My hexapod project - Code and hardware related.

Walking robots with more than 2 legs (tripods, quadpods..) have the inherent advantage of stability over biped robots
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20 postsPage 1 of 21, 2

My hexapod project - Code and hardware related.

Post by Foekie » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:08 pm

Post by Foekie
Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:08 pm

Dear members,

My name is Robert Jacobs. I am 20 years old and kind of new to robotics. But that is nut such a problem, because "you can only learn by making mistakes", right?!

I'm new here and wanted to share some info with you guys.
Currently working on a hexapod project.
This hexapod will be completely controlled by visual basic and the SCC-32 hardware. This will be "live" controlled. So with interference of the user (me? :wink:)

Currently I am working on both the hardware and the software.

In this topic will be updated regular with new pictures and screenshots. Stay tuned. 8)

Regards,
Foekie
Dear members,

My name is Robert Jacobs. I am 20 years old and kind of new to robotics. But that is nut such a problem, because "you can only learn by making mistakes", right?!

I'm new here and wanted to share some info with you guys.
Currently working on a hexapod project.
This hexapod will be completely controlled by visual basic and the SCC-32 hardware. This will be "live" controlled. So with interference of the user (me? :wink:)

Currently I am working on both the hardware and the software.

In this topic will be updated regular with new pictures and screenshots. Stay tuned. 8)

Regards,
Foekie
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Post by Foekie » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:51 pm

Post by Foekie
Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:51 pm

The software is making progress. Since I would like te keep the project variable, I've created a small program to test my thoughts. :P

This little program sends out a servo pulse, which is modified by a small mathematic. The mathematic makes the project variable.

As you can see, I can manually adjust the offset of the servo and the speed.

Image



Now waiting for the servo's (which have been ordered already). To start out I've chosen to use cheap servo's by the mark "modelcraft".

Ordered 3 of them before and they are very strong! So they are suitable for a cheap home-build project.

Price of 1 servo: 4,99 EUR
Total: 89.82 EUR

Pretty cheap, huh?! As soon as they arrive I can mount them on the Pan Tilt holders which I bought at a local hardware store. These are 90 degrees corners for furniture usage. Just painted them black to make it look a little better. Will post a picture later on.

Regards,
Foekie
The software is making progress. Since I would like te keep the project variable, I've created a small program to test my thoughts. :P

This little program sends out a servo pulse, which is modified by a small mathematic. The mathematic makes the project variable.

As you can see, I can manually adjust the offset of the servo and the speed.

Image



Now waiting for the servo's (which have been ordered already). To start out I've chosen to use cheap servo's by the mark "modelcraft".

Ordered 3 of them before and they are very strong! So they are suitable for a cheap home-build project.

Price of 1 servo: 4,99 EUR
Total: 89.82 EUR

Pretty cheap, huh?! As soon as they arrive I can mount them on the Pan Tilt holders which I bought at a local hardware store. These are 90 degrees corners for furniture usage. Just painted them black to make it look a little better. Will post a picture later on.

Regards,
Foekie
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Post by PedroR » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:42 pm

Post by PedroR
Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:42 pm

Hi Robert

Your project sounds rather interesting.

Once you have the code in place to control the servos one by one it may be a good idea to develop some feature to save a combination of movements (to file for example) and play them.

This way you can play one orchestrated movement of walking for example.

I don't know if you've worked with the software for any Hobby Humanoid.
They always include a tool to create these "Motion" files and save them/replay them.

If you want to have a look at one of those softwares, visit the Bioloid & Robotis forum (here at Robosavvy) and look for a thread for "ROBPLUS".

There will be a download link on one of the latest posts. You can download it and play with it.
In particular the part that may interest you is "Roboplus MOTION".
You may get some cool ideas for your project from that.


Once you get the hang of it and want to go pro there are some wireless IMUs that let you read the titlting/falling/ etc of the robot so you can compesate it in code.
But that's quite a few steps ahead.

I'll be following your posts :)

Regards
Pedro.
Hi Robert

Your project sounds rather interesting.

Once you have the code in place to control the servos one by one it may be a good idea to develop some feature to save a combination of movements (to file for example) and play them.

This way you can play one orchestrated movement of walking for example.

I don't know if you've worked with the software for any Hobby Humanoid.
They always include a tool to create these "Motion" files and save them/replay them.

If you want to have a look at one of those softwares, visit the Bioloid & Robotis forum (here at Robosavvy) and look for a thread for "ROBPLUS".

There will be a download link on one of the latest posts. You can download it and play with it.
In particular the part that may interest you is "Roboplus MOTION".
You may get some cool ideas for your project from that.


Once you get the hang of it and want to go pro there are some wireless IMUs that let you read the titlting/falling/ etc of the robot so you can compesate it in code.
But that's quite a few steps ahead.

I'll be following your posts :)

Regards
Pedro.
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Post by Foekie » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:31 pm

Post by Foekie
Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:31 pm

Thanks for your reply. haha. My project sounds kindda boring at the moment. But I guess that's normal when you're not that far yet.

