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View Full Version : Yet another simple rc project - Flapper Fish



crabfu
07-14-2008, 01:12 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAM5WHb78tc

http://www.crabfu.com/swashbot/robot_fish.html

-Crabfu

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 01:24 AM
Your creations always have this freaky biological/wetware feel to them. I was actually moved around 1:35 to throw the damned thing in a bowl of water.

Your stuff always illicits an emotional component in my reactions to them.

I don't know if I can pay you a higher compliment, though!

darkback2
07-14-2008, 01:27 AM
Is that your junkbot? Darn it...I'll have to make my tribot waterproof now:p Ok...seriously, is there anything you do that isn't freeking cool?

DB

crabfu
07-14-2008, 01:29 AM
Thanks for your kind words as usual Adrenalynn :) Yeah original idea was a underwater swimming thing.... but that just sounds like way too much headache, one little mistake and it's a goner. So flapping around suit me just fine for now. And yeah... I often try to make things that are somewhat biological, mother nature is the best designer... or maybe it's more that we just appreciate something a bit familiar, and hard wired to be attracted to them.

-Crabfu

DresnerRobotics
07-14-2008, 01:43 AM
Wow man, did it again. That fishy is great, really does look like a little creature flapping around.

I see you put some more of that uhhh, whatsitcalled plastic to use.

openmindedjjj
07-14-2008, 02:15 AM
its called shape lock
i realy need to buy some allready. i and what kind of servos did you use in the fish..

openmindedjjj
07-14-2008, 02:19 AM
haha sorry never mind. i jumped the gun. i looked at you site and you allready tell how you did it.. thank you.

ScuD
07-14-2008, 04:06 AM
One more amazing creation to add to the list.
Great work Crabfu !

ooops
07-14-2008, 12:29 PM
Very cool!
Makes me want to cast a AA battery on a hook!

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 12:59 PM
ROFL! That's _toooo_ funny! BWAHAHAHA! The mental image is awesome!

crabfu
07-14-2008, 01:09 PM
Is that your junkbot? Darn it...I'll have to make my tribot waterproof now:p Ok...seriously, is there anything you do that isn't freeking cool?

DB

Thanks and no... swashbot1 is still the only one qualified for junkbot... I had to get a few things for this project, as they are sub micro sized electronics - servos and receiver. I didn't have anything this small laying around, and really wanted to make something as tiny as I could :)

And just for the record, yes... most of what I "make" ended up being too embarrassing to show, I like them stupid and silly, but has to look cool and work well to a certain degree. So I don't make vids until I'm at least some what happy with them :)

-Crabfu

crabfu
07-14-2008, 01:13 PM
haha sorry never mind. i jumped the gun. i looked at you site and you allready tell how you did it.. thank you.

The servos are for a sub micro heli... there are 2 different sizes used in the fish, they are just slightly different. The servos are for a "4#3" and a "4#3B" Walkera heli, and comes in sets of 2. They very fast servos, and the servo plug is different than the spketrum sub micro receiver that uses micro jst connectors. So I had to flip the pins around in the servo plug :)

-Crabfu

crabfu
07-14-2008, 01:17 PM
And thanks all for the kind words! and as an update, it got on engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/14/crab-fus-flapper-fish-bot-creeps-us-the-hell-out/

-Crabfu

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 01:19 PM
When don't you get featured on engadget, Mr. Fu? Are you bored with it yet? ;)

Some crazy insane talent around here. You own engadget and youtube. Metaform is getting an expense-paid trip to Vienna. Another user here is picking-up the cover of Servo rumor has it. RobotGrrl gets dvice and make. I feel like an insider with seeing these projects before they get picked-up by the big names and shared with the world!

Oh - and "grats" :) Well deserved.

crabfu
07-14-2008, 01:38 PM
When don't you get featured on engadget, Mr. Fu? Are you bored with it yet? ;)

Some crazy insane talent around here. You own engadget and youtube. Metaform is getting an expense-paid trip to Vienna. Another user here is picking-up the cover of Servo rumor has it. RobotGrrl gets dvice and make. I feel like an insider with seeing these projects before they get picked-up by the big names and shared with the world!

