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RIP Rhino: death by SRL show

The nobelest thing a robot can do (Aside from destroying all humans) is to die a noble death for art. Rhino was given these honors by a small SRL show, mostly at the hands of the Big Arm, and the Running Machine.
October 30, 2010, Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA.
Video credit: MadLolly

In legend, rhinoceros would stomp out fires.

In Oakland, robots are more commonly the starters of fires, so I thought it would be fun, or funny, to create a robot that would seek and extinguish fires.

Work in Progress.
I initially set out to build a six legged walking robot based on simple instructions, but as the build progressed, it became apparent that the leg joints were weakly designed, and the alignment was not well setup. Additionally, the relays required to power the drive motors were far more expensive than making a MOSFET H-Bridge (a transistor motor controller), so I set about re-engineering the project with the intention of it carrying around 150lbs payload, including a battery supply, 20 to 40lbs of liquid carbon dioxide, and control circuitry for autonomous motion.

On the geekier side of things, I've set up an iPhone compatible webpage using ajax, to let an operator remotely drive the robot and see video from an onboard camera. Next, I will program it to roam autonomously, with range detection provided by Sharp GP2Y0A sensors, and a thermopile for IR temperature sensing, and a USB webcam for computer vision through the OpenCV api.

Copyright 2010, Sam Reese Gawthrop