (inside “play” mode) mode. It counts the amount of claps that are given in that mode and responds accordingly with equal number of barks. The Orientation Sensor helps the robot to rise back up on its feet if it has toppled over. The robot can detect whether it is in a cramped space or there's an obstacle blocking its path. There's a mode called the “guard” mode in which it can actually detect motion. The light sensors located on its nose and back serve this purpose. The light sensors also help the bot to perceive ambient levels of light. I-Cybie can use various gaits for moving. It can perform a number of actions like sitting, rolling on its sides, standing on the head etc. The IR sensors help the bot to detect edges and avoid collisions. I-Cybie has the capability to know whether the charge of its battery is low or not. If the battery charge is low, it will automatically shut itself down. There's a walk-up charger which comes with the robot that is used to charge I-Cybie. If the walk-up charger is nearby, I-Cybie will automatically find the charger and start recharging itself.
I-Cybie possesses five “moods” that get reflected in its autonomous behavior. These five moods seemingly are:
The moods are based on the accumulative count and ways of interactions with the robot. The built-in sensors pick up the count and ways of interactions resulting in certain moods such as the ones listed above. The users can actually determine the current mood of the bot by its posture, eye color and from certain types of behavior (like yawning while sleepy etc.). I-Cybie's built-in artificial intelligence is regarded as “evolving” depending on the treatment of users and the environment.
The I-Cybie can be controlled using an IR RCU (Remote Control Unit). The chest array accepts the remote commands and enables the bot to communicate with other similar toys like another I-Cybie. The remote has several specific modes like the play, guard and stay modes. The remote also features a “training” mode for modifying the robot's speech recognition feature.
The I-Cybie is used by various schools and universities for teaching coding and robotics because of its advanced technological capabilities. The detailed specifications and the price of this robot can be found here. The I-Cybie is a fascinating companion. It certainly is a man-made machine but on hindsight, it doesn't seem to be a machine at all because of its capabilities to behave almost like a real dog. This robot will virtually be a member of your family, a real pet minus the fur and consumption of food cum water. The only thing that it will consume is power.
Futurite aims to bring high quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education to school students in India. Our mission is to use cutting-edge technologies such as Robotics and 3D Printing to impart a thorough grounding in STEM subjects and concepts to school students while making their learning experience fun, engaging and hands-on. Futurite has been operating in Dubai successfully (as Premier Genie) since a number of years, working with over 25 of the top international schools and teaching 1000+ students. Futurite has been founded by alumni from IIT, IIM, JU and HEC Paris.
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