Oh - and "grats" :) Well deserved.

bored? never... it's an honor, I never know what these guys chooses to cover, apparently simple and silly not only floats my boat :)

And yeah, crazy group of people here... thanks to trossen for providing a space for all of us to share here first!

-Crabfu

A-Bot
07-14-2008, 02:03 PM
I'll add to the kudos. Great little bot. I like your style!

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 03:32 PM
I may just be assigning my own personal preferences, but I really think the organic nature of your projects have to tug at the heart-strings - I suspect it may just be our biological wiring. I can't speak for anyone else, but I can always feel an emotional attachment form immediately with these "simple and silly" critters. Each one has a unique personality that is instantly conveyed to me.

Any time I feel something like that for a machine, I always take a step back and examine inside myself for what is eliciting the response because it's so unusual for someone that prides herself on "cold logic".

Invariably the answer is the same. There's some kind of, not anthropomorphism, but... biomorphism? Wow. I guessed at that one but the dictionary seems to agree that it's an approximation of what I'm observing.

"Zoomorphic" is also referenced. But it's not just "based on shape or form" for me, but a deeper "feeling".

It should be noted here that I'm not a fan of people, generally, I tend to like animals much better...

And with that, I should probably stop oversharing my emotional reactions and preserve the "cold logical observer" rep. ;)

A-Bot
07-14-2008, 04:47 PM
And with that, I should probably stop oversharing my emotional reactions and preserve the "cold logical observer" rep. ;)

Too late, the cat's out of the bag. :p

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 04:49 PM
Dang it!

ScuD
07-15-2008, 02:16 AM
When I first saw the BigDog clips, I felt my gut wrench when the guy kicked it to show it's stability.
Almost as if he was kicking a mule or something.

It's weird how our brain tells the difference between a bot and and actual living thing, and yet it's getting to the point where the line gets too thin..

Electricity
07-15-2008, 11:58 AM
Wow thats really freakin cool! Mad props man, all your stuff is like stuff I'd like to do if I had enough stuff.. uhh money that is. :p

scorch
07-15-2008, 12:13 PM
That is hilarious! I totally think a AA battery on a string will catch that fish's attention lol. By the way, how do you make this fish robot react so well with the remote control. I mean it is so accurate! That must have taken some time to program. Congradulations! I hope to see another one of your robots.

Laura

Adrenalynn
07-15-2008, 02:41 PM
Did you see his swashbots? There's several others in the series.

You can also go to Crabfu.com and check out his STEAM POWERED robots.

crabfu
07-15-2008, 07:40 PM
By the way, how do you make this fish robot react so well with the remote control. I mean it is so accurate! That must have taken some time to program.


That's the kick I'm on right now, using simple transmitters to make something that seem to need programing. Fish has no programing of any sort... the only settings I've done in the transmitter, are to max out the end points of travel, and reversing etc.

Basically the way the transmitter sticks are set up, it's rather useful for organic motion.... when you move the stick to one side, it's positive degrees in servo travel, and the other side is the oppoite... same with up and down on the same stick. So if you move the stick right and left, servo just travels. If you move up and down, another servo travels. So these movements can be visualized by a sin wave. If you move in a circular motion, it goes from positive to negative, but the 2 servos are offset from each other in timing. In animation, this is called secondary motion, and it is rather simple to do by keyframing the rotation of joints at the same time, but offsetting the function curves after you've keyed it. When you have a chain of them, all with the same back and forth motion, but offset one from another down the heiarchy... you get a snaking/fish like motion. And this can be accomplished by the stirring the transmitter sticks, which is basically manually offsetting the same motion, applied to 2 servos.

I know it probably sounds rather confusing, but it is very simple if you try it out :)

-Crabfu

Droid Works
07-15-2008, 08:11 PM
You never cease to amaze me. That is awesome!

Alex
07-16-2008, 09:03 AM
Come on everyone... Three full pages of this incredibly cool robot and I'm the first one to rate this thread? Rating a thread is simple and takes two seconds. All you do is click "rate thread" under the Page navigator at the top of each page of a thread.

