This project is based on the animated series “Rick and Morty”. In one of the episodes, Rick makes a robot whose sole purpose is to bring butter. As students from Bruface (Brussels Faculty of Engineering) we have an assignment for the mechatronics project which is to build a robot based on a suggested topic. The assignment for this project is: Make a robot that only serves butter. It can have an existential crisis. Of course the robot in the episode of Rick and Morty is a quite complex robot and some simplifications need to be made:
Since it’s sole purpose is to bring butter, there are more straightforward alternatives. Instead of making the robot look and grab the butter, before it brings it to the right person, the robot can be carrying the butter all the time. The main idea is thus to make a cart that transports the butter to where it needs to be.
Apart from transporting the butter, the robot needs to know where he needs to bring the butter. In the episode, Rick uses his voice to call and command the robot. This requires a expensive voice recognition system and would be to complicated. Instead, everyone at the table gets a button: once this button is activated, the robot can locate this button and move towards it.
To recap, the robot needs to fulfill the following requirements:
- It needs to be safe: it must avoid obstacles and prevent itself from falling of the table;
- The robot needs to be small: the space on the table is limited and no one would want a robot that serves butter but is half the size of the table itself;
- The working of the robot cannot depend on the size or shape of the table, that way it can be used on different tables;
- It needs to bring the butter to the right person at the table.”