Homebrew Robo-1

Discussions regarding building a walking robot at home. Most of the robots participating at Robo-One competitions are custom fabricated.
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10 postsPage 1 of 1

Homebrew Robo-1

Post by RobotJay » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:21 pm

Post by RobotJay
Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:21 pm

Hi guys.

This is a picture of my first Robo-1 style robot.

Image

Completely designed and assembled by myself. I convinced a local machine shop to laser cut the frame parts out of aluminum for free. It was controlled using the BASIC Stamp 2 and 2 Parallax Servo Controllers. It had 19 DOF using Tower Pro MG995's. It was also controlled wirelessly using the BlueSMiRF from SparkFun. This picture is from 8 months ago, and I have since dismembered most of it to build the newest version, which is still incomplete. I will post when I have finished version 2.

This had a lot of design issues, which will be ironed out in version 2. Also, notice all the messy wires? Hopefully all that will be a thing of the past once I can daisy chain the servos using OpenServo PCBs.

As a note to anyone building their own Biped, start out by using rectangular feet. It'll make your robot more stable while you work on its walking gait. Because of the weird angles in the feet I designed, my bot kept falling over in unpredictable ways, leading to several hard crashes. I ended up having to glue plastic rectangles to his feet to keep her upright. Once I did this, getting the gait rythm down was easy.
Hi guys.

This is a picture of my first Robo-1 style robot.

Image

Completely designed and assembled by myself. I convinced a local machine shop to laser cut the frame parts out of aluminum for free. It was controlled using the BASIC Stamp 2 and 2 Parallax Servo Controllers. It had 19 DOF using Tower Pro MG995's. It was also controlled wirelessly using the BlueSMiRF from SparkFun. This picture is from 8 months ago, and I have since dismembered most of it to build the newest version, which is still incomplete. I will post when I have finished version 2.

This had a lot of design issues, which will be ironed out in version 2. Also, notice all the messy wires? Hopefully all that will be a thing of the past once I can daisy chain the servos using OpenServo PCBs.

As a note to anyone building their own Biped, start out by using rectangular feet. It'll make your robot more stable while you work on its walking gait. Because of the weird angles in the feet I designed, my bot kept falling over in unpredictable ways, leading to several hard crashes. I ended up having to glue plastic rectangles to his feet to keep her upright. Once I did this, getting the gait rythm down was easy.
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Post by Robo1 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:49 am

Post by Robo1
Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:49 am

I like :P :P :P :P

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I like :P :P :P :P

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Post by Humanoido » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:19 am

Post by Humanoido
Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:19 am

That's one fantastic humanoid! but where's the head? :lol:
How easy was it to connect the BlueSmirf?
Did you connect it to the PSC?
Humanoido
That's one fantastic humanoid! but where's the head? :lol:
How easy was it to connect the BlueSmirf?
Did you connect it to the PSC?
Humanoido
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Post by RobotJay » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:24 pm

Post by RobotJay
Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:24 pm

Humanoido,

The head is absent because it wasn't necessary. (Who's is, right? :) ) I would have put one on if it would have added some sort of functionality. The Blue SMiRF was connected to 2 I/O pins on the BASIC Stamp. It was extremely easy. If you have a Board of Education from Parallax, experimenting with the Blue SMiRF is simply a matter of learning the SERIN/SEROUT commands. Easy. The Blue SMiRF connects to the Stamp, and the PSC connects to the stamp. I just used the SMiRF to send single character keyboard strokes to give the bot a command such as "squat", "stand", "walk forward", "turn right", "get up from front", "punch with right", etc... The stamp receives a character corresponding to a preset series of servo movements, then the stamp sends speed and position commands to the PSC. I could have left the PSC's out entirely if I would have been using the 40-pin BASIC Stamp.
Humanoido,

The head is absent because it wasn't necessary. (Who's is, right? :) ) I would have put one on if it would have added some sort of functionality. The Blue SMiRF was connected to 2 I/O pins on the BASIC Stamp. It was extremely easy. If you have a Board of Education from Parallax, experimenting with the Blue SMiRF is simply a matter of learning the SERIN/SEROUT commands. Easy. The Blue SMiRF connects to the Stamp, and the PSC connects to the stamp. I just used the SMiRF to send single character keyboard strokes to give the bot a command such as "squat", "stand", "walk forward", "turn right", "get up from front", "punch with right", etc... The stamp receives a character corresponding to a preset series of servo movements, then the stamp sends speed and position commands to the PSC. I could have left the PSC's out entirely if I would have been using the 40-pin BASIC Stamp.
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Post by Humanoido » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:23 am

Post by Humanoido
Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:23 am

RobotJay - The Blue SMiRF was connected to 2 I/O pins on the BASIC Stamp. It was extremely easy. If you have a Board of Education from Parallax, experimenting with the Blue SMiRF is simply a matter of learning the SERIN/SEROUT commands.