Oh yeah... btw crabfu, you have once again, yanked my head outside of the box and again, helped me to look at robotics from a totally different perspective, thanks:D

Wonderful creations, and congrats to getting on Endgadget once again!

Matt
07-16-2008, 11:32 AM
Awesome project CrabFu. I just blogged it :)

crabfu
07-16-2008, 12:47 PM
Thanks guys... I make stuff that is just silly and absurd, and hopefully stupid enough to make people laugh :) And because of that they get covered and exposed to the masses.... but it's awesome to be accepted by the robotics community, I struggled for a long time thinking hard core robot guys would turn their noses up when seeing my stuff, after all I have no traditional robotics skills. But that's why my stuff is outside of the box - never been in the box, so I just make the best use what little I know :) I'd like to learn to be in the box one of these days, so I can take advantage and be exposed to your worlds.... just matter of time, money, and what I can pick your brains on in this forum :)

-Crabfu

Matt
07-16-2008, 01:02 PM
The term robot is a blurry one anyhow. It wouldn't take much to turn your little RC guys into bots. Some IR & light sensors with preprogrammed movements on a chip and there you go. When it sees a shadow fall over it or a person or cat come near they start jittering and flipping around :)

Adrenalynn
07-16-2008, 01:23 PM
And how about that steam stuff? Seeing those go autonomous would start blowing minds, and would be sooo simple/

crabfu
07-16-2008, 01:59 PM
And how about that steam stuff? Seeing those go autonomous would start blowing minds, and would be sooo simple/

LOL not sure about "simple", but a lot of people had asked me about if I would do something like that. The main problem is steam is very finicky, and to drive one of them around via r/c is pretty simple in the controls, but requires a lot of human attention on the steam aspects..... making sure pressure is optimal, turning various valves for steam outlet, heat supply etc. A "simple" one would be an autonomous thing with a lot of human supervision... a more complex one would be to some how monitor the pressure, and maybe even temprature, and have servos adjusting valves needed for it to run well. On my Steam Beetle, there is actually a mechanical doohickie, that monitors the boiler pressure and adjust gas/heat control to suit. On the down side, there will be a lot of work for very little reward - these steam machines only run for 10 mins on a good day, that is if everything is working correctly, so testing these things takes a long time - lots of maintance required between runs, and waiting for boilers to cool down so you can steam up again.

Don't think I'll be tackling that on anytime soon, been out of the steam hobby lately... maybe someday I'll get back to the oily mess :)

-Crabfu

ScuD
07-16-2008, 02:19 PM
I guess that's one of the reasons most machinery these days no longer employ steam, due to the high amount of maintenance.

But you've got to admit it's got a tremendous charm, what with all the oil smoke and fire...

crabfu
07-16-2008, 02:26 PM
I guess that's one of the reasons most machinery these days no longer employ steam, due to the high amount of maintenance.

But you've got to admit it's got a tremendous charm, what with all the oil smoke and fire...

Yeah... there are a few things against steam.... you can't just turn on and run like electric or gas etc. It takes time to fire up and boiler to produce steam. It is potentially dangerous, you hear of steam explosions from time to tim, and it's never pretty. And heat & mess... it's an oily mess, can't ever keep anything clean around it.

But yeah, that's why I love it, it's charming, hits all of the senses... it makes steam, heat, sounds, smells, and it's just so absurd that it's cool :)

-Crabfu

MYKL
07-17-2008, 10:11 AM
It would be very cool to cast that fish in a water tight one piece skin (latex?) and see how it does IN water. I'd bet all you would have to add is some amount of dive plane ability using the pectoral fins. And/or some way to adjust the ballast/weight. It looks as though it would move just like the real thing.

^_^

ScuD
07-17-2008, 11:25 AM
Like a syringe pulling in /pushing out water through a servo?
Silicone wouldn't be too hard, the mold might not be too easy though.
Personally I don't really like latex for skinning, the smell makes everything within 2ft die a painfull death, it takes forever to cure, and latex doesn't adhere to cured latex..

