Thirty Gallon Robot, Part III: The Smiling Tour Guide

Project Overview:

Designing and developing mobile robots capable of completing simple to complex tasks continues to be an evolving section of computer science. However, being able to teach students about this technology while allowing them to directly interact with real robots was unrealistic for the majority of institutions due to high priced materials. Fortunately, the cost of these materials for these types of projects have been declining for several years. This leads into one of the original goals of this extensive project that is now in its third year of development. The goal is to show how a budget for robotic parts can be slimmed even further, by building our robot around a 30 gallon container to demonstrate that even complex and effective robots can be constructed using inexpensive materials.

Our team's project for this stage of the robot's development will be focused around creating software capable of localizing the device it will be executing on (laptops, smartphones, and eventually the robot) by using the signal strength of routers in a given building. This software will be developed independently from the robot to greatly support modularity. Getting this software operational is critical, not just for the robot, but for the overall problem we, and previous teams, are working to solve. That is, creating a robot capable of guiding individuals around any building. Specifically, we will be testing the software to operate inside of the Engineering building on Northern Arizona University's campus and eventually move to other buildings to ensure our product functions as expected. The original description for this project as provided by our sponsor can be found here.

Project Sponsor
Dr. Michael Leverington, Lecturer
School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems

Project Mentor
David Failing, Teaching Assistant
School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems