Every person deserves an animal companion but sometimes our everyday responsibilities prevent us from adopting a furry friend. Through this belief, we decided to create a robotic animal companion able to take the place of a household pet. Our target audience is anyone who cannot afford to adopt an actual living animal, from city dwellers who live in no-pet policy apartments to the elderly who simply cannot take care of a live animal. Statistic show that there is 1.4 million elderly living in nursing homes that cannot own pets in the United States alone; however, elderly subjects with pets live longer than those without by lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and encouraging more exercise. By providing a robotic companion, we are able to fill that void for the elderly. Additionally, the drone pet can also be extended to those that are allergic to animals and to children that are not yet ready to take on the responsibility of a live pet.
What it does
After hours of brainstorming, we decided to combine the power of the Myo armband with the Parrot mini drone to create a intuitive pet drone that will respond to human gestures similar to a live pet. The drone pet can perform basic tricks like "sit", "come", etc. The unique aspect of our project is that the drone is not simply controlled with the movements recorded by Myo; instead, a movement or combination of movements will create a response from the drone.
Challenges I ran into
Unfortunately, this drone is not the best model for our project. The drone battery life is only 1 minute after every full charge, which is not practical for everyday usage. The drone also does not have a sensor to know where the "owner" is standing.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
building 4 different parts to the final product Our team tackled 2 new technologies that we had no previous background knowledge. In addition, we have connected 2 different technologies that not many people have previous thought of. When we ran into issues connecting Myo and the drone, we were able to look deeper into the Myo software and built a Morse code outputter that responds to arm movements recorded through Myo.
What's next for MyPetParrot
Currently, the appearance of drone cannot be changed. We want to add AI to the drone so that it can empathize with user, display "emotions", and respond to being stroked and hugged. In addition, we want to make the appearance more realistic, like Hasbro's Joy For All ultra realistic robot pets. Our first step is to create a canine and feline version since they are the most popular household pets.