I must admit that I've thought about this too. Maybe I can add some kind of a function later on which makes me able to save servo data into a text file (and read the contents of the text file later on). That way it would be easy to configure a walking pattern.

What I'm currently focusing on is the interaction of the user. I would like to being able to let the robot walk forward (or whatever?) and then be able to make it tilt in every direction (even 360 degrees).

My idea works. The little program I wrote proves that. Can't wait till the servo's are here. I hope they'll arrive tomorrow, or the day after.

Tomorrow I will start drilling holes into the plexi. I've made a small body out of plexi. Also the legs and feet are plexi. The pan-tilt holders are aluminium. Later on I am planning to build a alu body, legs and feet too.

Thanks for your interest and tips! 8)
Regards,
Foekie
Thanks for your reply. haha. My project sounds kindda boring at the moment. But I guess that's normal when you're not that far yet.

I must admit that I've thought about this too. Maybe I can add some kind of a function later on which makes me able to save servo data into a text file (and read the contents of the text file later on). That way it would be easy to configure a walking pattern.

What I'm currently focusing on is the interaction of the user. I would like to being able to let the robot walk forward (or whatever?) and then be able to make it tilt in every direction (even 360 degrees).

My idea works. The little program I wrote proves that. Can't wait till the servo's are here. I hope they'll arrive tomorrow, or the day after.

Tomorrow I will start drilling holes into the plexi. I've made a small body out of plexi. Also the legs and feet are plexi. The pan-tilt holders are aluminium. Later on I am planning to build a alu body, legs and feet too.

Thanks for your interest and tips! 8)
Regards,
Foekie
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Post by limor » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:52 pm

Post by limor
Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:52 pm

welcome to the forum!
what do you plan for the body of the robot ?
there are many ways to fabricate or buy the structure.
my personal favorite hexapod structures are by Matt Denton
see micromagicsystems.com and hexapodrobot.com
they life-like motion is achieved by sophisticated gait programming.
welcome to the forum!
what do you plan for the body of the robot ?
there are many ways to fabricate or buy the structure.
my personal favorite hexapod structures are by Matt Denton
see micromagicsystems.com and hexapodrobot.com
they life-like motion is achieved by sophisticated gait programming.
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Post by Foekie » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:52 pm

Post by Foekie
Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:52 pm

thanks for your reply and thanks for the welcome!

currently I'm planning to make the body just functional for the first movements. afterwards I'm thinking of creating a little more non-conventional. a lot of people use the same round body structures or the ant look-a-like structures. which are rectangle-shaped. currently I'm using such a ant-body too. as said before with an eye on programming. and also for showing new enthausiasts that you can built a lot yourself. after the project runs I'm planning on developing some sort of tilt sensors and of course the highly flexible vb.net application. also, I'm planning on developing some sort of balance-kit. with an auto adjustment for the legs. so that the robot stays horizontally alligned. for the rest not so worried about future developments, things will work out I guess.. suggestions/tips are of course very welcome ;)

The body looks pretty much like this one:
Image

thanks for your reply and interests
regards,
foekie

posted via mobile
thanks for your reply and thanks for the welcome!

currently I'm planning to make the body just functional for the first movements. afterwards I'm thinking of creating a little more non-conventional. a lot of people use the same round body structures or the ant look-a-like structures. which are rectangle-shaped. currently I'm using such a ant-body too. as said before with an eye on programming. and also for showing new enthausiasts that you can built a lot yourself. after the project runs I'm planning on developing some sort of tilt sensors and of course the highly flexible vb.net application. also, I'm planning on developing some sort of balance-kit. with an auto adjustment for the legs. so that the robot stays horizontally alligned. for the rest not so worried about future developments, things will work out I guess.. suggestions/tips are of course very welcome ;)

The body looks pretty much like this one:
Image

thanks for your reply and interests
regards,
foekie

posted via mobile
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Post by Foekie » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:03 pm

Post by Foekie
Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:03 pm

Hello there!

With a little luck, the servo's should be delivered today or tomorrow. So that's the first good news.

The next good new is, that I'm working on a joystick inside the VB.net application. Right now the joystick is working.

As you can see below the joystick writes it's data into the console.

I'm now developing a way to convert the joystick coördinates to variables for the servo offset. (this joystick will control the tilting of the robot)

Image

Stay tuned. 8)
Hello there!

With a little luck, the servo's should be delivered today or tomorrow. So that's the first good news.

The next good new is, that I'm working on a joystick inside the VB.net application. Right now the joystick is working.

As you can see below the joystick writes it's data into the console.

I'm now developing a way to convert the joystick coördinates to variables for the servo offset. (this joystick will control the tilting of the robot)

Image

Stay tuned. 8)
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Post by Foekie » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:42 pm

Post by Foekie
Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:42 pm

Found a way to convert the joystick x and y outputs to servo code.

It's now possible to use the X-axis of the joystick to make the servos respond with a variable tilt.

Kindda cool actually. My servos were delivered about 3 hours ago and it's was quite a large bag, haha :roll:

Anyway. Here's the new screenshot:

Image

I will now screw the servos onto the pan-tilt holders.

Stay tuned 8)
Found a way to convert the joystick x and y outputs to servo code.

It's now possible to use the X-axis of the joystick to make the servos respond with a variable tilt.

Kindda cool actually. My servos were delivered about 3 hours ago and it's was quite a large bag, haha :roll:

Anyway. Here's the new screenshot:

Image

I will now screw the servos onto the pan-tilt holders.

Stay tuned 8)
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Post by Foekie » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:25 pm

Post by Foekie
Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:25 pm

90 degrees servo brackets:
Click to view


Servos on 90 degrees brackets and connected to SSC-32:
Click to view
90 degrees servo brackets:
Click to view


Servos on 90 degrees brackets and connected to SSC-32:
Click to view
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Post by pio » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:20 am

Post by pio
Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:20 am

Foekie wrote:90 degrees servo brackets:
Click to view

Hi Foekie,
How do you create the brackets and what materials do you select?
Thanks a lot.
Image
Foekie wrote:90 degrees servo brackets:
Click to view

Hi Foekie,
How do you create the brackets and what materials do you select?
Thanks a lot.
Image
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Post by Foekie » Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:19 pm

Post by Foekie
Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:19 pm

Thanks for your reply.
As said before, these are 90 degrees furniture corners. They are made of aluminium.


My hexapod is assembled now! the design has some bugs, but for now it's OK! 8)

Anyway. I was working on the program, so I've made a video of the first time wake and sleep command.

You can view it below. 8) Suggestions? Comments?

phpBB [media]


And here are a few photographs:

Click here (Sleep)

Click here (wake)

Click here (top)


The program now works with a variable speed. You can adjust the speed in real time.

Next, I'm planning on adjusting the height in realtime.


But I'm having a question: I'm planning on letting the robot respond on a joypad input. Is there someone who knows how to read input of a joypad with VB.net?

Thanks! 8) [/url]
Thanks for your reply.
As said before, these are 90 degrees furniture corners. They are made of aluminium.


My hexapod is assembled now! the design has some bugs, but for now it's OK! 8)

Anyway. I was working on the program, so I've made a video of the first time wake and sleep command.

You can view it below. 8) Suggestions? Comments?

phpBB [media]


And here are a few photographs:

Click here (Sleep)

Click here (wake)

Click here (top)


The program now works with a variable speed. You can adjust the speed in real time.

Next, I'm planning on adjusting the height in realtime.


But I'm having a question: I'm planning on letting the robot respond on a joypad input. Is there someone who knows how to read input of a joypad with VB.net?

Thanks! 8) [/url]
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Post by limor » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:18 am

Post by limor
Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:18 am

But I'm having a question: I'm planning on letting the robot respond on a joypad input. Is there someone who knows how to read input of a joypad with VB.net?

check out this thread:
http://robosavvy.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... &view=next
and this:
http://www.autohotkey.com/forum/topic28703.html

The idea is to use a free PC software called autohotkey to translate HID signals into something more digestable
But I'm having a question: I'm planning on letting the robot respond on a joypad input. Is there someone who knows how to read input of a joypad with VB.net?

check out this thread:
http://robosavvy.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... &view=next
and this:
http://www.autohotkey.com/forum/topic28703.html

The idea is to use a free PC software called autohotkey to translate HID signals into something more digestable
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Post by Foekie » Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:58 am

Post by Foekie
Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:58 am

Thanks for your reply. When I posted the message, I went back searching google. I have found software called gamecontrol. This converts joypad inputs into keypresses of the keyboard. Maybe I could program this instead of programming the joypad directly.

Thanks for those 2 topics.
Thanks for your reply. When I posted the message, I went back searching google. I have found software called gamecontrol. This converts joypad inputs into keypresses of the keyboard. Maybe I could program this instead of programming the joypad directly.

Thanks for those 2 topics.
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Post by Foekie » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:51 pm

Post by Foekie
Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:51 pm

Hey guys! Been on google for a few hours. The convertion of joypad inputs into keys worked, but I found this rather complicated for future usage of other users.

So I went back to the VB.net code and currently I'm developing a way to read (and display) the joypad inputs by using DirectX and DirectX.Directinput components. This should be working soon. (at least I hope so)

Stay tuned

8)
Hey guys! Been on google for a few hours. The convertion of joypad inputs into keys worked, but I found this rather complicated for future usage of other users.

So I went back to the VB.net code and currently I'm developing a way to read (and display) the joypad inputs by using DirectX and DirectX.Directinput components. This should be working soon. (at least I hope so)

Stay tuned

8)
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Post by Foekie » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:07 pm

Post by Foekie
Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:07 pm

Good news! The joypad part of the application is working!
See the result below:

Image

I can read and display all of the buttons (12) + the 2 joysticks + the pad. 8)
Good news! The joypad part of the application is working!
See the result below:

Image

I can read and display all of the buttons (12) + the 2 joysticks + the pad. 8)
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