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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jul 6, 2006

Availabot - Check it out

Availabot is a physical representation of presence in Instant Messenger applications. Availabot plugs into your computer by USB, stands to attention when your chat buddy comes online, and falls down when they go away. It’s a presence-aware, peripheral-vision USB toy… and because the puppets are made in small numbers on a rapid-prototyping machine, it can look just like YOU.

More here -

https://schulzeandwebb.com/2006/availabot/

Cool, say what?
-The Big K-
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jul 6, 2006
any idea

I'm amazed by this little bot . Does anyone have idea how it works and what goes behind the scenes?

Moving this thread to technical discussions.

-The Big K-
Neha
Neha • Jul 7, 2006
well thats an amazing part of knowledge to share with,biggie.

sorry!! no idea about how it works.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jul 7, 2006
pradypop's got the answers

Well, prady & I had a chat last night & he said he knows how to build one.

He's busy with his work these days. I'll ask him to share the information with us. If anyone else has any knowledge, do feel free to share it with us.

-The Big K-
crook
crook • Jul 7, 2006
can we make it ourselves?

I think it would be great if we could build a availabot ourselves 😎 . Looking for more information.

CrooK
pradypop
pradypop • Jul 11, 2006
I am trying give you a very high-level and a very basic idea of how this bot works.

There are two components in design to be taken into consideration...The bot-side and PC side.

The bot-side:

It consists of,
1. The bot structure.
2. A motor with a string attached so that it can pull the bot up or release the bot to allow it to fall.
3. A microcontroller which has atleast one USB port(to communicate with pc) and a PWM channel(to control bot with a spindle motor) or a parallel port(to control bot with a stpper motor).

Principle on this side is simple; get the message from PC and act accordingly either turn the motor clock-wise or anti-clockwise.

The PC side:

It needs a device driver with APIs like say turn_bot on() and turn_bot_ off().
These APIs can be used within the messenging software. When a friend appears the messenging software changes the colour of icon beside the name of the friend. Just add turn_bot_on() line at this place and when the colour changes the bot rises aswell and vice-versa.

I hope i managed to give you the overview of things.
Jerry
Jerry • Jul 28, 2006
If we ever start building availabot on the forums, I think I will be useful.

Any plans of taking up this activity?

Jerry
aashima
aashima • Jul 31, 2006
wow

hey thats a good piece of knowledge.. sure we can start with it.. what say?
aashima
aashima • Jul 31, 2006
super

i just checked out the availabot link.. its actually very very good. i wish i could have it for my pc as well!!!
great one biggie.. but where can we get it from?
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jul 31, 2006
The software part of the project can be handled online. But we have a long way to go before the CEans could unite 'offline' and form clubs/workshops to takeup such activities.

Google has started providing webspace for open source projects. We can use that.

-The Big K-
aashima
aashima • Jul 31, 2006
The_Big_K
The software part of the project can be handled online. But we have a long way to go before the CEans could unite 'offline' and form clubs/workshops to takeup such activities.

Google has started providing webspace for open source projects. We can use that.

-The Big K-

yes.. i guess it can prove to be a great achievement !!!!
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jul 31, 2006
aashima
yes.. i guess it can prove to be a great achievement !!!!
Sure. But we will have to grow in number. Possibilities are unlimited 😉

-The Big K-
pradypop
pradypop • Jul 31, 2006
I am currently working on Samsung S3C4510 ARM7TDMI. I am working on porting uClinux onto this chip. You got an in-built USB A and B ports on this chip. And 32-GPIO pins that can be used for stepper control or PWM channels for Spindle motor.

This can be an ideal chip if you want to design the bot. You cannot port linux because the chip doesn't have a MMU. You have to go for uClinux. Even a non-OS based design is possible. May be non-OS based design is ideal because of the simplicity of the project and the bot does'nt have ayn multi-tasking requirements or any real-time deadlines to meet. A simple round-robin architecture can do the job.
aashima
aashima • Jul 31, 2006
pradypop
I am currently working on Samsung S3C4510 ARM7TDMI. I am working on porting uClinux onto this chip. You got an in-built USB A and B ports on this chip. And 32-GPIO pins that can be used for stepper control or PWM channels for Spindle motor.

This can be an ideal chip if you want to design the bot. You cannot port linux because the chip doesn't have a MMU. You have to go for uClinux. Even a non-OS based design is possible. May be non-OS based design is ideal because of the simplicity of the project and the bot does'nt have ayn multi-tasking requirements or any real-time deadlines to meet. A simple round-robin architecture can do the job.
i guess linux would make it quite complicated as well. what say???
pradypop
pradypop • Aug 1, 2006
aashima
i guess linux would make it quite complicated as well. what say???
That's true. Infact an average programmer takes a minimum of an year to become an accomplished programmer in embedding linux.

This project's quiet small and doesn't really warrant usage on any embedded OS. The most complex part would be to get the USB on chip up and running.
summit.sehgal
summit.sehgal • Nov 30, 2006
Ok mr. Big K,

Implementing u'r idea isn't really a big deal, at all......
All we need is a microcontroller(8051), USB, PC Interface (probably ULN 2004 would do) , hardware to implement the Availboat (stepper motor ,pre amplifier like darlington pair) & ofcourse the software to run this application in 8051...

BUT , i may sound to critical or arrogant, but in this present era I don't really expect much taker's for any such gadget....
I mean who would like to put all this mess on his\her note book...

A bit harsh but True....

Please do reconsider the Marketablity Aspect.......

Hope it will help.......😎
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Nov 30, 2006
Summit,

You don't sound arrogant 😁 . First of all, we aren't going to manufacture those availabots. So no question of evaluating its marketability.

But I think it would be fun to have such a bot 😁

-The Big K-
p.s:
My desktop is accompanied by a Ducati R999 scaled down model and it makes no sense as well .
Prasad Ajinkya
Prasad Ajinkya • Dec 16, 2006
I dont see the utility of this per se, but a cute toy nonetheless... adds to the translation of something thats online (ur avatar) to something that is more tangible and present in the real world .. the bot. Nice work Biggie!

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