MiRo-E, the Advanced Robotic Platform for Research and Education
Create fun and socially engaging classroom experiences for every student. Using a MiRo-E can create a diverse and collaborative classroom experience where everyone and anyone can be involved! Watch your pupils delight in writing programs that bring their robot to life! MiRo-E can see, hear and interact with its environment providing endless programming possibilities that will push student’s creativity. Students learn quickly, enjoy STEM subjects and produce physical results that can be related and applied to real world issues.
Join the growing research community exploring prospective technologies.
MiRo-E’s friendly pet-like appearance and qualities stands out and appeals to everyone. Providing a sophisticated and technically advanced platform that can be utilised in multiple departments. Introduce new students into Robotics and CS, broaden research topics potential, and provide a brilliant outreach and public engagement tool. MiRo-E provides a low cost, compact and highly specified tool ideal for research in robotics, therapy and care.
What is Miro-E?
MiRo-E is a highly specified, flexible, low-cost, programmable AI robotic platform, developed to mimic familiar domestic animal-like behaviour.
Key highlights are
- 3rd Generation MiRo-E has been completely re-engineered and evolved for education from our previous version for University developers.
- It works straight out of the box using a smartphone to easily configure it to exhibit pet-like behaviour in pastoral / demonstration mode.
- Flexible platform for learning robotics coding from primary school first principle through to high level university research.
- Easy-to-learn programming interface has been specially designed to provide an attractive and accessible method of coding and simulating MiRo.
Simulate MiRo-E’s behaviour on screen using computer-based Gazebo program, this means a whole class can work on programming and only need one or two MiRo-E’s per classroom.
- Emotionally Engaging personality that is friendly, familiar and non-threatening.
- State of the Art Biomimetic AI technology replicates a small mammal’s behaviour
- It has a powerful Raspberry Pi B 3+ processor incorporated and loaded with software.
- Fully programmable, serviceable and upgradeable by a user with moderate experience .
- The unique Brain Based Biomimetic Control System [3BCS] developed by Sheffield University and in Bristol Robotic Lab.
- Online support system based in our Bristol Labs with regular software updates.
- Communicates using WiFi / Bluetooth / USB, which allows:
- Bluetooth set-up and behaviour configuration using MiRo-E Android App.
- WiFi gives access to higher power computing and cloud services.
What does Miro do?
MiRo-E is programmed to react to humans and to other MiRo’s through recognition, movement, sound and light. It is autonomous in demonstration / pastoral care mode. It responds to touch, stroking and sound. It is a proven flexible & useful tool for sophisticated university research. It could potentially help with therapy for neurological conditions [from SEN to dementia], and we are pursuing research in these areas.
How does the MiRo Educational programming Interface [MiRoCODE] work?
MiRo-E arrives with the required software loaded, and the software is frequently updated by our outstanding development team. MiRoCODE allows students to code in Blockly or Python to provide an accessible and structured approach to programming MiRo-E.
There’s a full-physics 3D Robot Simulator (Gazebo) for speedy code development and testing using one MiRo-E per class.
What else is MiRo useful for?
- MiRo is proving to be useful as a pastoral and cognitive therapy tool for, and we are continuing to research more into:
- Special Educational Needs in children and adults.
- High level university research looking to hack robots or do their own custom programming.
What age group is Miro suitable for?
The 3rd Gen. MiRo-E has been specifically developed for education, including:
- Primary schools using the physical MiRo-E and the simple to grasp MiRo Educational programming Interface [MiRoCODE] to teach younger pupils basic robotics and coding principles.
- Secondary schools using MiRoCODE with Blockly or Python, or development in Python and C++, programming languages.
- A classroom pet in early school learning [a pastoral care mode is coming soon].
- Research into therapy for Special Educational Needs and older age related issues.
Depending on aptitude, we would suggest students below age 7 interact primarily with the physical MiRo-E (to explore simple STEM, Robotics, Engineering and Programming concepts) and students older than 7 start utilising MiRoCODE.
Advanced students can use a separate Linux development environment [our MDK] to explore more complex research and behaviours.
How many MiRo’s do you need per class?
Only one MiRo-E is needed per classroom, however MiRo-E’s interact wonderfully with each other so two or three per class is an ideal.
The browser-based simulator interface means individual pupils code a virtual robot, observe how behaves on screen, and fix any bugs, before they download to the physical robot.
What is MiRo’s battery life and how is it charged?
MiRo comes with a rechargeable battery pack and inline charger. The battery life varies with usage, but it is approximately 6+ hours active and 12+ hours standby.
What gender is MiRo? – It is up to you! – We view MiRo as a ‘non-binary’ digital device.
What is the potential?
MiRo, with the right know-how and programming, could be manipulated by advanced users to perform a wide range of custom functions.
Stereo HD vision could be programmed for:
- Facial recognition and analysis of mood and body language
- Situational awareness
- Optical navigation using objects and ceiling for reference points
- User-programmed applications for the quad microphones might include:
- Acoustic mapping to understand where sounds are coming from
- Respond to ambient noise so behaviour reacts to it
- Obey certain voice commands
- Analysis of voice detecting abnormal stress or excitement.
- Situational awareness
- WiFi /Bluetooth/USB then could give access to:
- Higher power computing for more sophisticated tasks such as SLAM navigation and sophisticated facial recognition analysis
- Operation in remote environments for security and surveying
- Cloud services such as Alexa, Siri and Google
- The only constraint is your skill and imagination!
What is MiRos programming language?
We mostly work in Python, though we provide also some examples in C++, and of course the MiRoSim App uses Blockly. But any language that can talk to the ROS (Robot Operating System) interface can be used with MiRo. For software running on the robot, the on-board environment is Raspbian Linux.
What is MiRo’s technical specification?
Below is a summary of the main technical elements of MiRo.Core
- Raspberry Pi 3B+
- Quad core 1.4 GHz
- 1GB RAM, 16GB micro-SD Raspbian, ROS ready Precision
- Accelerometers: 1 in body, 1 in head
- Vision: 2 HD cameras 720p
- Proximity: Sonar up to 1m
- Detection: 4x light sensors 2x cliff sensors
- Drive: 2 differential drive wheels with opto sensors up to 0.4m/s
- Sound: 4x 16-bit microphone 1x loudspeaker (streamable)
- Interactive: 28 capacitive touch sensors; 14 in body, 14 in head
- Connected: Bluetooth – WiFi – USB expansion ports
- Movement: 3 main DOF Lift, yaw and pitch with position sensors
- Emotion: 6 independent RGB LEDs
- Expressive: Tail droop/wag Eyelids open/close Ears rotate
- Size & Weight: The MiRo 3rd generation weighs 3kg, is 36cm tall and 34cm in length. (2.8kg without the battery pack)
- Certification: MiRo-E is CE, Au & FCC certified.