Lasers and water Crabfu!!

crabfu
07-17-2008, 12:56 PM
LOL... well original idea was a swimmer in the water, which if generated enough forward motion, would give a nice rudder control in the swimming motion in the body, with fins mapped to flapperons like a r/c flying wing for tilting and rolling. In theory it will work, but I don't have the budget for a real water test.... one simple leak will ruin all electronics.

Don't think I'd be tackling on that anytime soon.... but would love to some day :)

-Crabfu

MYKL
07-17-2008, 01:13 PM
If someday you do, and you really want to challenge yourself, make it steam powered... No need to carry the water.

^_^

Adrenalynn
07-17-2008, 01:40 PM
That would float in much the same way a brick doesn't. :)

MYKL
07-17-2008, 02:00 PM
So there is no room in your imagination for a steam-powered-fish-shaped submersable?

I certainly can imagine making any brick float.

^_^

Adrenalynn
07-17-2008, 03:05 PM
I didn't say I couldn't imagine it! I can also imagine taking his current project, picking up a cheap stuffed shark toy, cutting it open, gutting the stuffing, cramming his Flapper Fish inside, and then rubber-cementing a laser on its head. :D

MYKL
07-17-2008, 03:19 PM
I had a feeling that would get a rise out of you. From what I've seen so far you have a very quick mind. maybe he could use one of those plastic sharks we had as a kid but I don't think they were supple enough for the servos to be able to move. Perhaps if you used the toy to make a cavity mold out of and then cast the servos and laser inside of some very supple rtv... Why not put a laser where each eye is?

^_^

crabfu
07-17-2008, 04:50 PM
what's with the obsession of lasers on a shark? lol :)

Ok in all seriousness, another idea is to use the mechanics for a boat. It would not have to be water proof, just need to float. It would be something like this fish, with floats or in a boat like thing, and all electronics would be inside of the hull or above the water. Servos for the motion would be behind, well above the water, with peddles extending down below the water, and with a fin in the last servo. This would be easier to attempt, and would not need steering fins.... again as long as it can generate enough forward motion, the body/tail servos can act as a rudder like in a real fish. I need to install a large size swimming pool in the backyard first though, for testing... and of course it would have a waterfall, bar, fire pit, and hot tub as well.

-Crabfu

LinuxGuy
07-17-2008, 05:20 PM
what's with the obsession of lasers on a shark? lol :)
Have you seen any of the Austin Powers movies? :veryhappy::veryhappy:

8-Dale

crabfu
07-17-2008, 06:28 PM
Have you seen any of the Austin Powers movies? :veryhappy::veryhappy:

8-Dale

I guess I need to rent them again... don't remember the shark with laser head part lol.

-Crabfu

Alex
07-17-2008, 09:14 PM
did you check out the youtube vid in one of my previous posts?

crabfu
07-17-2008, 09:58 PM
did you check out the youtube vid in one of my previous posts?

ahhhh just saw that, thanks! yeah.... I can see why the obsession over lasers now... :)

-Crabfu

Adrenalynn
07-17-2008, 10:59 PM
That's the second part of the story...

Here's the first:

YouTube - Sharks with lazerbeams attached to their heads [Tyberius, I believe, quoted this from the movie earlier]

crabfu
07-18-2008, 01:16 AM
LOL... pieces are coming together now... I've seen the movies, but honestly did not remember the parts that you guys were referring to. So thanks for shedding some light, lol

-Crabfu

scorch
07-24-2008, 07:07 AM
Did you see this video yet?
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=robotic+fish&search_type=&aq=f

This video is of a robotic fish like yours, but looks so real! I do not know how they do it?!

crabfu
07-26-2008, 10:54 PM
This video is of a robotic fish like yours, but looks so real! I do not know how they do it?!

Yeah, I've seen that fish from a while ago... very impressive and inspirational, it made me think that it would be possible to make my flapper. Originally I wanted to be a swimmer underwater as well, but under r/c control. But I don't have the budget or time to deal with water issues :) So I too don't know how they did it... unlike their fish, mine only flaps around randomly :)

-Crabfu