View Full Version : My RoboBuilder Experiance

10-08-2008, 02:46 PM
Hey all

Since this is my first post i guess i can also kind of introduce myself here. I'm pretty new to the land of robotics my first real encounter was probably back in high school when i was in a lego mindstorms class. Between that and up to last year though i didn't really have any interaction with them. It wasn't till last year when both my dad and I (more so my dad at that point) wanted to explore the use of robotics not only for fun but within his artwork.

His work already involves a lot of computer based stuff so it was only natural to him to atempt to incorporate robotics as well. My part in all of this of course is all the technical stuff as well as some of the visuals that happen on the computer monitors themselves. My dads art background is more traditional while mine is more digital specifically 3d animation. This of course led to the purchase of two lynxmotion arms that we have been working with since last year.

Weve been following the humanoids that are out on the market now for the past year and really wanted to get one while they are at there current stage in evolution. But it wasn't till we got the latest Robot magazine that we saw Robobuilder and decided that, that was where we are going to begin.

We ordered Robobuilder last Friday and it came yesterday morning I had to wait the whole day while at work before finally getting to him! Love the fast processing on Trossen's part btw. So later that evening we finally got to sit down and have at it. When i opened the box i immediately noticed that there wasn't really a whole slew of parts that you would probably find in one of the more advanced kits. Everything was very neat and organized and the whole kit didn't intimidate as much as one of the more advanced kits probably would have.

After organizing everything and firing up the DVD we started the build process. We took a little bit of a different approach to it then i read some of the other people taking but we used the DVD videos in conjunction with the manual to assemble the entire thing. I found that the pictures in the book weren't always as clear to us as the videos on the DVD were.

So about 2 and a half hours later he was built. Now we ran into a few snags throughout the build process but they were more our error then anything mainly it was 2 servos got reversed and the joints on the knees were flipped the wrong way throwing him of balance a bit. A few notes on the kit since this is our first humanoid we can't really compare it to many other kits as we haven't had any hands on time with anything else the only other thing really being Bioloid.

The kit is fantastically simple and a great amount of detail was put into small things like making channels for the nuts to stay in place and indents for screws so they could sink in. The cables too are really nice how they don't get in the way and are easily managed. All very streamlined and clean when hes completely put together. The joint system is also quite cool and very simple to work with the plastic seems pretty durable but again this is our first kit so I'm just judging from materials that we have dealt with before. All in all we found the kit extremely easy to work with and fun as heck! I don't think we could have asked for a better experience out of the box then we got last night. Tonight is playing with Motionbuilder!

There was really only 2 things out of the entire kit that i could criticize and even those were so minor it won't matter to most. I felt that the quality of the video instructions could defiantly be kicked up a bit its sometimes hard to tell what exactly he is doing with some of the smaller parts and maybe an over head view would be better then a front view. The second thing was in the instruction book where they emphasize the position of the servo when you attach the joints i felt that the picture could be a little clearer less transparency and more emphasis on the two parts that matter i know they marked it of with red but sometimes it was hard to see just at what angle it was really in.

Lastly i wanted to thank Trossen for the free upgraded head sensor that was an awesome addition. Also to whomever had the idea of putting that little squishy stress head in with the kit that was just purely awesome! I had a great laugh when i saw it.

As a side note to anyone who has put this kit together the parts list for Huno list 3 of those gold screws um any idea where they go? I didn't see them used in the instructions or the videos.

Hope this isn't to long i promises any future posts wont be this long! :D

10-08-2008, 02:55 PM
No worries on the length of your post, we appreciate the feedback!

I believe I spoke with either you or your dad on the phone about this kit, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the building experience! It is quite a cool kit, having built the Bioloid humanoid previously I found the ease of construction with this kit a nice relief.

Feel free to post any pictures or videos of your bot!

(Ding 1000 posts!)

10-08-2008, 02:56 PM
First of all welcome to the forum. Second, your post isn't too long. More detailed and well written.

Keep posting as things come along.


10-08-2008, 03:00 PM
Welcome to the forum [and obsession], Rift!

