SHOWALL HIGH VOLTAGE ROBOTICS
Figure34 - VGER greets the Halloween bunch
Figure34 - VGER greets the Halloween bunch

VGER did a few other indoor events and was always well behaved and usually the star of the show. On Halloween, I affixed a bucket of candy and sent VGER out to greet the little ghosts and goblins that came to the yard, using a night vision camera as it became darker out. Within minutes, the local news was on the scene interviewing VGER live, which then set of a flood of cars parked all the way down the street. Sadly, I did not expect such a flood of people and VGER had no more candy to hand out to those who brought their kids to meet the neighborhood cyborg. It was fun though. VGER was certainly a huge success, but being busy with real work I never did get to finish the body work and robotic arm.



Figure35 - Autobot was a machine vision experiment
Figure35 - Autobot was a machine vision experiment

My next robot was made as an experimental platform to test machine vision and autonomous navigation. I had lofty goals for this robot considering the state of computing in the day called a 166MHz CPU with 256 Megs of RAM a powerhouse! I used the wheels from VGER and made a wider frame using the same front and rear wheels so that I could carry a much larger battery bank. Autobot would have a fully working PC computer onboard, and need at least 4 large marine batteries to run it for several hours. The end goal would be a robot that would follow me around, remember faces, and talk to people using voice recognition and computer speech. Yes, all this from an early Pentium computer running Windows 95!

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