Yesterday, while the FROG was powered-down for hardware enhancements, Randy Klaassen and Jan Kolkmeier from the University of Twente added some features to their FROG Wizard-of-Oz web interface.
They designed and implemented this web interface to control not only the output of specific AR content but also to trigger chosen steps from the State Machine.
This interface is not used for the FROG tour when the robot is running autonomously but is a splendid tool for experiments or testing as it can trigger specific states or abilities. It can also be used to keep the FROG in action in the case f really bad weather as it can be used to run just the indoor parts of the robot mission.
Piggy has evolved! He is back in the on-site lab keeping an eye on what’s happening to his friend FROG.
And what is happening? Hardware enhancements and improvements on the demo mission.
Paulo Alvito and Carlos Marques have been working together to place 2 new fans, adjust the position of the projector (so that it no longer touches the window in the shell), reinstate the function of the Electronics Power Button (UPO had put in an override to power down the UvA cameras) and install a new device to power down the Dalsas and the lasers, and touch up FROG’s paintwork. You’ll find Piggy on the corner of the desk where he can survey his domain.
Later, Carlos will install a new, small controller board on the docking station. Using sensors, this will detect the robot when it enters the docking station and consequently turn on the power to the docking station. As soon as the FROG leaves the docking station the controller will turn the power off again. This is an important safety measure. The docking station will be left unattended in the shop at the main entrance to the Royal Alcàzar where (obviously) visitors (and therefore children) can enter at any time.
We arrived at the Alcázar this morning to find that our lab in the Tennis Court had been taken over by a film crew – the film crew of the TV series Violetta, no less! This was not exactly according to plan but as always the Royal Alcázar came up with a quick solution – a temporary lab for us until after filming.
Yet another beautiful room…
Violetta has a large crew and, it would seem, a larger group of uniformed security guys with walkie-talkies. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let us take any photo’s while they were filming so we’ll just have to watch the series to see them in our lab. But, here’s one of the security chaps with a mobile as well as a walkie-talkie.
Last week the FROG robot appeared in all its glory – green at last – at the Royal Alcázar in Seville. We had a very successful integration and data collection meeting and ran user experiments and observation sessions with multimodal presentations on the robot. The aim of this project is to make a fun robot to augment the grand work done by human tour guides at heritage sites and zoos.
In September we will hold presentations and demonstrations about the project to an invited audience and we hope to have a lot of feedback from the tour guides as to how a robot could someday become their new colleague. Ask not, what can you do for the robot, but, what can the robot do for you?
FROG and baby-FROG (a customized MAGABOT platform) were at the Royal Alcázar in Seville from 24-28 February for integration work and tests. The Royal Alcázar is a wonderful place to visit. The palace is beautiful but leave time to wander in the well-tended gardens!
What do you do when you need to run outdoor tests with a robot platform without a shell as was the case in October 2013 in the Lisbon Zoo? Well, you can either pack it in plastic sheeting fixed with sticky back plastic, or you can be a gentleman and be ready with an umbrella.
A collaborative project under the FP7-ICT-2011.2.1 Cognitive Systems and Robotics (a), (d) area of activity.