The big picture

As you can see our main goal is “A place where two programmers share their experiences with the world about Robotics and AI programming.”. But you can ask the question if that is our purpose, how are these posts related to robotics?
Let’s go back to the roots, what is robotics? What is robotics exactly? As I think there are many aspect for this word. The best one I think is, a robot is a tool which helps to automate our daily routines or our human related works.

Here we ask ourselves what do we want to automate? There will be many answer for this question. Just like, I want a car like K.I.T.T. which will help my drive and be the sidekick for me in my daily life. I know it is very perv, but I wanted to give a hint what kind of robot you can think of.

We have a car which we want to automate and give him an AI and special abilities, like vision and spoken human communication.

We have a base car, we need to boost it’s features. We need to give him a camera to have an eye to see, and an image processing software to let him know what is he looking at. For speaking he will need devices to hear us and to speak to us, a microphone, a speaker, and a voice recognition software. The computer vision in itself is already a really huge field that still continues to grow. It can be seen, we have to cut the pieces from the big picture to make our puzzle.

As we are programmers, we are good at information manipulation. And (hopefully) we are good at abstract modelling and software developing. We may see things through this.

Note: We are programmers, we make a software onto hardware what we have, instead of building a better hardware. Just for example: If we have a noisy microphone, we may build a software which will filter the noise. But if we were engineers we may build some filtering device onto the microphone instead of programming. There can be many solution for the same problem, as we have many viewpoint. In this blog we will give you software based solutions for the challenges with only a little hardware work.

Do we need the whole car just to develop the speaking feature? The answer is no, it will be better, if we have a car but it isn’t necessary. In real life we will need a good quality microphone which can hear us very well. But when we don’t exactly know what we want to do, we start to build models. We don’t buy the expensive tools for the model. A model can be concept based, just like we write it to a paper that in what cases what it should do. For more real model we can buy a cheap microphone and assemble a prototype.

We are getting close to the point. We may want a remote controlled robot, for that we need a wireless hardware which can be connected to the PC (through wireless) and can be shaped to our needs. This is where my Linksys router and OpenWRT comes in. The router is wireless it can be connected to a PC, it has an USB port to communicate with no-wireless hardware, just like a motor controller, a webcam or an Arduino board. And the most important thing is that you can change the software of the router to a customizable one, namely OpenWRT. With our imagination and determination we can create many models (then dominate the world), for our future robot.
Now you can see there can be many kinds of robots, and there can be many aspects of views what we can build. We don’t need the best hardware to know what we want and to learn. I hope this will bring our blog closer to the stream of robotics.


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