Gadget Renesas

Linking Ideas and Electronics

GR Atelier


Displayed Name:Yong Chaw Koh


Concept / Overview
The number of elderly person above 65 years old living alone has seen an increased trend for the past few years in Singapore. Many of these elderly person may require public assistance and support from their family. Many of them may feel lonely and socially inactive resulting in the onset of old age diseases. The Straits Tines Singapore (March 2014) has reported that this situation of a one-person resident household has doubled from 4.6% of all households in 1992 to 9.5% in 2012. This rising trend will result in the more acute personal care and attention to the well-being of such persons. Keeping active with regular exercises and engagement with neighbors will help to drive away this loneliness and boredom.


The project will involve the design of a small play-robot called “BoyBoy” that will accompany an elderly person in a living room environment. The robot will be able to perform the following tasks:

(a) Greet the elderly when motion is detected.

(b) Blink the eyes to show emotions.

(c) Able to rock back and forth in happy gesture.

(d) Broadcast simple weather info like: a hot day, it’s raining, getting dark now, etc.

(e) Detect simple motion and obstacles.

(f) Make some noise or music when stroke or petted.

The overall system will be micro-controller based with feedback from several electronic sensors. A further enhancement can be incorporated such as a panic button that allow a SMS message to be sent out to a close relative for help.


System Block Diagram

An original proposed system block diagram is shown below.



The play-robot dimensions will be kept small - no bigger than a normal shoe box size. It will be powered by re-chargeable batteries or through the mains ac supply.

As there were insufficient time to complete the full project, the section on the ultrasound sensors, actuators, electronic drivers and motors were not included. Instead, the prototype was designed with two 8x8 LED dot matrix that acts as “eyes” for the play-robot which can blink accordingly.

Hence the overall system has the following block diagram:





Basic Operation

The play-robot prototype was programmed using mBed cloud platform for the GR PEACH microcontroller while the ARDUINO UNO was completed using the Arduino IDE.

When the play-robot is powered on, the eyes on the play-robot will start to blink intermittently. The RF receiver is initialize to receive status information from the UNO, for example weather condition. The UNO is placed near an open window that can measure temperature, humidity, light and rain with the connected sensors. Data are then sent to the GR PEACH via a simple RF 433 MHz wireless signal. The 4-bit data status can be viewed from the LEDs displayed on the PEACH side. When the user touches or strokes the tactile sensor pad, it will activate the EMIC text-to-speech module to speak. It will greet the user and say something regarding the weather for example “It is a hot day and …... “. The RF transmission on the UNO can also be used to collect other sensor data to be sent over to the PEACH board for example door closure sensors, ambient movement detectors and gas sensors.

Some basic emotions like different eye emoji’s and vibrations for the play-robot were planned but we did not have time to execute this part.

A simplified flowchart for both PEACH and Arduino programming is shown in Annex 1.



Pictures of the prototype developed can be found in Annex 2.


Picture shows the working prototype with the following parts:

(a) GR Peach

(b) Text-to-Speech module

(c) Speaker acting as a “voice”

(d) 2 LED dot matrix acting as the “eyes”

(e) Tactile touch sensor

(f) RF 433 MHz receiver

(g) 4 status LED

(h) 1 power distribution module.



Picture shows the GR Peach prototype with the RF transmitter module based on the Arduino UNO platform. This UNO is connected with different sensors and status data are sent to the PEACH using RF 433 MHz signal.


A picture of the play-robot “bear costume” can be found in Annex 3.

Our uncompleted play-robot “bear costume” that will house the GR PEACH and the remaining electronic parts ( excluding the UNO transmitter ).








mbed code for the GR PEACH section of the project ( modified )


Yong Chaw Koh

Finalist, GR-PEACH Design Contest 2017 in ASEAN