WALL-E toy gets gift of robotic life
Disney went into robotic toys market with a remote-controlled WALL-E robot back in 2008. Canadian-based robotics enthusiast DJ Sures was apparently not satisfied with the level of realism of the toy so he came with his own, customized version of WALL-E. Utilizing The U-Command Wall-E plastic toy, he modified it with EZ-B Robot controller hardware, voice recognition and a movement-tracking camera - but no trash compactor.
The custom-built robot is voice-activated, sometimes even answering with his own robotic speech. Apart from the EZ-B Bluetooth Robot controller, he used five servos (modified for the tracks and standard for the arms and neck), AA battery pack, as well as a joystick, just in case WALL-E "needs help getting out of trouble." DJ Sures embedded a 2.4GHz wireless camera to the WALL-E's eye, which thanks to a horizontal neck servo and vertical head servo allows WALL-E to track motion, colors or human faces horizontally and vertically.
For example, the robot can track the movement of his "favorite" red ball when asked and sighs when it's taken away from him - he'll also bust a move when asked to dance but doesn't seem to have mastered the robot yet. To program Wall-E's actions, DJ Sures utilized EZ-Builder software which comes bundled with the EZ-B Bluetooth Robot Controller hardware. The software has a visual interface and is tailored for non-programmers allowing them to design a custom set of sounds, or any actions for a DIY robot utilizing the EZ-B controller.
It's not the first robot in DJ Sures' portfolio, having already built several, including some early versions of modded WALL-Es, a Dalek and Doctor Who's robotic K9. Maybe he'll start working on an EVE robot to keep WALL-E company next, although the hovering might be difficult to accomplish.
You can check out what the modded WALL-E is capable of in the video below: