Fachbereich Informatik

Neopixel Rings for Robot State Visualization

Bachelor-Thesis at group TAMS


Most robots designed for human-robot interaction tasks are provided with either an actual humanoid head or at least with a display that mimics eyes. Using either fixed or online-generated animations of eyes and facial expressions, this allows the software to provide natural feedback of the current robot state.

On the other hand, the robot platforms available at group TAMS, including the PR2 and TASER mobile robots are optimized towards manipulation capabilities and currently lack any means of visual feedback of internal robot state. This hinders human-robot interaction tasks, as the user has no idea of the current mode or any planned motions before the robot actually starts to move.

As proven by the iCub platform, even a few simple LEDs can help a lot to provide visual feedback or the current robot state and its ``mood''. Where the iCub uses artifical eyebrows for the feedback, this thesis will study the use of Neopixel LEDs for visualization of the internal robot. As each Neopixel LED can display a different color, both technically oriented (hardware/software component working/broken) and socially renderings (happy, angry, surprised) can be rendered. For the PR2, the initial plan is to install two Neopixel LED rings around the eyes (actually cameras) of the robot head.

Thesis Goals: