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csdude
12-07-2008, 10:37 AM
Hello,

I am looking into building an inexpensive humanoid, but an autonomous one.

I noticed the wowwee V2, it is fairly inexpensive (on ebay). it works with an IR remote, but it seems there is some software around that can be used to program them using a pc.
It would be cool that instead of using IR to use wireless networking.

Has anyone done something like that ?

For example, there are wireless 'motes' available for sensor networks. small, light, low power, that have 802.11 wireless and onboard AD/DA converters (and a few sensors even). They use a TI-MSP430 controller for example. I can imagine hooking up an IR RX/TX to the 'mote' and strap it too the humanoid. Have the microcontroller operate the IR RX/TX via packets coming in via the wireless and send back data coming from the sensors. A networked Linux box could be used as the 'brains' of the thing. That way you have a platform to do something more elaborate than just have it use one of the 'pre-defined' moves.

Any ideas on that ?

Ron

4mem8
12-07-2008, 11:02 AM
You can use robodance to program the V2 from your PC csdude, I have done that and works ok, You will need either a Lego mindstorms serial I.R tower here (http://www.robotics.sk/maine.php?page=/projects/robsapien/) and here (http://shop.ebay.com/items/_W0QQ_nkwZmindstormsQ20serialQ20towerQQ_armrsZ1QQ_ fromZQQ_mdoZ) [not USB] or a USB-UIRT here (http://www.usbuirt.com/order.htm)
I have the USB-UIRT and works really well in conjunction with robodance software available at Robodance.com. Here (http://www.robodance.com/). Hope this helps out. Although the V2 is a good starting point into robotics it is limited to what it can do. The walking gait is not the best.

darkback2
12-07-2008, 11:18 AM
By inexpensive...what were you thinking? The response you'll get will vary base on what other people think. Given that the robosapien V2 is about $50 bucks on ebay, then I'm figuring your in the Sub $100 range. I would be more inclind to suggest an I-sobot. They are small, but you can pick them up for under $100 easy. There is also a guy who worked out how to control one using a computer...its till through IR though...

Outside of that your looking at doing a complete scratch build. I haven't been able to get a humanoid design down under $300...you have to figure servos are the expensive part.

Hope this helps.

DB

4mem8
12-07-2008, 11:23 AM
Good point darkback2, I forgot about the i-sobot being so cheap now.

csdude
12-07-2008, 11:41 AM
You can use robodance to program the V2 from your PC csdude, I have done that and works ok, You will need either a Lego mindstorms serial I.R tower here (http://www.robotics.sk/maine.php?page=/projects/robsapien/) and here (http://shop.ebay.com/items/_W0QQ_nkwZmindstormsQ20serialQ20towerQQ_armrsZ1QQ_ fromZQQ_mdoZ) [not USB] or a USB-UIRT here (http://www.usbuirt.com/order.htm)
I have the USB-UIRT and works really well in conjunction with robodance software available at Robodance.com. Here (http://www.robodance.com/). Hope this helps out. Although the V2 is a good starting point into robotics it is limited to what it can do. The walking gait is not the best.

That is what I had in mind, however I don't want to 'just' download routines into the bot and let the bot do it's thing. I would want it to be interactive (with some AI even maybe). Basically I want to run software on a linux box to control the robot in an interactive way (between bot and linux box) by runnig software that gets feedback from the bot.

I noticed the robo dance software, and the USB-IR is for sale on ebay. The idea is to use the 'command set' in robodance to interface with the bot.

csdude
12-07-2008, 11:44 AM
By inexpensive...what were you thinking? The response you'll get will vary base on what other people think. Given that the robosapien V2 is about $50 bucks on ebay, then I'm figuring your in the Sub $100 range. I would be more inclind to suggest an I-sobot. They are small, but you can pick them up for under $100 easy. There is also a guy who worked out how to control one using a computer...its till through IR though...

Outside of that your looking at doing a complete scratch build. I haven't been able to get a humanoid design down under $300...you have to figure servos are the expensive part.

Hope this helps.

DB

I have looked at the I-SOBOT to. However the impression I head was that it didn't have that many sensors (but of course I might be wrong).

I have a scratch built in the back of my mind, however I know from experience that when I go that route I always end up building exactly what I want at a typically way higher price tag.

csdude
12-07-2008, 11:48 AM
By inexpensive...what were you thinking? The response you'll get will vary base on what other people think. Given that the robosapien V2 is about $50 bucks on ebay, then I'm figuring your in the Sub $100 range. I would be more inclind to suggest an I-sobot. They are small, but you can pick them up for under $100 easy. There is also a guy who worked out how to control one using a computer...its till through IR though...

Outside of that your looking at doing a complete scratch build. I haven't been able to get a humanoid design down under $300...you have to figure servos are the expensive part.

Hope this helps.

DB

I figured the servo's are the expensive part. But it would be cool to pick up something cheap and have a pilot to get started. I didn't see the robosapien that cheap, but if you have a link for that.
(Does the mini have the same functionality as the 24" one ? Of course the 24" one would have more room to put/attach more stuff to)

I'f I'd build one from scratch I'd probably see if making it autonomous by using a pico board or so would work. That makes it a lot more expensive though. I did that with a rover, works nice, but gets more expensive too)

Rudolph
12-07-2008, 03:25 PM
You may also want to look into the WowWee RS Media. Then check Nocturnal's page (http://evosapien.com/robosapien-hack/nocturnal2/node/447) about adding bluetooth connectivity to its serial console. That gets you direct control of RSM's (Linux) OS. From there you can gain control of a handful (six I think?) of general I/O pins that aren't being used for the robot, but are brought out to unpopulated solder points on one board.

My RSM is getting a usb-serial cord for christmas this year. Not wireless, but should still be entertaining. One of the goals is a shoulder-mounted nerf-suction-cup gun ;)

edit = Side note, rumor has it that both the V2 and the Media have been discontinued. I can imagine that affecting the price either way... Prices on new ones may go down, but if they're not available anymore, ebay prices may go up.

edit2 = links for accessing IO pins here (http://pruim037.proboards107.com/index.cgi?board=medhack&action=display&thread=2433) and here (http://pruim037.proboards107.com/index.cgi?board=medtech&action=display&thread=2379)

Gary Winnick
02-11-2009, 10:46 PM
I consider myself well schooled in low budget schlock from various film genres. Watching cheesy films is an acquired taste, one not easily cultivated overnight. Even with some knowledge about who makes these types of films under my belt, I still stumble over major contributors to the clunker movie catalogue and wonder why I haven't spent time with these delicacies before

Adrenalynn
02-11-2009, 11:02 PM
Hi Gary, welcome to the forum!

You lost me - what does building inexpensive humanoid robots have in common with watching cheesy films?

Quantum
02-12-2009, 12:38 AM
That's awsome.
That came totaly out of nowhere.

Quantum
02-12-2009, 12:43 AM
Pick up an Isobot. There are some great deals on this guy.
Gut him and use the body for your own use.
Youll probably have to make a board of some sort since most off the shelf controllers might not fit inside.
Then all you need to do is lots of programming. And sensor work
Saves tons of time instead of building. Im not sure how the servos work on this guy but google will help with this.