The Little Robot Friends have a variety of different inputs and outputs that allow you to do interesting things with them. Let’s have a look at the different hardware available.
There are three touch sensors on your Little Robot Friend, one on the top of the face - the hair sensor and one on either side of the face - the left and right sensors. These sensors are called “capacitive touch sensors” because they sense “capacitance”, this is electricity that is stored in our bodies.
Each touch sensor is capable of sensing three types of touches:
Each robot has a microphone built into its face. Microphones are devices that convert sound waves into electrical signals. The robot’s microphone is capable of sensing loud sounds and sounds that resemble talking. It is also able to detect when the sound is “normal”, for example, when the talking or loud sound stops.
The Little Robot Friends’ face also has a light sensor, or “photocell” - this is able to sense changes in the light level of the environment that the robot is in. It can sense when the light level is “normal” or if it is “dark” or it can sense if the light is “bright”.
The base of the Little Robot Friends contains a motion sensor, also called an accelerometer. This is capable of sensing motion in 3 axis: up and down, back and forth and side to side. The motion sensor also allows the robot to sense when it is being tilted and shaken. For example, if you tilt the robot on its side, it will begin to snore and go to sleep.
Each Little Robot Friend face has two RGB LED eyes. RGB stands for “red green blue” and LED stands for “light-emitting-diode”, all that means is these are lights that can make a bunch of different colours from the base colours of red, green and blue. The LED eyes play an important role in making expressions for the robot.
The robot has a speaker that allows for us to generate a wide range of sounds. It does this by rapidly vibrating a small sheet of plastic which creates sound waves. It vibrates the plastic by turning an electromagnet off and on very quickly. Along with the LED eyes, the speaker is important as it allows us to create expressions and sing songs.