With this new age of automation, we look forward to automise an entire restaurant where the customer can directly interact with a robot to order his food. And in this regard, we consider this hackathon a huge platform to build our first prototype. In the later stage, we are targeting a few applications in Medical sciences as well, specifically in automised surgeries which is the next big thing coming up with the advent of 3D bioprinting technologies.
What it does
Jeffrey is as obedient as a robot can ever get. Right after the customer enters the restaurant, he immediately calls up Jeffrey to place his order. Jeffrey obediently notes that up and gets back to the store-room/chef to identify the items, the customer has asked for.
How we built it
The hardware portion of the robot consists of a chassis which has been build using a simple twin motor gearbox along with a track and wheel set. There are two sets of these track-and-wheel set robots, which have been powered by an Arduino. To facilitate optimum communication among the ymultiple Arduinos, we have taken the aid of Raspberry Pi. In our prototype today, we have programmed the camera with object detection algorithm and depth capture ability to recognise and differentiate canned drink items. The camera is also smart enough to identify obstacles and avoid them.
The software part of our prototype has been implemented on C++ and Arduino, and it has been well interfaced with the hardware components for the required functionalities of our robot.
Challenges we ran into
The major challenge we ran into was with the microphones. We would have preferred a more sensitive microphone considering the massive background noise of the dining hall. This does limit Jeffrey's performance for today, but doesn't impose much of a challenge in the longer run.
We also had some issues in setting up the chassis, and integrating it with the electronic components, specially where we required all the motors to be synchronised with each other.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Being the first hackathon for all of us, we are really proud of the fact that we are able to present a working prototype, incorporated with most of the functionalities we desired for.
We are also quite pleased with our team-work, where each of had a responsibility to look after everyone did a wonderful job in the end.
What we learned
Apart from all the hardcore electronics and coding, we learnt how to maintain cool even when nothing works in your favour. We learnt how to cooperate and work in a team to achieve the goal, we started off with.
What's next for Jeffrey the Robot
We shall be continuing to work on it, to be made fully translational into the application where it can replace the need of waiters in a restaurant. We also plan to incorporate additional modules and functions where we can see it being used in automised surgeries along with 3D bioprinters and soft robots.