Let's Make Robots!

A hexapod for my son to ride on - a big experiment

After seeing the weblink by bdk6 "inspiration for Hexapod builders" I was inspired. The video is of the "Mantis" turbo diesel all terrain hexapod.

Ok, I cannot afford to build a 2 tonne turbo diesel hexapod but I can build one big enough for my 8 year old son Shi Sen to ride on. My plan is to have almost the entire robot laser cut from 6mm plywood.

Updated preview of new re-configurable, all metal tank chassis

Update: Just did a motor test using a fully charged 3S LiPo. These motor / gearbox combos are very powerful and will need a Wild Thumper controller to handle the peak current.

No load current: 0.6A
Nominal load current: 3A
Stall current: 11A+ 

This is definitely going to be the tank version of Wild Thumper!

Advanced Robot Arm Project

This is a long term project to develop a robotic arm that is more advanced that traditional hobbyist arms using RC servos without being so expensive that only well funded universities can afford it. 

The first prototype gripper used standard RC servos while we experimented with the configuration as shown in the first video. Once I had a good gripper configuration I built a prototype arm for it as shown in the second video. This arm used a differential drive system with the goal being to keep the weight of the motors as close to the shoulder as possible.

My trip to Xinjiang China

My Company was invited to the city of Karamay in Xinjiang China to demonstrate our robots at a Science Festival. Xinjiang is in the North West corner of China and borders a number of other countries. We had a 5 hour flight from Guangzhou (formerly Cantong) to Urmaqi and then another 1 hour flight to Karamay Where we were met by a lovely lady who's English name was Jenny.

Click on the map below for a hi-resolution image.

Mini Maker Faire ShenZhen 2013

Maker Faire has once again come to ShenZhen, China thanks to Seeed Studio. Unfortunately I was only there for about 9 hours on the first day. I'm sorry I have not documented this very well, I was at the DAGU table most of the day. I have now added photos from my friends camera's as well.

I think Maker Faires, even Mini Maker Faires are something that cannot be explained with a few photos and videos. You really need to be there to truely appreciate them.

Coolest thing about my job!

When I got my job designing new products for DAGU everyone told me how lucky I was. As with any job, some parts are better than others. As I write this blog I am currently writting an instruction manual for a new version of the Playful Puppy robot kit using the Mini Driver robot controller. This is one of my least favorite parts of the job. I also had to help with the artwork for the box, another part I do not like so much :(

So now you must wonder, what is so cool that I would write this blog?????

Driving a CNC machine directly from an STL file with a DAGU Spider controller

I want to drive a CNC milling machine using only an Arduino processor and an STL file. The STL format was chosen because it is very simple for me to understand and almost all 3D CAD software can export an STL file.

In my forum post here: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/34958 the feedback I go was basically.

Multipurpose Mini-Machine for your Workshop

These days everyone is talking about how great 3D printing is but for the hobbyist this still limits you to plastic parts. Before 3D printers were around I always wanted a lathe and a milling machine, I still do!

When you want to build more than just basic robots it is sometimes necessary to make small metal parts. Maybe you need a special metal rod, mounting bracket, shaft adaptor etc.

Prototype animatronic head

Well my boss is involved in organizing a robot head building contest in China and asked me to make an example to inspire the contestants. I know many will just be made from cardboard and wood but I decided that if I was going to spend time on this project then I wanted to make the most of it and develop a new product.

Robot A.I. idea for non neural network approach.

In this Blog I am simply gethering my thoughs in preperation for a long term project. Hopefully some programming Guru's will post some good ideas. Maybe it will inspire someone else. I am just one nueron in the huge brain of humanity.

Personal History
When I was 12, I taught myself to program in GW basic on an IBM clone that ran at 8MHz with monochrome, text only graphics and a 5¼inch floppy disk drive. At that time I wanted to write an artificial inteligence.