Mobo Buggy: Mobile driven, autonomous AI buggy for mobiles – Sketchbook Friday

Initially I started this Sketchbook Friday project off by exploring design concepts for a mobile phone case. After trying out a number of generic ideas in a moment of genius (maybe craziness) I thought why not upgrade mobile devices wheels?! As impractical as this idea might be, I still believe the Mobo Buggy could prove a popular item just down to it’s fun factor. So let’s get down to the details and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments at the bottom.

Autonomous Self Driving AI

Think of the Mobo Buggy as a transportation system for mobile devices in the home. The buggy itself comprised of a case allowing for various attachments and of course any variety of wheels to add mobility.

Sketch (B) rather simply illustrates the basic principle behind this particular concept design.

Various attachments that the Mobo might feature include lights, sensors and so on. The attachments could be highly customizable to the point that every Mobo has a unique style and personality reflecting the users tastes.

Capabilities and Practicality of the Mobo

As I mentioned earlier this design idea is definitely not the most practical solution to any problems. I have however thought of at least one (slightly) practical idea and that is the ability to self-charge at a docking station as shown in illustrations (C), (D) and (E). At night simply set the Mobo Buggy on the floor and at a scheduled time the buggy will drive itself over to a charging station, perhaps also performing tasks such clearing the app cache or setting social statuses to offline.

Some way more fun options however might include the use of a robotic arm attachment to pick up delivered letters and to then drive into your room while playing an alarm to wake you up for the day. You could even set the buggy to “hard to catch” mode forcing you out of bed to chase it and set of the alarm.

Now that I mention “alarms”, perhaps the Mobo buggy might feasibly act as a domestic security system. Imagine a burglar breaking into your home for example, here’s a couple of potential programmable modes one could enable for this scenario.

  1. Attack (Maybe add some laser attachments or something?)
  2. Automatically call emergency services / police and video stream intruder
  3. Fire off an alarm to wake everyone in the house
  4. Hide. Wait for the thief to leave and a surveillance mission ensues. Upon arrival at the burglars residence, break in and drive back home with the thiefs mobile phone. Now you have two potential Mobo buggy’s, result! Also no the Mobo buggy won’t bother to retrieve your stuff because that’s not what it signed up for. :D

Perhaps an interesting philosophical question here. Is it immoral (or even illegal) for an AI robot to steal? hmm…

Obstacles and manoeuvrability

Ok so back to the matter at hand and perhaps it’s a good time to mention some of the obvious problems with the Mobo Buggy concept. Everyday household objects from stairs to closed doors would present major issues when it comes to navigating outside of smaller single room spaces.

In sketch (G) I decided the best way to allow access to multiple floors would be to create a “micro lift” besides the stairs. The mobo could simply drive onto the platform activating sensors on the lift transporting the device across floors. Is this practical? Nope, but it’s certainly a fun idea!

Software application integrations

Another interesting idea would be to develop a dedicated software app for Mobo Buggy users as indicated in (I) and (J). This app could easily tie together existing mobile applications such as IFFT for automation and custom programmable functions dedicated to the hardware. One great thing about this concept is that mobile devices already provide more than enough computing power, simply tap into the latest mobile technologies and you have endless possibilities. You could turn your mobile into a customizable RC car with a real time camera or build multiplayer Mobo buggy games. The screens might also display HUD’s and feedback alerts to aid in these types of integrative experiences.

Mobo to Mobo Integration

Finally one last idea, one that is both relatively innovative and amusing at the same time.

Consider the notion of allowing the Mobo’s AI to interpret some degree of personality based on the user of the device. In sketch (K) I have illustrated a “pod” of Mobo buggies based on the idea of simulating a family hierarchy. Each device might interact differently, even acting out activities from during the day which personally I would find interesting to watch from a more creative perspective.

What do you think of this particular notion out of interest? I think for some readers these interactions would be cute, and for others very creepy. Regardless of the practically it’s an interesting notion to consider translating a user’s activity metrics into an AI system for the purpose of building artificial personality. In fact I might have to further expand on this idea in a future Sketchbook Friday edition.

Final thoughts

As emphasised numerous times this Mobo Buggy concept is mostly just a project to share some interesting ideas.If however you like the project make your voice heard considering this project is actually relatively feasible especially for anyone with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino as a DIY project. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you for next Fridays edition of this weekly series.

Sketchbook Friday Blog Series

This edition is part of my weekly blog series where I conduct thought experiments and generate new concept ideas ranging from innovative new tech to creative design kits. Ideas that receive the most shares will evolve form my original sketches to prototypes and potentially crowdfunding campaigns.