Let's Make Robots!


Should be able to roam around my house, respond to loud sounds with a ear perk, answer questions like "What's the temperature?", augment home security, deliver voice messages, be an awesome robot and win me some prize money from somewhere.

I've been wanting to make a robot dog ever since I saw Blue Falcon and Dynomutt and Dr. Who's K9 in the 70's.  And I've also always wanted a robot that I can talk to and talk back to me.  I also wanted to make a robot that has some animatronic gizmos to make it look life-like.  I've also been wanting to make a robot to get rid of some of the junk I've been accumulating and parts I've purchased.  

Phydo (Physics Dog) will be the robot I've always wanted!

So far he's going to be bigger than I planned.  My first attempt (Scraps) was made out of a small tackle box, but I couldn't figure out how to get the ears to work.  So, I started over by making the ears first.  Then I made the snout a little too long, but it turned out it fits a small speaker and the lip-light board perfectly.

I initially wanted to just have the ears perk up when it heard a loud sound.  But, a larger head let me give the ears 2 degrees of motion to display more emotions (anger, surprise, sorrow).  

The tail will also have 2 degrees of motion.  Back in the 80's people drove around with fake TV/phone antennas attached to their cars for some reason.  I found 3 of the in the street and kept them for the tail of my robot dog I wanted to build some day.


What's planned:

He already has Johnny Five type lip lights and the Emic 2, speaker, 1 Sharp IR sensor, 4 servos for the ears, 2 for the tail.

I've already purchased: 

  • 2 large servos for the neck,
  • Pixy for vision,
  • 2 Propeller Quickstart boards,
  • 2 Flame sensors,
  • 3 light sensors,
  • IR remote control
  • 4 PIR sensors, for the Watchdog subroutine I'm planning on.
  • line following board,
  • 4 Pings,
  • 2 Sharp IR sensors,
  • voice recorder circuit to deliver voice messages (I had that idea way before cellphones),
  • various beepers, and buzzers,
  • 4x20 LCD screen,
  • 2 microphones elements,
  • 1 touch sensor (to pat on head),
  • accelerometer


Need to buy:

  • Voice recognition circuit (the one I have kinda sucks)
  • Temperature/Humidity sensor
  • mux ADC chip
  • GPS, compass, gas sensors (maybe)
  • decent battery pack


Close up of the Ears (including the first attempt)


The snout held together with JB weld and crazy glue

Misc head parts

"Scraps" the abandomed prototype 

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I've not seen a good voice recognition circuit. You should be able to use something like Jarvis for the RasPi. Or Julius. Or perhaps something out of the Sphinx project.

I'd love it if somebody could put voice recognition on a chip.

I was going to use Easy VR Dev Kit


Never heard of Julius or Sphinx project - I'll check it out


Julius and Sphinx are Linux projects, though they may run on Windows or the Mac.

Julius is mainly for speech to text. Unfortunately it is a Japanese project and is extremely well supported there; in English, not so much so. There is a grammar, but it isn't as detailed as the Japanese grammar.

Sphinx and a few other projects are for text to speech. This is much easier and there are many free voices available. Also there are a lot of modifications so you can make one voice sound very different. I'm working on tying to get a voice to sound like Groucho Marx. No luck yet. :(

Unfortunately understanding the text once the computer has turned it into text is the more difficult part. Just ask mtriplett, though he's gotten further than anybody I've ever seen, especially with no grounding in AI. Maybe that's the secret: toss all the theories away and just DO things.

I have never seen a dog-bot like this! This is simply amazing.

I don't know what you're going to use for a body, but the head is excellent and very creative. I look forward to seeing the videos.

When I first saw the posting, I thought it was a dog head that would roam around. That would keep his nose to the ground. :)

This reminds me of the Tom Smith song "I built me an aluminum dog!"

Gotta check that sound out.

The body will be somewhat rectangular even though that isn't an efficient way to go- it'll look a lot better than a garbage can robot with a dog head on top.

Sorry, I got the name of the song wrong. It's jus "Aluminum Dog." You can see his songs on tomsmithonline.com. I'm just a fan, I don't get anthing for telling people about him. He's a filk singer.

The song is about a boy who has lost his dog and isn't allowed to replace it so he builds a bot all of us would envy.

but problem is,  video is private so  i cannot watch it.

do you have pic's of your contruction? 

The vid should work now I do have some pics I'll upload them soon

The vid should work now