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Robot Helper Design Challenge

Northridge Middle School: Mrs. Brown's class

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Mrs. Brown’s class robot buddy description.

  1. What will your robot buddy look like?

    Our robot buddy has a basic frog design. We chose not to make our buddy look like a human because we thought that it would be scary to look at. It would also be too big for travel and take up too much space in the ISS. Our robot will be made out of aluminum. Aluminum will make it lightweight and durable. His size will be slightly bigger then a basket ball, but shaped like a fat disk.
    Our robot buddy will have 4 appendages. These frog like looking legs with opposable fingers can be used for holding itself in place or stopping itself in microgravity. The legs have joints and can be moved in any direction. It has a place to store small tools for repairs, and a pop up monitor and palm pilot size keyboard attached. It has 2 cameras that can move in any direction one on the top of the robot and one on the bottom. It has two fans on the back and one on the bottom for movement inside the ISS. It has two lights on the front that give light and look like eyes of the frog. There is another light that can come out of the bottom by the camera. The robot’s sensors are located beneath the eyes and appear like a mouth. Two small nitrogen tanks are stored in side to be used for movement out side the ISS. Larger tanks can be attached.

    Best of all, all these parts are retractable. Every part can be drawn inside the robot buddy for smooth travel. Robot frog will be available in many colors, and will have a license plate/nametag to show identity difference.

  2. How will your robot buddy get around?
    Our robot buddy will move around using 3 fans, 4 legs, and 2 nitrogen tanks. Inside the ISS the fans will be used to propel the robot around. One fan in located on the bottom and 2 fans are located on the back. Our robot will have 6 degrees of freedom in movement. The computer and balance sensors in the robot computer brain will control this movement. The legs will be used mostly for holding itself in place for working purposes. Its opposable fingers will help it to grab stuff so it won’t float away. The legs can also be used to push off surfaces to help it change direction. We think it might be good to use artificial robot rubber muscle in the legs, to act more frog like.

    Outside the ISS the robot will use Nitrogen tanks to propel itself where there is no oxygen. It will use MMU technology. If it has to be out for long periods of time, larger tanks can be attached. The legs can be used if the robot should happen to have to walk on another terrestrial surface if used on another space mission other than the ISS.

    The robot has different ways to maneuver, because it has different environments it must maneuver in. It is believed that these 3 ways should cover all aspects of space movement possibilities.

  3. How will you talk to it?
    To talk to our robot, it must have some sort of artificial intelligence such as a computer. It will use at least a 500mghz computer or better for its brain. The robot will have microphone sensors, and will respond to voice command. If an astronaut talks to the robot, it can respond. It will process the information and speak back. Another way to communicate with the robot would be to use the palm pilot size keyboard attached to the robot itself. It also has a remote control for directions and a keyboard remote incase it is located at a place it can not be reached or needs an emergency shut down.

    One unique way the robot can be used is as a translator. Our robot buddy will have the capability to translate other languages. This can be an awesome benefit to the astronauts from other countries. The robot will also have other places for adapters to connect other communication devices. The main robot computer brain will basically control all communication.

  4. What can it do for the astronauts on the ISS?
    Our robot can help the astronauts on the ISS as well as those in the space shuttle. One important way our buddy can help is by inspecting for and repairing damaged tiles. When the shuttle is docked at the station, robot buddy can make repairs to make sure the Space shuttle is safe for atmosphere reentry. The robot can use it’s tool kit for most any station repairs, or at least it has the capability to use any tool, even those stored on the ISS to make inside and outside repairs. Our buddy can also help by detecting carbon dioxide and other harmful gases in the ISS atmosphere. It has a spectrometer to detect when carbon dioxide reaches 5%. At this time, an alarm will go off, and robot buddy will make loud sounds and have flashing lights. Robot buddy also has 2 cameras to send video images to the astronauts for whatever there use may be. Another great unique feature that robot buddy can help astronauts with, is its translator. Since the ISS is International, we thought robot buddy should have a translator. This way, astronauts will not have to use valuable training time learning another language completely. Robot buddy can translate any language into any other language. Robot buddy is a regular handyman. Everyone should have a robot buddy.
  5. How will you know your robot from the others?
    One way robot buddies can be known from others is that they are available in many colors. Astronauts can have their robots customized with color choice such as green, blue, yellow etc… The flashing lights can also be made another color. Another way to tell the robots part will be to give them a name tag/license plate identification #. Voice recognition or different robot voices could also be added. This is so astronauts can tell the robots apart on the ISS.

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