By Andy Choi
Are you worried about leaving your puppy behind at home alone when you go to work? Well here comes the perfect dog sitter. A robot surrogate that you can actually control from your work place! The proxy dog sitter was built by Jordan Correa a test developer at Microsoft’s robotics group.
Since both Correa and his wife have full time jobs they decided that the robot was needed for their dog named Darwin. Correa has training in robotics and engineering and managed to build the ‘telepresence’ robot surrogate which they now use to play with the dog from work.
The DarwinBot as Correa called it uses a Parallax EDDIE chassis and is programmed with the beta version of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4. The robot can dispense treats for Darwin, has a ball launching ballista, a ball retrieving arm and even speakers for Darwin to hear his master’s voice.
Using the ‘onboard’ tablet PC Jordan Correa can interact with Darwin over Skype using a pan and tilt webcam. The whole robotic assembly is controlled by an Xbox 360 controller over the internet.
Say what you may about the strange noises that the dog may hear the robot making, but it is one way to keep your lonely dog entertained while you are away at work.