Lets Make a Robot

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jeffroig
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Lets Make a Robot

Post by jeffroig » 30 Jan 2016, 10:24

Robots are all around us as is A.I and we don't realize it.
When we think of robots we think of those creatures from horror movies or the movies that inspired us to be creative.
As kids we all wanted our own C3PO or R2D2 and Flying cars were supposed to be parked in everyone's driveway by now.
Well technology has a strange way of creeping up on us and we don't realize it as it becomes a normal part of life.
Lets take for example music, most of remember LP's and 45's, WHAT we can take our music with us on a cartridge called a 8 track.
Before you knew it the cassette tape was out and it was the rage and without notice all of a sudden it had faded away and we were holding these small round disc's that looked like a small 45 and then all of a sudden you could store music on a small rectangle that could fit on your finger tip. This is what I mean about how technology and how it slowly creeps up on us and becomes a normal part of life and just as quick as we embrace the new we forget about what used to be. The same applies to robots and A.I.
Back in the day when the first LED watches were released we had to have one as we thought it would make us cool and it was digital as well it was headed towards a new age of technology and then cam the Z80 processor in a little computer called the TI 1000 with a whopping 2K of memory, look where we are now PC's with several processing cores and in some cases unlimited amounts of memory.
The first robot designed that went public was done back in the the 50's for the worlds fair and while mechanically it could do some amazing things, it was all smoke and mirrors as it required someone behind the scenes to make it move and talk. If time has shown us anything with robots is that we can build the most extreme machine and make it look as real as we want but the one question always rises, "How will you control it". There currently are many robots out on the market that are available for you and me to purchase and they can do some interesting things, they can say a few words, they can walk, they can dance they can read your emails and some can even draw. Once again what controls them, you do, through voice commands or through a smart phone or a remote of some sort.
Is this a robot or just an advanced remote controlled toy with a hefty price tag.
When I started in my adventure with robots I wanted to do something that would help the disabled and the elderly, at least this was my objective. The first bot I designed was designed around the idea to deliver food and provide conversation. So I started and what I ended up with kind of looked like a 28" tall bread box on wheels with a LCD screen. The bot would wheel around a room but would hit just about everything in it's path so then came voice commands to tell it to go left or right. This did work but would require the person using it to have a clear spoken voice and the bot would have to be within range to hear the voice. So this idea while a failure was also a great learning experience. From there I designed several other wheeled robots that were smaller and now being made out of plastic or PVC. Each one had the same results and would once again require some user input via either voice or a remote. Then I watch a video where they interviewed Mark Tilden, I know you are going to say Mark WHO! For those of you who do not know the name or are just to lazy to google his name. Mark Tilden is the inventor and creator of the Robosapien robot which has been around for many years and also the founder of STEM Robotics as well as many other things. Mark Tilden made a remark in the video which changed the way I went about designing robots, he said we can design the most sophisticated robots in the world but how do we control them and give them freedom, so in other words we tend to design very nice looking robots but have no real way of bringing it to life and giving it the ability to free roam and think. So once again we are back to the smoke and mirrors and making something look very impressive but what do we have a remote controlled toy with a big price tag. So based on this I took a step back and decided to put the software first and based on the software would then create the robot. So first came EVO http://coolkidsrobots.com/robot/evobot-evolving-robot and after much testing a proving that the bot could roam free and not hit an object in the room then added more features to the software. Knowing that I could design software that would navigate around a room and detect the distance to an object gave me even more inspiration. Next was could I get it to detect motion so that if at night or when my wife and I were away from the house it could then act as a alarm of sorts to scare away an intruder. This was no problem and it would detect the motion based on pixel movement. So if we can detect an object and detect movement can we detect sound, of course. I created a way in the software for the bot to detect beats in music and then dance to the music in it own way (entertainment purpose only). So we can do some fancy things with software that I designed, I must mention that within my software I do not use any 3rd party DLL's like OpenCV or any of those other quickly applied plugins as I will call them. I designed every single piece of the software and did a lot of reading to make it happen. So moving forward we have a bot that can wheel around the room and can Detect motion and dance to music. No smoke and mirrors here as this is all done on its own without the help from me other than to turn the bot on. For the past few years I had been dealing with wheels and to be honest was getting tired of going in circles. Time had come to take another step forward and make a Biped (Walking robot) I had tried before but the servos could not handle the weight of the batteries and the computer. Well with the release of those Windows Tablets had come a new idea, we can use one of those as it is light weight and will allow me to put my software on it and they have a USB port. I purchased a inexpensive windows 8 tablet and gave it a go, success we had a light weight computer that would work. This is my most current work and actually has changed some since this post was done. http://coolkidsrobots.com/robot/wp-1-windows-biped. I would also like to extend a welcome to each and every one of you to come and visit CKR (CoolKidsRobots)http://coolkidsrobots.com/. If you are interested in 3D printing, Electronics, Engineering, Software, Robots etc... I would encourage you to stop by. There is an awful amount of talented people on U3DA and there is many that could benefit from your talents on CKR. One of the members on CKR is a graphic designer for a television station in Norway. There is a Shoutbox on CKR and you can interactively talk to members. Who knows you may even see me on there, I go by the name JeffRo and will gladly welcome you and enjoy chatting with you. I hope to see you on CKR. JEFF
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BNG
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Re: Lets Make a Robot

