Development, Education

Robot Photographer (Part I)

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.

Robot photographer development: obstacle avoidance

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