Item 3 - iDog

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'Mechatronic System Decomposition of the i-Dog'


Main Function

The function of the i-Dog is to move and groove to the music it hears as well as playing his own rock riffs. He is also able to recognize how much attention he is receiving and will display different emotions as a result.


In order to function, the i-Dog needs to satisfy several considerations. Firstly, he needs to display different audio and visual cues to indicate current emotional state. For example, if he does not hear any music, he will begin to whine and act sad. Also, he needs to have a microphone system in order to receive and emit audio signals, such as hearing music or barking. Lastly, he needs to have a touch activated response signal to serve as a human machine interface.


Interactions with Humans – Human Machine Interface (HMI) The i-Dog has a nose button which allows it to be turned on and off when pressed and held. When the i-Dog is on, the nose button can also be used to make him bark by pressing it once and allowing him to go through any of 12 different rock riffs when pressed repeatedly. He also has a central LED system which allows him to show any of four different emotions through the display of different patterns and light colors. The four different emotions are excited, happy, lonely, and sad. The back side of the LED system is shown below. There was a circuit board connected to the "face" of the i-Dog, and this is where the lights were displayed.


Interactions with the World – Sensing The i-Dog has a microphone which it uses to sense if there is any music playing nearby. If there is, he will begin to respond through its movements and LED system.

Movements The i-Dog is not a complex mechanical system. It is only able to shake its head back and forth when it is happy. It relies mostly on electronic components to achieve its function.

Power Supply The i-Dog uses 3 AAA batteries to power the LED system, the motor for the head movement, and the microphone that is used to emit and recieve audio. The battery location was located in the rear of the i-Dog as shown below. Below that picture is one showing the wiring of the i-Dog and how the power was connected to all of the different components that required power in order for the i-Dog to function.

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Power Conversion The i-Dog has no power conversion. It does not change any forces or speeds to achieve mechanical advantage. This shows that mechatronic devices do not require power conversion to be classified as such.

Motion Conversion The only motion conversion that the i-Dog employs is changing the rotational motion of the motor to the translation motion of the slider that allows it to shake its head back and forth. The overall location of these components are captured in the picture below.


Intelligence The i-Dog is a fairly intelligent mechatronic system. It is able to interact with humans and the world through a variety of different systems and is also able to provide feedback from the interactions. It is able to process all these systems simultaniously and show different emotions based upon the interactions. If it is not satisfied with the level of attention it is recieving, it will begin to whine and emit light patterns indicating sadness. Similiar responses occur for the other three emotions.