Flexo the Balancing Robot
Yes, I finally put the finishing touches on my mini, balancing robot that does color tracking. His name is Flexo. Yes…after Benders smarter brother. I used Flexo extensively for testing cone tracking techniques for our RoboMagellan contest entry
Here is Bob showing Flexo’s cone tracking technique:
Flexo has sonar onboard, so we can send him into a crowd, and he will find someone wearing red and follow them around without running into them. We took Flexo with us to Seattle for the 2004 SRS Robothon, and he was a big hit. Every time we powered him up, he drew a good sized crowd, and almost always, he found someone wearing red to make friends with.Sure enough, birds of a feather flock together, he ran into his big, balancing, distant cousin, a Segway, and it’s owner was kind enough to let me get a photo of the Segway, and Flexo, balancing together.
Flexo took the “Best Engineered Robot” award at the 2004 Robothon. Here is a snapshot of Flexo with his award ribbons, and Odyssey, our Robo-Magellan Robot, which took 2nd place in the Robo-Magellan competition.
Next steps for Flexo, are better navigation techniques for roaming around, and a better camera/vision system for doing more than just following the color red.