If you have tried the initial functions of Zowi, you know that when you press the buttons on its back, different things happen. This happens because Zowi has a program stored in its memory that tells it to do these things. But what if we changed that memory? Would we have a new robot? Can we teach Zowi new things? Keep reading and you know it.
We have already seen some sensors, in the Zowi Eyes project, and some actuators, the Zowi Legs servos, but we have not yet experimented with the most important part of Zowi. Yes indeed, his brain plate!
The functions of a brain plate are:
Memorize the program that controls the robot.
Read all the data from the sensors to know the world around you.
Use robot actuators to move or communicate.
Distribute energy to all components.
It looks a bit like our brain, doesn’t it? However, it is not that powerful as it has some limitations. The most important is that normally the brain board can only remember one program. Unlike humans, to do new things, Zowi has to erase what he already knows and make room for the new program. We call this rescheduling.
When you reprogram Zowi, buttons A and B will stop doing the initial functions and will do something different … Zowi will stay in Modified state.
To make it work the same as before and you can continue playing the rest of the games with it, you will have to restore the startup functions from Settings. (Click here to know how).
Did you know…?
There are many types of brain plaques. A relatively easy one to use and that you may have heard of is the Arduino. Zowi has a brain plate based on this famous plate.
You may also hear of another brain board called the Raspberry Pi. This board is so powerful that it is almost a small computer and, with it, you can do almost anything: from your own video game console, to making your home smart.
Experiment 1 – Zowi Alarm
Do you have secret plans to hide? Very valuable objects to protect?
With this program, your Zowi will be the guardian of the home and will warn you when intruders enter your domains. It can also be used to give your pet a good scare!
Open the Zowi App and search for the Zowi project, the alarm robot.
Read the text and press the option To reschedule!
When it’s done rescheduling, close the app. Then turn off Zowi and turn him on again. Next, press button A to access MODE 1: Arming the system. You will see how Zowi begins to sound warning beeps … pi! pi! pi!
Now, you have exactly 10 seconds to position your Zowi at some vantage point and walk away before it finishes activating, which is called arming the alarm system. When the 10 seconds are up, Zowi will have turned into an alarm.
From then on, Zowi will be quiet and very attentive to what is happening around him. Try patting him on the head or walking past him. What’s going on?
What a ruckus! It seems that Zowi warns of what is happening around him!
To start over, press the A button again.
Experiment 2 – Guardian Zowi
The program that we have stored in Zowi’s memory has another game mode. Let’s see how it works.
Power up Zowi and press the B button to enter MODE 2: Guardian Robot.
This time, instead of standing still, Zowi will move every so often to search the room for intruders.
Zowi is a good watchdog, however, as long as he’s on the move, he won’t be listening or watching. He will be so aware of moving or showing gestures, that he will lower his guard … It is the perfect time to act! Try to move into the guarded room or area without being spotted by Zowi. You can also play English hide and seek!
To start over, press the B button.
Have you seen how a different program works in Zowi’s brain? Soon you will be able to create your own programs!
Can you make a vigilante robot costume for Zowi? Thus, it will be even more fun. Of course, be careful not to cover the ultrasound sensor.
Summary of new modes when pressing buttons:
Button A – MODE 1: Arming the system
Button B – MODE 2: Zowi Guardian