The Blue SMiRF connects to the Stamp, and the PSC connects to the stamp. I just used the SMiRF to send single character keyboard strokes to give the bot a command such as "squat", "stand", "walk forward", "turn right", "get up from front", "punch with right", etc...

The stamp receives a character corresponding to a preset series of servo movements, then the stamp sends speed and position commands to the PSC.


I'm building a robot using the Basic Stamp 2, and usb verision of PSC. I have a BOE. I'm ordering a BlueSmirf. To connect a smirf to the Basic Stamp 2, which pins go where? I'm pretty much lost when it comes to hooking it up.

And how do you send commands? Do you use something like Hyterm in the PC? Thanks for your help.

Humanoido
RobotJay - The Blue SMiRF was connected to 2 I/O pins on the BASIC Stamp. It was extremely easy. If you have a Board of Education from Parallax, experimenting with the Blue SMiRF is simply a matter of learning the SERIN/SEROUT commands.

The Blue SMiRF connects to the Stamp, and the PSC connects to the stamp. I just used the SMiRF to send single character keyboard strokes to give the bot a command such as "squat", "stand", "walk forward", "turn right", "get up from front", "punch with right", etc...

The stamp receives a character corresponding to a preset series of servo movements, then the stamp sends speed and position commands to the PSC.


I'm building a robot using the Basic Stamp 2, and usb verision of PSC. I have a BOE. I'm ordering a BlueSmirf. To connect a smirf to the Basic Stamp 2, which pins go where? I'm pretty much lost when it comes to hooking it up.

And how do you send commands? Do you use something like Hyterm in the PC? Thanks for your help.

Humanoido
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Post by RobotJay » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:34 pm

Post by RobotJay
Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:34 pm

Humanoido,

Here's the step-by-step that I used:

I'm not sure which version you plan on buying, but when you get the SMiRF from SparkFun, there are only 4 pins that are important to you; +5v, Ground, Rx, and Tx. It is quite obvious where the +5v and GND connect to your BoE. You can connect Rx and Tx to any of the 16 I/O pins, as long as you have one pin for Rx, and one for Tx. Arbitrarily I used pins 0 and 1 for Rx and Tx, respectively. I might be mistaken, but I think Rx is used to receive things into the Stamp, and Tx is used to transmit data back to the computer (I never even actually needed to transmit data back to the computer from the Stamp, but you might add more functions to your bot than I did.) Download a copy of Blue Soleil (the bluetooth app that comes standard with the SMiRF is crap.) BlueSoleil will detect your powered on Blue SMiRF, and create a COM port (mine creates COM17.) Then all you do is create a connection to COM17 through HyperTerminal. When I got the SMiRF I knew it was going to be fairly easy to use, but I had no idea HOW easy it would be. I installed the hardware in under 5 minutes, installed BlueSoleil and programmed the BS2 to handle serial communication in under 20 minutes. I wasn't expecting to have anything working for a few days, but my BoE bot was running all around my basement wirelessly in under 30 minutes. Contact me when you get all your equipment, and I'll help you out as much as I can.

-Jay
Humanoido,

Here's the step-by-step that I used:

I'm not sure which version you plan on buying, but when you get the SMiRF from SparkFun, there are only 4 pins that are important to you; +5v, Ground, Rx, and Tx. It is quite obvious where the +5v and GND connect to your BoE. You can connect Rx and Tx to any of the 16 I/O pins, as long as you have one pin for Rx, and one for Tx. Arbitrarily I used pins 0 and 1 for Rx and Tx, respectively. I might be mistaken, but I think Rx is used to receive things into the Stamp, and Tx is used to transmit data back to the computer (I never even actually needed to transmit data back to the computer from the Stamp, but you might add more functions to your bot than I did.) Download a copy of Blue Soleil (the bluetooth app that comes standard with the SMiRF is crap.) BlueSoleil will detect your powered on Blue SMiRF, and create a COM port (mine creates COM17.) Then all you do is create a connection to COM17 through HyperTerminal. When I got the SMiRF I knew it was going to be fairly easy to use, but I had no idea HOW easy it would be. I installed the hardware in under 5 minutes, installed BlueSoleil and programmed the BS2 to handle serial communication in under 20 minutes. I wasn't expecting to have anything working for a few days, but my BoE bot was running all around my basement wirelessly in under 30 minutes. Contact me when you get all your equipment, and I'll help you out as much as I can.

-Jay
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Post by Humanoido » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:38 am

Post by Humanoido
Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:38 am

Thanks, I'll let you know when it arrives, but is there a specific model of the Bluesmirf that I should order?

Wow, you did an amazing job on homebew Robo-1. To get a machine shop to laser cut those pieces was remarkable. Did you have CAD files ready for their CNC machine? It looks like a lot of work. Did you do the bending of the aluminum? It looks like you have a lot of machining experience. Again, a very impressive job!

