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Picture a circular robot similar in shape to a typical
domestic robotic vacuum cleaner (e.g. Roomba). The
body is transparent,
and inside is the circular blue logic board* of an iMac G4.
It runs Mac OS 9, preferably, though
this will make
development considerably more difficult** than Mac OS
X*** or Linux. Also, I don't know for sure that Mac OS 9
properly without a screen. Underneath the logic board is
a battery****, as well as four motors with omniwheels on
them, in a
Killough platform arrangement.
*because I guess Apple has never liked the term
**and more necessary, if you want to use a newer audio
source such as a streaming service
***the versions called "OS X" and "macOS" being too new
for the iMac G4
****the logic board being powered by a single 12 V rail
and producing 5 V and 3.3 V itself
On top of the body are mounted the two spherical Apple
Pro Speakers that came with the iMac G4. They are of
connected to the logic board using the proprietary
connector that both the speakers and the logic board
have that can't be
connected to anything else. The cable is wrapped around
a spool to keep it from dragging and make it look nicer.
two speakers, oriented along the robot's longitudinal
axis*****, stands a 2D (but thick) dogcow cutout, printed
with a pixely
dogcow image on both sides. In the head of the cutout is
an iSight, which is of course connected to the logic board
FireWire, because that's what the iSight has. Emotive
facial features may also be included.
*****which is kind of a nominal thing on a holonomic
The purpose of this robot is to follow you around, as you
do chores, and play music or other audio content such as
and audiobooks. Clarus watches where you go using her
iSight vision, and responds to voice commands to play,
adjust volume, pick something else to listen to, get out
of the way, etc. She also uses her iSight's microphone
array to adjust
volume automatically to compensate for the noise of the
From the lore, Clarus is known to have certain skills,
which apply in this embodiment as follows:
Flip: Clarus can spin around to imitate a Leslie speaker.
Invert: When Clarus is facing you from behind, she
swaps the left and right audio channels vs. when she's in
facing you from
Shrink to fit: When Clarus needs to drive through a
narrow opening, she pulls in her speakers to be narrower,
are otherwise extended laterally for better stereo
Precision alignment: As you move around, Clarus uses
her holonomic movement to maintain perfect alignment
of her left
and right speakers with your left and right ears.
Moof: When Clarus bumps into something or is
otherwise surprised, she may say "Moof!".
Background info [notexactly, Jun 15 2019]
Clarus the Dogcow Museum
Background info [notexactly, Jun 15 2019]
Wikipedia: iMac G4
Background info. The picture with three of them shows the speakers on either side of the one on the left [notexactly, Jun 15 2019]
Background info. This idea uses the external (FireWire), cylindrical iSight, though I guess the internal (USB) one could also be used [notexactly, Jun 15 2019]
Wikipedia: Killough platform
Background info. A common holonomic robot platform using three omniwheels [notexactly, Jun 15 2019]
Spotify playback controller app for Macintosh SE/30
I don't know if this would run on Mac OS 9, and it doesn't play the music itself, but only controls playback on another device using Spotify Connect [notexactly, Jun 21 2019]
||So an Itunes server audio-presence? with some anthropomorphic attachments.
||Might have to lower it's memory capacity so it can only watch me dance naked?
||Sorry. It sounds like an annoying device.
||How did I miss that? It could fit pretty nicely underneath the
logic board, with the motors and battery cells arranged
||// So an Itunes server audio-presence? with some
anthropomorphic attachments. //
||Pretty much, though I want to support other audio sources
than just iTunes. Has anybody made a Spotify client for
Classic Mac OS yet?
||// Sorry. It sounds like an annoying device. //
||Good thing I'm not forcing you to have one, then.