With a mere 38% of internet traffic now the result of actual human behaviour, we may have to act soon to prevent total bot assimilation. Until that day comes, you can at least make a robot dance.
Clearpath Robotics, which graduated from Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre in 2011, is celebrating five years in business by allowing Tweeters to control the movements of a TwitBot that can be watched on a live feed and manipulated by command-driven hashtags. Top prize to whoever can make the robot pop a wheelie.
“We’re all engineers so we take a very experimental and scientific approach to how we do things,” says CEO Matt Rendall. “We test the hypothesis. We see the results. We improve on it. And so we sold our first robot [and] we learned a lot. We sold some more robots, we made some tweaks and we continued to iterate through our process. At every stage of the business there are more tests and more hypotheses, there are more experiments that need to be run to grow the business.”
Clearpath Robotics has kept itself a little under the radar by focusing on what it refers to as the Three D’s of robotics: building unmanned vehicles that will do the worlds Dullest, Deadliest and Dirtiest jobs. So, repair work, landmine clearance, and corporate law.
Here’s how the TwitBot works:
Step 1: Mention Clearpath’s Twitter handle (@ClearpathRobots)
Step 2: Hash tag #MoveRobot
Step 3: Write the action you’d like it to take (examples are below)
Step 4: Watch it move on the live feed: http://www.twitch.tv/twitbot_cpr
Step 5: Share with your friends!
How does it move?
This little twit-bot can go just about anywhere and in any direction using the commands below (case insensitive). The delay between the tweet and the streaming is about 30 seconds:
- “forward” or “fwd”
- “backward” or “bck”
- “right” or “rght”
- “left” or “ft”
- “stop” or “stp”
You can also tweet colors to change the colors of the LED lights: blue, red, white, etc.
@clearpathrobots go forward!
@clearpathrobots #moverobot red
There are apparently some “easter egg” moves that you can have the robot execute.