A non-neural network learning brick sorter. It can be instructed to distinguish among three different colors. The learning process is based on a reward/punishment logic that updates a (rather primitive) knowledge base. It smiles when rewarded and gets sad when punished.
I used two touch sensors connected to the green and red levers, one light sensor
to detect the brick color, one Hall-effect sensor with five small permanent
magnets to position the pneumatic hand (the 5 positions are: wait, take brick,
bin1, bin2 & bin3). The homebrew Hall-effect sensor may be easy be replaced
with a standard Lego touch sensor.
A motor moves the hand, a second one drives the pneumatic valve to open close the hand, and the third one changes the shape of the mouth to make S8 expressive.
The most interesting part of the S8 project was to observe my son and daughter instruct and interact with it, with plenty of comments, suggestions and telling-offs!
Camilla (6) instructing S8.
Sebastiano's (8) turn to play with S8.
Detail of the pneumatic hand. Note the Hall-effect sensor and the magnets (left-top), the light detector (right-centre) and the motor that moves the arm (centre-bottom).
S8 gets sad when you "say" it was wrong.
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