Post by BNG » 02 Feb 2016, 21:00

I would imagine that with 3d printing becoming more advanced one could make all of the parts for the robot body. Don't know about the internal parts though or the logic components to make it functional. I'm almost certain that eventually robots made by home hobbyist is definitely coming soon. Leroy.

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BNG
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Re: Lets Make a Robot

Post by BNG » 02 Feb 2016, 21:00

I would imagine that with 3d printing becoming more advanced one could make all of the parts for the robot body. Don't know about the internal parts though or the logic components to make it functional. I'm almost certain that eventually robots made by home hobbyist is definitely coming soon. Leroy.

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Dragneye
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Re: Lets Make a Robot

Post by Dragneye » 03 Feb 2016, 13:28

Hey Jeff.
That is AWESOME!

saved site. Will peruse soon. Keep up the Great work.

jeffroig
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Re: Lets Make a Robot

Post by jeffroig » 05 Feb 2016, 11:15

For those that are interested there is a great site you might want to check out that is just for 3D printing.
You will see some amazing things that people have designed and printed, including robots.
Take a look here.https://www.thingiverse.com/
The object that you design in TS can be printed with a little extra work.
If you are interested in getting started in 3D printing and dont want to spend a bunch of money this is a great way to get started for less that $200.00 US. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... nters.html
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jeffroig
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Re: Lets Make a Robot

Post by jeffroig » 13 Feb 2016, 17:55

So time has come to start designing new legs for the robot so that he can then have more movement. As with all the bots I have built my first tool is my brain and thinking things through. The next tool is TS and it works great for this as I am able to design it make changes to it and get an idea of what it will look like when it is finished. Below is an image of a new set of legs I will be making very soon. The first stage is creating them using thin cardboard so I can see how it will all fit together. Once I am satisfied with the cardboard cutouts I will then transfer those measurements into a CAD program. The black boxes are the servos. For this project I will be using a new Hight Torque servo that I have never used before. The servos are made by EXI and they use coreless motors that are digital so the control is must more precise and the amount of voltage/current required to drive them is low. You may wonder why the legs are bent at the knees but there is no joint there. Well he is the reason it is called center of gravity/center of mass. A servo from mounting tab to mounting tab is right around 4 inches in length. Two servos end to end comes out to be 8 inches now lets include spacing for the servos to pivot and you have about 12 inches, that not including the other two servos and the spacing for them. By the time you are done it would be around 24" just in the legs. All the electronics will reside in the torso so lets say we have 1lb in electronics and the torso is 4 inches tall, well when the bot would lean slightly to one side to lift the opposing leg all that weight at the top becomes compounded and we now have a bot that is falling over on its side. By placing the servos at an angle from each other and maintaining the center between them we have kept the center of gravity down and thus the center of mass is much lower so our bot will not fall over like a drunk. I will post more as it progresses and if any of you are interested in wanting to build a bot I am open for questions. Just shoot me a PM and I will respond. for now thats all take care and keep on dreaming.
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Legs2.jpg
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jeffroig
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Re: Lets Make a Robot

Post by jeffroig » 22 Mar 2016, 10:02

Here is an image of the legs assembled with the start of a torso.
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Re: Lets Make a Robot

Post by MikomDude » 22 Mar 2016, 17:18

Awesome!

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