Great review! I didn't find it too long at all. Looking forward to seeing where you guys go with MotionBuilder!

[edit] In fact, I'm going to +rep for that review...

10-08-2008, 03:06 PM
Rift, Welcome to this forum, Your write up so far is great, I for one like to hear from robot buyers and their experiance on how the kit went together, I look forward to hearing from you regarding the motion builder and how it works for you. Thanks for you post.

10-08-2008, 08:30 PM
Thanks everyone for the kind words and the rep! I'm looking forward to exploring the software and getting some good motion out of this guy i just simply love him and iv only just begun to scratch the surface.

I will make sure to post pictures and videos as things progress.


10-08-2008, 11:29 PM
Pics of you bot when you get the chance please.

10-09-2008, 11:17 AM
Ill try to take some later tonight if not tonight definitely on Saturday at the shop.

On another note i have a question about MotionBuilder. I got to sit down and use it last night but I'm somewhat puzzled by exactly how the motion system works.

So what i understand is that MotionBuilder creates a Motion File that consists of Scene files which consist of Frames. If I understand this correctly scene files contain both the beginning of the previous scene and the end of the current scene.

What I'm having trouble with is creating a closed loop cycle that repeats over and over. I started off with something very simple the robot squats down and comes back up. For some reason though the software insists that the robot comes back to the home position before repeating the rest of the motions. I didn't get to test this but do i have to change the home position for each set of motions in order to achieve the repeat without this problem? Because no matter what i do Scene_0 as its called by default seems to always consist of that home position. Is there a way to make each scene basically be kind of like 1 frame in an animation sequence? Looking forward to tackling this again tonight.


EDIT: Some pictures from tonight uploaded will have more over the weekend.

10-10-2008, 02:58 PM
Hrm wont let me re edit more then once was going to throw in another picture from at home. Ill be sure to add the shop ones tomorrow tho.

10-10-2008, 03:08 PM
Nice pics, Hope you get your motion builder to work ok.

10-22-2008, 11:19 PM
I was playing around with Robobuilder tonight and trying out some of the community created actions when i noticed something about the robot.

The robot emits a somewhat high pitched sound its not super loud and if there is other noise in the room loud enough it can't be heard. But when its less loud in the room its noticeable. It seems to be coming from the servos and I was wondering if this is normal or not? As I don't yet have enough experience with this kit I not 100% sure if this is just normal or not.


10-22-2008, 11:54 PM
I've heard what I think is the same thing. I believe its the servos just holding position or just trying to get there. I lifted the weight off my bot and the noise changed or disappeared. My guess is this is normal and I'm not concerned. I also noticed the metal geared servos in the legs sound different than the others. I also think things may quiet down some with some use as parts mate in and loosen up a little.
Have you registered your bot and used any of the motion shared files???


P.S. The gold screws are used on the Dogy bot see step 8

10-23-2008, 12:09 AM
I see I'm going to go ahead and assume its normal then.

I also did register my bot on the RoboBuilder website and was able to download and upload one of the shared files without a problem.

I will note tho that the process does not seem to work in Firefox I was only able to get it to work in Internet Explorer.


10-23-2008, 12:26 AM
I'm still having problems due to firefox (I think) Mypage shows my s/n but the motion files say it doesn't have it. I can't re-register with IE cause I can't delete my entries. Dang, in limbo....
Alex is working on it, I have faith.....
I'm still slogging thru the motionbuilder. Still have surprises, Its functions aren't coming naturally.
I'm thinking about building an A-frame "Johny Jump Up" harness to hold him up while messing with leg motions. I feel bad when I make him fall down, may save some wear and tear too.


10-23-2008, 12:49 AM
Yeah apparently you can delete your key but not reuse it according to there website. When you registered did you do so in Firefox or IE? Also did you double check to make sure its exactly the same as what is on your RBC unit?

I'm finding Motionbuilder to be very strange indeed. It might be because I'm used to animation software but the individual key frame system is running me around in circles a bit. I'm hoping to figure it out soon tho just need more time to tinker with it.

Other then that no problems on my end anymore just need to tackle the software end.