For our project, we were inspired to find a different way to communicate with loved ones other than by text message or phone. The FriendoMatic would allow the user to connect with others in a much more visual and tactile manner. We were inspired by other similar gadgets that are made in pairs and allow two people to communicate in a different way. Specifically, we drew inspiration from a product that exists called “long-distance friendship lamps” that allows users to adjust both their and friend’s lamp by changing the color. Especially in the days of COVID-19, social interactions have become so limited to a text message or video calling, and we wanted to create a more physical and personal way to interact that doesn’t involve screens.

What it does

The FriendoMatic is a pair of two figurines that mimics the positions of its counterpart to communicate. Each FriendoMatic will have a series of preset positions, represented by buttons on the base, that it and its pair can move into. Our team plans to 3D print parts of the figurine using wood PLA. With these separate components and using Servo motors, our team can mimic some of the basic joints of a human including, the neck, shoulders, elbows, knees, and hips. The range of motion and the rotational axis of each joint is shown in the Additional Material file. The preliminary plan is to have multiple different positions including waving, split, cannonball, running, dab, hands over mouth (gasp). These are just a few of the possible pre-set full-body emoticons.

Challenges might run into

Due to the limitations of the ranges of our joints, we might run into difficulties accurately matching the placement of our figurines to the desired positions. We also may have problems with accurately mapping the positions and getting the right connectivity between the two motors so that they create the same stance.

What's next for FriendoMatic

Our initial plan is to implement a series of preset positions that the figurines can hold. Later on, we hope to adjust our design so that each figurine mirrors the other, and each user can move the figurine into any custom position they choose.

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