Monday, 31 Oct, 2011 Technology
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Latest Invention: Eddie - Autonomous Robotic Party Photographer

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The software giant Microsoft has recently presented its latest innovation - a robot called Eddie that is able to autonomously take pictures at a party.

With the help of one of the company's latest software applications, Robotics Developer Studio 4 Beta (RDS 4), programmers can now control robotic platforms via Windows.

Microsoft's robotic party photographer autonomously travels around a certain environment and takes pictures of people it detects.

The platform used in the creation of the robot features 5 distance, 3 IR and 2 ultrasonic sensors, 12 V, 14.4Ah gel-cell batteries that allow the robot to work for 4 to 7 hours, and a control board that allows the robot to handle such operations as driving the machine's motors and gathering sensor information. In addition, Eddie's laptop and control board are connected via USB.

It would be interesting to note that the autonomous robotic party photographer features a series of IR sensors, runs Windows 7, RDS4 and boasts a full support for Kinect. The latter along with infra red sensors are used to spot obstacles and detect people.

The way the robot works is very simple: as soon as it spots one or more persons in the scene, it takes a picture (but only when the person is dead-center). The images are afterwards uploaded to Flickr. According to the developer Greg Shirakyan, by using RDS 4, Kinect and having access to reference platform, users are free to create applications similar to Eddie.

To get a better understanding of what the robot looks like and how it works check out the video below.

[via Microsoft blog]

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