Exploring Roboraptor's Moods (Video)
Roboraptor has three very different moods - Playful, Cautious, and Hunting. His behavior in each mood is considerably different - especially when you rub his chin, or he senses some tasty prey close by. The Roboraptor manual mentions this briefly, but leaves it up to you to explore and figure out his moods for yourself. Being the incredibly curious, and never able to leave well enough alone, we hauled Roboraptor off to our Robotics Lab for a little up-close-and-personal testing.
Being good Robot scientists, we wanted to isolate and break down Roboraptor's behaviors versus his moods so that we could clearly understand each piece of the puzzle before we fit it all together to grok the big picture. We were struggling to figure out the best approach, when suddenly we remembered that great scene in one of the Jurassic Park movies (2 or 3?) where they thought that they had the dinosaur immobilized in the crate built especially for it, only to have it break free and eat a few of them....
Following the example from the movie, we quickly hacked together an immobilizing crate for our Roboraptor using stuff from our junk box and a healthy supply of duct tape. For the first set of tests, we focused on the Roboraptor's head (we plan to publish similar tests on other parts of the Roboraptor soon.) We put the robot into each one of his moods, and played with his sensors including moving our hands around in front of his face, stroking his chin, grabbing his tail sensors, and sticking our fingers in his mouth.
Here's what we found:
Roboraptor Mood Test
[click on image - video opens in a new window]
Of course this was just our initial test, and like all good tests it raises more questions than it answers. We want to go back and do some more detailed tests as soon as possible. However, we did make the following observations:
- His behavior is strikingly different in each mood, and the mood names really seem to match the way he acts. There are some small similarities between moods that might bother the purist, but we didn't find them objectionable.
- Although Roboraptor's default mood is Hunting, his Playful mood is a lot more fun - at least for our tastes
- Our idea for a mood related hack would be to mount LEDs behind his eyes and have them glow Red in Hunting mood, Green in Playful mood, and Blue in Cautious mood.
Challenge: There is one thing kind of odd about this video clip. Can you figure out what it is?
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