Final Project: NapBot

Assignment,Final Project — jbedford @ 4:21 pm

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NapBot. A robotic bed that follows CMU students and asks them to take a nap. This project was inspired by the relevant sleep deprivation habit myself and other CMU students encounter. NapBot offer a portable napping area that you can take around campus. Instead of leaving your bed in the morning why not take it with you.

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Through tele-operation, NapBot can transport students while they sleep.  So student can get to there next class on time while catching some snooze. The head rest dome offer a sense of privacy to the user. It provides shade form the sun, and doubles a a whiteboard for studying, note taking, or free draw.
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NapBot can initialize 5 min and 10 min nap sequences. First, user presses one of the nap buttons, then after the set time period is over, NapBot proceed to wake the user up with an alarm.

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Elements/Tech: Nomad 200 series robot beneath a bed sheet in order to give the appearance of  a night stand. A narrow air mattress rests upon a bike attachable flatbed hook to the robot. The robot is tele-operated via radio control. the dome is fixed to 80/20 upon the flat bed. The dome can lift up for bed mounting. The radio control utilizes an arduino and xbee. The robots voice is established using a Raspberry Pi and small speaker within the robot. the power source in a battery with an AC to DC Inverter and a power supple to maintain the appropriate voltage for the motor controller. A lamp is added to the top, to complete the nightstand appearance.

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Reactions: A Motorized Bed can be intimidating, there were instances where students actively avoided it or were curious but to cautious to interact with it. Hiding the robot I assumed would make the bed more approachable. but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. NapBot approach startles spectators.   The robot speech gave the bed an extra level of personality. Student clearly understood its purpose.

Improvements: Timing is key, Midday test run from 1-4 on a sunny day did not receive the expected response. Student were too lively and awake to make use of NapBot, and thus proceed to ignore it or ride it like a carnival ride. Also during midday, student s are in a rush and  too busy to interact with the bed. The lateNight test run from 8 to 10, was instantly recognized. At that time people utilized NapBot for rest.

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Clarity is important. At first glance spectators are confused and unsure how to of NapBots purpose. By write the message “Take a Nap?” and by having NapBot vocally introduce itself to people, this problem was resolve. Breakdowns are inevitable. The robot broke down 7 times on the first trial. And twice on the second. Either communication cuts out, vibrations knock electronics lose, wheel threads brake, robot tips over, batteries die (9volts = so little ampHours), nightstand sheet gets lodged in drivetrain, or air mattress pops.


All things considered, NapBot was a successful Urban Intervention

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  1. this post needs the “student work” category
    please resize embedded videos to fit the width of our blog, i.e. 500px
    the pictures are very blurry; they are being resized improperly.
    please fix.

    Comment by Ali Momeni — May 15, 2014 @ 10:55 am
  2. understood

    Comment by jbedford — May 16, 2014 @ 11:18 am
  3. Videos are resized,
    Images are un-blurred.

    Comment by jbedford — May 16, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

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