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Show HN: I'm a robot tech enthusiast and this is my robot website (personalrobots.biz)
195 points by zerzeru on Mar 8, 2019 | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments

The most advanced, most functional is Vector: https://www.anki.com/en-us/vector

There is a Python SDK available for it so you can fully control every aspect of Vector: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzTIp2tHwgs

For those considering this purchase: proceed with great caution and be sure your seller has a return/refund policy!

Perhaps the new Vector 'bot (which appears to be almost identical in all aspects as Anki's first revision of this bot, Cozmo) works fine but I won't risk $250 to find out. ("fool me once...") You see, Cozmo was plagued with hardware issues ("connection lost") making it unusable. My suspicion is a battery unable to satisfy the current draw, or a voltage regulator not up to the task, causing a brownout and CPU crash. By the way, no user-servicable parts, and Anki will not sell a replacement battery.

I bought mine for me and my kids to play around with programming -- it was a total waste of money. I could never get it running for more than a few minutes at a time, and startup might require a half-hour of attempts (replace on charger, move arm to boot up, reboot, connect to cozmo network, connect app, cozmo wakes up ... and crashed after a couple seconds.) Once it does connect it may run for 20 minutes or 2 minutes before quitting suddenly. And, while running, it's great! Cute as can be. But product reviews (amazon, etc.) are full of this complaint so many others have experienced it.

Even if it worked flawlessly, I wouldn't feel comfortable buying a remote-controlled mobile camera with microphone, even if it's cute as hell. I want my robots offline.

I think a YouTube channel where you tinker with these kits and offer detailed reviews could be more useful. Something like Unbox Therapy, for personal robots. :)

nice idea :)))!

Not to be pessimistic, but you’ve been hoodwinked if you think this is a “personal site” without financial incentive.

This looks like just the type of website that people make to cash out with referral codes to amazon (or in this case, banggood).

I honestly don't get it. What of these robots are functional? There is a "Toys" heading but... they all look like toys? Every single one?

cool site.

In this line, one thing I've been looking for, but unable to find a good option for, is a robot which you can control over a wi-fi network which has a camera on it and it can roll round your house.

So my use case is to check up on my cats when I'm away. I've not seen a load of good options for this...

I did this at one point. The cats would jump on top of it, at which point your robot won't move anymore. But at least at that point you know the cats are alright.

Second issue is the ground perspective sucks. My house really does look very different from 5cm over the ground instead of 2 meters. The cats can sleep on the table and I'd never be able to tell.

yeah I was hoping for something about 1-2ft tall ideally with an adjustable camera. Still wouldn't spot all the places but could be useful.

You can use pretty much anything for that, it only really depends on how big you want it.


Ever thought about pitting one of those tiny cameras on your cats and make them upload the pictures to the cloud? That way would not have to find them with the robot.

They do have radio collars, but those only have a range of 1/4 mile or so. There are GPS equivalents but the battery life/size has never been ideal.

Checkout Loomo, I have one for testing, it works well.


What about a RC car with a camera ?

I used the Zumo platform with a Raspberry Pi W instead of an Arduino board. I added a cardboard casing to house all the components.


Update: Also see Explaining Computers video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZSiqj0NZgU

yeah there's some options for home built I think, I was kind of hoping for an off the shelf system ideally. It kind of surprises me that there isn't one, you'd think the "wander round my house, keeping an eye out for kids/pets" market would be quite big.

I've used the Double Robotics before. It's fun and works pretty well. They're expensive though!

that would be cool, but yeah a bit pricey.

Very cool site!

Looking at the home section it still looks like we have a while to go till our robot overlords can replace us around the home - but it's none the less interesting seeing bots like "Kuri" taking a non-conventional approach to how I considered house robots to head ( I.E Just follows you around - can play music etc it's more of a companion than anything else but still looks neat )

Off topic as well but I like how you are dealing with the criticism / suggestions on the site even when rather direct ( removing notifications etc by the time I just arrived! )

thanks, I would like to get more quality robots content.. Working on it! To tell the truth the most potential ( aside Kuri Project) I saw on the open source OTTO series of DIY robots. Regarding the comments .. i'm learning a lot from this discussion tread and I'm very happy to receive feedback :)

I don't understand why a Robot with basic movement and limited set of actions like picking an object is not popular. The idea is to make apps for them like mobile apps that will do specific jobs like keeping the room tidy or washing dishes. Is building a robot really hard than it looks (without software included) ?

Drop the ads. It takes away from an awesome site

I get an shall I say tasteless ad. I’d never put Adsense on a site. It can wreck your brand and reduce trust.

I'm seriously thinking about it :)

You could look at doing sponsored spots, kind of like digg, so the content flows and the site won't just be a pure drain on the pocketbook.

That's very cool! Would love to see more examples in the future and maybe some examples that are somewhat in between the consumer and pro market.

I've been trying to find a 4 wheel skid steering robot with a decent payload capacity for sensor testing and they are surprisingly rare.

Cool site. I'd wish you had a Twitter account or newsletter so I can follow you!

+1 on the Twitter account idea. Ditched my FB account a long time ago.

Perhaps you could use one of those social media tools to automatically cross-post to Twitter?

The site does have a RSS feed at /feed.

it's a good feedback.. thanks :) for now please use the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/personalhomerobots

Nice site, subscribed to the RSS feed. Would love if you reviewed the HariFun style quad-ped.


Nice project. You may benefit from an about page or a profile page to get to know you and why you set up the website.

There is an 'About' at the bottom but all this seems to do is to return to the top of the page - it doesn't seem to have any profile info.

Also, why not have an 'about' link on the header bar?

I am also a robot tech enthusiast but I haven't yet built robots. I want to. Great site

If humanity fails today this would be a throwback how far we came.

Really nice website, you deserve more attention!

Great idea. I hope to see more content soon.

Nice logo :).


I applied successful for a ssl certificate :( any idea why this is happening? the https version of the website works

They might be running a browser with outdated hardcoded certs. I noticed in older versions of Ubuntu SSL is broken for Midori on most sites including google.com so they might have the same issue.

Which browser/OS ? Does it still do that ? Working fine right now for me.

Please don't ask to show me notifications as soon as I load your site. Nobody wants your notifications.

I disabled them . thanks for your feedback :)

I would add a button, like "keep me updated", where people who want them, can turn them on.

I've added One Signal to my blog and enabled the icon mode (which doesn't ask for notifications but gives you an icon you can press). A surprising number of people did subscribe.

I’d be happier if browsers didn’t ask. Instead it’s a default no, and you have to go into settings to enable it.

Your site css is a bit broken. The tagline "The World is ready for the robot revolution" is hidden underneath the header bar when on top (on Surface Pro 3).

For me (Opera on Windows 10 with Privacy Badger and uMatrix) the site seems to have mostly loaded okay.

> The tagline "The World is ready for the robot revolution" is hidden underneath the header bar

For me the top of the tagline is partially obscured but there is enough visible for it to be readable. Still needs fixing.

The 'Scroll Down' button. Hmmmm. It should perhaps be called 'Hide header' since this is the main effect. Once you've clicked it, you have to use the normal scroll bar anyway.

The site is empty when browsing with an ad blocker.

It's also empty when viewed with javascript turned off.

Sounds like your ad blocker is a bit too enthusiastic. It's fine with Privacy Badger.

Works fine for me with uBlock Origin and Firefox's Content Blocking enabled.

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