Autonomous Tour Guide

Surprise visitors in your organization with this Autonomous Tour Guide using the DonkeyCar and Sony’s Spresense board!

Visitors always feel lost whenever they come for the first time to any large organization with many outdoor buildings. This organization could be anything such as a big company, university, museum or even a hospital.

The solution I propose for this problem is an autonomous tour guide using Sony’s Spresense and the DonkeyCar. Existing solutions to this problem can be mobile apps or old-fashioned maps. They work, but they aren’t as ‘flashy’ as an automated tour guide on wheels. It will be useful for the obvious reason that it will guide visitors in an organization, and also because it will increase the popularity of an organization using such a system. Think of it this way, a university which has an automated robot as a tour guide speaks for itself; it will make a great impression on the visitors (which will most likely be prospective students), and the same can be said for a tourist attraction such as a museum.

The tour guide using Spresense and DonkeyCar has two parts. The first part is the DonkeyCar platform, which uses the Raspberry Pi and machine learning to drive an RC car autonomously; the DonkeyCar will be trained to run on an outdoor track going past all the buildings of the organization. The second is Sony’s Spresense development board, which is connected to the Raspberry Pi, and uses geofencing to determine if the DonkeyCar is in range of a specific building, and then using the Spresense’s audio output, it will also give information to the visitors, who will follow. So to summarize, the tour guide is a DonkeyCar which has Sony’s Spresense development board mounted on it along with a speaker, to guide visitors in an organization.

The DonkeyCar is an amazing project but still in it’s very early stages, so I would advise you at the start to not have very high expectations and to think of it realistically. It has a great, growing community and their Slack channel is also very informative. If you get stuck anywhere or even if you have just gotten to know this, I would recommend you to join that.”

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