My new psc is not working so looks like a setback there until its replaced. I have a PING))) to work with, and will take a look at the bs2 serial commands in anticipation of the bluesmirf.

Humanoido
Thanks, I'll let you know when it arrives, but is there a specific model of the Bluesmirf that I should order?

Wow, you did an amazing job on homebew Robo-1. To get a machine shop to laser cut those pieces was remarkable. Did you have CAD files ready for their CNC machine? It looks like a lot of work. Did you do the bending of the aluminum? It looks like you have a lot of machining experience. Again, a very impressive job!

My new psc is not working so looks like a setback there until its replaced. I have a PING))) to work with, and will take a look at the bs2 serial commands in anticipation of the bluesmirf.

Humanoido
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Post by RobotJay » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:44 pm

Post by RobotJay
Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:44 pm

Humanoido,

SparkFun used to sell a 4-pin version of the BlueSMiRF, but I guess they stopped and only carry the 6 pin version (which is fine, it really doesn't matter) The only choice you have to make is whether you need an external antenna or not. I just went with the integrated antenna (not the one with a gold screw on connector).

Thank you for the compliment about the bot. I am quite proud of him myself. Before I took on the task of building this bot, I had zero experience machining parts. After looking around on the internet, it seemed that most machine shops use a CAD software called SolidWorks. So I used SolidWorks to create the frame parts in 3D. SolidWorks is surprisingly easy to learn, if you run through their tutorials. And although I would NEVER advocate software piracy *cough* *wink* *cough* it is possible that a person MIGHT be able to download a copy through some less reputable sources. *cough* After the parts were cut, the machine shop used a machine called a press brake to bend the pieces.

Coincidentally, because of the work I did building this bot, I was actually able to get a job at a CNC shop. Now I use SolidWorks everyday to design sheet metal parts for other companies. It has given me time to tweak my SolidWorks skills, so the next version of my bot will be ten times better. Either way, if you want to learn how to build bipeds, just do it. Dive in head first. You'll probably fuck it all up, but who cares? Everyone has to start somewhere, right? You'll learn from it and you'll do better on your next attempt. Good luck.


-Jay
Humanoido,

SparkFun used to sell a 4-pin version of the BlueSMiRF, but I guess they stopped and only carry the 6 pin version (which is fine, it really doesn't matter) The only choice you have to make is whether you need an external antenna or not. I just went with the integrated antenna (not the one with a gold screw on connector).

Thank you for the compliment about the bot. I am quite proud of him myself. Before I took on the task of building this bot, I had zero experience machining parts. After looking around on the internet, it seemed that most machine shops use a CAD software called SolidWorks. So I used SolidWorks to create the frame parts in 3D. SolidWorks is surprisingly easy to learn, if you run through their tutorials. And although I would NEVER advocate software piracy *cough* *wink* *cough* it is possible that a person MIGHT be able to download a copy through some less reputable sources. *cough* After the parts were cut, the machine shop used a machine called a press brake to bend the pieces.

Coincidentally, because of the work I did building this bot, I was actually able to get a job at a CNC shop. Now I use SolidWorks everyday to design sheet metal parts for other companies. It has given me time to tweak my SolidWorks skills, so the next version of my bot will be ten times better. Either way, if you want to learn how to build bipeds, just do it. Dive in head first. You'll probably fuck it all up, but who cares? Everyone has to start somewhere, right? You'll learn from it and you'll do better on your next attempt. Good luck.


-Jay
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Post by Humanoido » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:22 am

Post by Humanoido
Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:22 am

That's an amazing story of how this adventure led you to a wonderful job doing what you enjoy! We should all be so lucky as you.

I've been looking for a CAD software, and SolidWorks sounds very good. But I don't know where, cough, to, cough, find it, cough, for, cough, download, cough.

Thanks for the helpful tips. I like working with basic stamps and it should be really exciting to do some add-ons, and possibly my first CAD design of a part in the future.

Humanoido
That's an amazing story of how this adventure led you to a wonderful job doing what you enjoy! We should all be so lucky as you.

I've been looking for a CAD software, and SolidWorks sounds very good. But I don't know where, cough, to, cough, find it, cough, for, cough, download, cough.

Thanks for the helpful tips. I like working with basic stamps and it should be really exciting to do some add-ons, and possibly my first CAD design of a part in the future.

Humanoido
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Post by Robo1 » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:39 am

Post by Robo1
Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:39 am

search for "solidworks 2006 2005 torrent" in google or use http://isohunt.com/ I got a copy recently and it's very good. be warned it's 3CD so it's 2G +.

bren
search for "solidworks 2006 2005 torrent" in google or use http://isohunt.com/ I got a copy recently and it's very good. be warned it's 3CD so it's 2G +.

bren
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