What a difference a day makes as I start assembling all the real components and trying to sort them out -- even doubling the size of the chassis the whole thing seems... smaller. And it's definitely slower. And I still haven't added the USB router or the second power supply for the linux portion. Or the lasers.
But really, I don't want to make Wall-E or Huey/Dewey/Louie or K-9 or Johnny-5. All those designs have a similar feel, I think, because they are dominated by components. This seems like a dead-end for the physical design, I'm moving back to my "expressive tentacle-like eyestalk" plan.
Imagine if animals were designed this way. Ugh. They all have similar components, but how different are even the various vertebrates and chordates, much less the wide variety of other creatures...
Did some computer vision tests this evening and it was taking eight seconds a pop to analyze images. Realtime, yay.
Sadly, the Botzilla Name has been hijacked -- repeatedly -- so the name I'm using for this little project is KID (botzilla): Kevin's Illmatic Distraction. Or idiotic. Or intrepid. Or infantile. Indescribable. idk.
No lasers or grenade launchers yet but at least I finally got a little time clear to get this little platform working in a predictable way, with the controller managing DC motors rather than servos or steppers. Truthfully I'm not at all sure that something so typically mechanical is part of my goal. I'm now thinking about using flexible kevlar strips to push bits around, like twistable tendons on a flexible stalk. Motorized rubber bands?
My real interest in this is trying to get at the idea that embodiment, input, and and output are all the same. When someone turns to look at you, not only does that change their collection of immediate stimuli, but the way that they look also has an expressive effect that's transmitted. Should the sound and speed of a motor be considered an expressive part of a robot's presence (how else would people sell Harley Davidsons?)? The idea of separable inputs and outputs, as we have in formal systems like computers, seems to me to be an artificial construct, unlike the nature of being in the world.