For a few weeks now I have been working on a new idea: an autonomous robot photographer.
My ultimate goal is to build a fully autonomous robot which could take well-composed pictures in various social events: conferences, open days, weddings and so on.
In the process I am also hoping to build a scalable system that could be extended to more complicated tasks and, potentially, used as a teaching tool at an undergraduate level.
I am planning to open-source both the software and the construction details, therefore I am using only widely accessible and inexpensive parts, and only open-source software.
My preliminary "ingredients" list for the robot includes:
- a Microsoft Kinect sensor to detect humans and avoid obstacles in the environment,
- a cheap point-and-shoot camera for taking the actual pictures, and
- a Turtlebot spec compliant Kobuki robot base for the actual locomotion.
I will update the blog with more development details, but in the meantime, here's a video of the first development milestone: an autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance.