Let's Make Robots!

Blogs

BoB the Biped and Me: Edge detection vid and fun assembly vid (updated)

After spending a good deal of time working on a couple of BoB's subassemblies I've been given some time to think more about how to use those extra headers on the circuit board. I really want bump detection, edge detection, and a speaker but I know only one or two of those are going to fit inside the chassis. After letting BoB wander around on the floor at length I realized how prone he is to toppling over. That plus the fact he will be spending time on a bar, where sinks full of water lurk below, I decided to work on the edge detection.

R2D2 Third Leg

Started to work on the third leg today. Inside the body four aluminium pipes guide the platform where the third leg will be attached to. The platform needs more stability going up and down, so extra gliding holes will be placed somewhat higher around each pipe in order to make sure the platform stays horizontal when moved.

Simple 4 pixel camera sensor

In the following I describe a simple 4 pixel camera sensor, which can be versatilely used in robotics.

The sensor consists in general of four pin photo diodes with a relatively large photo sensitive area, arranged in a square, and an according collimator lens. Every photo diode can be thought of a quadrant of a two dimensional graph. We can use the sensor to measure the intensity of light, detect motions, track a light source in two dimensions or do basic 2-D optical flow calculations.

RC bot!

Hey every one! i guess this video will be of help to people who want to make a radio controlled car. i wont be able to make one but heres the video of the model!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWmPwt5x2bc

A Simple Way To Give a Bot Motivations, Decision Making, Better Autonomy

Recently, I got to thinking...there must be a better way to program autonomous behavior (than my previous attempts).

I thought about people, people have various motivations, why shouldn't bots?  When people get hungry, they eat.  When they get curious, they look around.  When sleepy, they sleep.  Surely bots have needs and priorities that should influence their behavior.

Red BoB has arrived

Hi,

I'm so excited, and FrankenBoB, too. Isotope has sent me 3D printed BoB parts and a cool name badge from Canada. Thank you so much, Vadim. This time I need to pay you the beer at Campus Party.


BoB the Biped and Me: LEDs, camera, action! (updated)

I finally got a quartet of routines that produce pleasing lighting effects out of BoB's toothless grin. Using CYZ-RGB LED pixels for hardware. If you have any other ideas for light sequences I'd love to hear them, please.

edit - July 14th, 2013

Added test code slightly different that what is seen in the video but essentially the same.

Accurate Indoor Localization using OpenCV, OCR

Just got this pieced together...Robot looks around, recognizes words written on walls and determines compass bearings to each.  Robot then determines what room it is in based on its memory of visual landmarks, and loads a map for the given room.  At this point, the robot calculates its location in the room to within a few inches.  Robot then knows where other features are within the room based on its map (Doors, Windows, Obstacles).  In the video, the robot announces the heading to the door.

ALF XXL

Well, as ALF got retired and the motors are not available anymore I am going to build another ALF, but this time XXL.

The prototype is already breadboarded and working. The beam is made of two disposable chopsticks (what else when you live in China...LOL)

But a picture says more than a thousand words...

...and that's a nice ass...

LU2MI2 build log: July 11th, 2013

As noted elsewhere I had to start something new to add updates to this project and from now on it will be in the form of blogs (it's about time, huh!). To summarize the project's status, things were going well until I went to test all the subsystems together on the actual chassis. I had forgotten to breadboard test the 3.7g servo at the 3.3V I was going to supply it with and it turns out it hated it.

ANNIVERSARY SALE, FREE SHIPPING and GIFTS!

DFRobot is now three years young. 

Usually the one who has birthday gets some gifts but this time DFRobot is giving away lots of stuff...starting with a FREE SHIPPING DEAL for all orders from today to July 12.

Each of the three days celebration will have some special discount with up to 70% off.

I will shut up now and let you go shopping :-)

BoB the Biped and Me: We celebrate the Seahawks! (updated)

Just a place to put a link to the video of BoB dancing while I applaud. I'll update with more info in the future. Gotta meet my buddy at the pub in a few minutes, hence the brevity.

There are four total dance moves, I think the video only caught three of them (they're randomized).

Update: July, 14th, 2013-

A schematic of of the detection circuit:

 

"Home Robotics" musings - what needs to be done

Hey guys. I wrote this two years ago before creating my robot. Obviously my vision has a long way to go. But I felt then and now that the biggest issue I could help overcome was the mobility side of the equation. Check this out and tell me where I'm wrong! I won't be happy until there is a robot in every home! :o)

Silicon Crusher

Ok, here is our entry for our company intern Sumo Robot Competition. 

The name came to me in a blink of an eye :-) Silicon Crusher (or short SC) is based on the MiniQ chassis as the other participants too. The rules are not exactly Mini Sumo rules but based on it (http://robogames.net/rules/all-sumo.php)

Control Blender3D objects remotely

I just made a very simple example using Zeroc's Ice which illustrates how to control Blender objects remotely using Ice. Since Blender can run Python scripts, the idea is to write Ice server which can modify certain object properties (for example location). Corresponding client application can remotely invoke server methods and control objects remotely. Sources are available on GitHub. The first video illustrates how it works.

COSMA's brain

Attached you find the Rev. 0 schematic of COSMA's brain (Eagle). This board connects directly to a FTDI  board. As I need MOSI, MISO and SCK also for the micro SD card, I added solder jumpers, so those pins are not connected to the SD card/voltage level shifter while burning the bootloader on the chip.

The board mainly contains:

- ATMEGA2560

R2D2 feet

just a quick update on my mini R2D2 project.

I am making some progress, but slowly, very slowly. There a just so many choices to make that sometimes I can go for weeks just thinking up solutions for all the bits and pieces of this robot without actually building anything. Thats why I started trying a few ideas to get R2D2 moving.

OCR Working Better

Got the OCR service mostly done last night and today.  Need to get more sleep!  I uploaded new videos of Anna reading words at various distances.

It seems very reliable now with letters that are 2in high at about 6ft away, so I'm think 3-4in high letters in smaller rooms and 5-6 inch letters in larger rooms should be sufficient.

COSMA - Update 2

For the first protoype of COSMA I decided to build stackable proto shields for the Arduino Mega. Later I will layout a single PCB, including all.

Proto shield one

Proto shield two

Campus Party London 2013

UPDATE SEPTEMBER  8:

Well, it's a couple of days now that the Campus Party closed it's doors and I am back home already. 

Reading Words off Pages and Walls using OCR, Start of Indoor Localization

Today my robot read its first words with its own eyes!  from around 8ft away!

Got Tesseract OCR going on the bot.  Its reading words close up and from distance with large fonts.  This will be the start of my indoor localization system.  Bot will be able to determine what room it is in and where it is within the room to some degree, by remembering what is written where in the house and using it as landmarks for knowing its position, with a little geometry.

I'll post some video of this in action as soon as its polished.

BoB the Biped and me: We love quiet sunset walks on the beach.

This is just a happy blog about how my BoB is fully mobile and can navigate obstacles. The sensor is just hanging loose but if angled the right way it works fine :) I'm using an HC-SR04 sensor with the newping library for fast distance readings that don't put a big hitch in the smooth walking. I have the library set to timeout the sensor if there is no signal after about a foot or so. Distance readings are only taken while BoB is facing forwards, be it on one or both legs.

Maker Faire NYC 2013

Let's Make Robots has been rocking the NYC Maker Faire since 2011. This year Chris the Carpenter will be manning the helm. I'll be helping with some planning and logistics and crap like that.

Update: 5 August 2013

Maker Faire Application

Customizing BoB with little modules

So I am sure all of you are now aware of who BoB is. Recently K12 and I have been talking about getting some BoB instructional videos up on YouTube to further make his construction easier and introduce him to non LMRians. Through this due process we have exchanged code, pictures of BoB and other extraneous things. K12 kindly gave me the Solidworks files for BoB and asked that I make some 'attachments' for him.

BoB the Biped with his Arduino motor cortex

After a lot of reading and some minor language barriers I've finally gotten over my fear of Arduinos. Thank you, BoB. He was in need of some floating point math so it seemed like a good time to make the transition. I find what I write looks a lot like BASIC but I'm just glad it works.

Starting SuperDroidBot Blog

So much is happening so fast, I'm starting this blog to document what is going on with the bot, so I can look back on my thoughts from time to time and see how they developed.  Others are more than welcome to participate!  I'll start by throwing in a diagram and some fun video!

Overview