Have you ever wanted to create your own robotic friend? Fritz is just that, an animatronic puppet meant for you!
Fritz is an animatronic puppet that is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. Fritz was created to provide an inexpensive introduction into robotics that is both entertaining, creative and educational. With an open source directive, Fritz is accompanied by a PC application to provide you with an easy to use interface in customizing and interacting with the project mechanics.
Fritz is controlled by the very popular Arduino style of microcontrollers. This microcontroller will send the appropriate signals to all 13 (advanced version) servos to move them in the appropriate way. Because of the Arduino's flexibility, sequences (groups of movements) can be stored for playback on the Arduino or received via a USB cable from a PC computer. The trick is to know which servo, how much and when to move it to create an interesting and entertaining sequence.
The Arduino board can be powered by a battery pack or an external power supply. While the Arduino itself can be powered directly from the PC, once enough servos are activated the maximum draw on a USB bus will be exceeded and cause a reset (on most PCs the USB power is limited to 500mA).
Fritz is made from laser cut MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) that provides strength but is also lightweight to allow low torque servos to move the appropriate parts. The use of laser cut MDF also allows parts to be replaced (such as the face plate) with other materials such as acrylic or ABS.
Fritz is capable of displaying many expressions and reenacting them in a sequence that you can put together. Fritz can also generate synthetic speech and sync his mouth movements to that speech. If you'd prefer to use your own voice, Fritz can also mimic your mouth movements to pretend your voice is his.
For the coordinated, you can also use a Joystick or keyboard to create dynamic expressions and movements that give you total live control over Fritz. This is a great tool to create interactive movements with the rest of your family.
By adding your own creative touch, you can dress Fritz to your own liking for those holiday seasons that need a helping hand to say hello to the trick-or-treaters or to add that extra ho,ho,ho to the season!
No, Fritz was created over the last 6 months starting with a simple idea of creating an interactive robotic head that can be controlled and enhanced by people like you. We've been through many iterations of Fritz tweaking the design to favor ease of assembly while retaining as much expressiveness as possible. But we're not stopping here as Fritz will continue to evolve as we receive feedback from users.
Yes! Fritz is a great introduction to robotics and provides an incremental approach for kids. Rather than requiring knowledge of a low level programming language, kids can become familiar with Fritz and a servo controlled robot very quickly using the interactive capabilities of the desktop application. They can use a joystick or keyboard keys to control Fritz. Once they get comfortable with the basic movements and animation potential they can continue advancing to recording movements and editing those movements. From creating scripted animations one can then move onto direct programming of Fritz using the provided programming interface.
Fritz comes with an open source desktop application currently written in CSharp for the Windows platform. The application communicates to Fritz over a USB connection to the Arduino board. There are several features that are unique to Fritz not found in other servo control applications:
Because Fritz is an open platform, you can customize and dress Fritz in any way you see fit. Fritz is a great base platform that can be customized to help celebrate the season. In addition, its easy to personalize Fritz in many different ways to suit your likes. You can add all sorts of makeup, jewelry, and facial hair to create a unique Fritz!
ENGINEERING.com Fritz .. achieves an excellent interpretation of human facial expressions using only 13 motions.
Engadget XYZbot's Fritz offers a cheaper robot head, free trips to the uncanny valley.
the Slanted Fritz is an amazing robotic puppet that needs your support, and your creativity
Fritz was also mentioned on The Huffington Post.
|© 2014 XYZbot. All Rights Reserved.|