Home Automation Challenge

Screenshot 2015-04-13 at 11.23.18 AM

A new robot-building challenge has been issued by #Actobotics. The theme for this challenge is “Home Automation.” Remarkably, I’ve been selected as a contestant in this challenge. While there are many household tasks that are ideally suited for robotic employment, I feel that chores or tasks that are both disliked and dangerous are the best candidates for robot work. And one of my most disliked chores is raking leaves, followed very closely by cleaning the gutters. Since iRobot has developed an adept gutter-cleaning robot, I have elected to concentrate my effort in this challenge by building a leaf raking/mulching robot.

As highlighted on Health Central, I’m not alone with my aversion to leaf raking. In fact, Health Central tells me that raking the leaves can be downright dangerous. So, YIPPEE; I have a worthwhile entry for the Actobotics Home Automation Challenge.

So over the course of the next seven weeks, I will be opening the door of my super secret robot building workshop up to you! Yup, I’m gonna let you get a glimpse into how I go about designing, building, and testing a robot project. This entire process is very similar to the actions that I perform on my PopSci projects and SERVO Magazine articles. So get ready; there will be powerful motors, there will be danger, and there will be lots of excitement.

[Here’s your first behind the scenes glimpse: I was going to try to build a Rooftop Snow Removal robot (who wants to climb a ladder in the winter), but lacking snow along the Gulf Coast would’ve made testing too difficult.]

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