PDA

View Full Version : [Contest Entry] Meet Squidword



darkback2
03-18-2009, 11:53 PM
Squidword is a scratch built robot that has been building up inside me for a while. I was looking for a way to satisfy two needs. One is that I wanted a competent humanoid, and the other was to make a bracket system that I could use pretty much universally for all future walkers. I missed the boat with the humanoid. It was simply too heavy for the class of servos that I had on hand. As for the bracket system, I believe that squidword is testimony to its success.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8066.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8073.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8069.jpg

I built a stand for Squidword. It really helps out with creating the gates. I didn't think I would have to do any welding when I got into walkers, but I got out old sparky and got to work. The stand is sturdy as heck...So check it out. I'll post the plans on how to make it for anyone interested in making a squidword. Its made using 1 1/4 inch square tube and extruded aluminum.

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8084.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8085.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8086.jpg

There are only a few basic types of bracket in the system. Double servo brackets, single servo brackets, and several types of hinges. Using the bracket system I can make servo brackets for as little as a dollar a pound for aluminum.

This project submission is three part. I’ve uploaded the PDF files for making this robot, as well as a tutorial on how to build this robot. I'm also working on MAX based software that anyone can use to control a robot using an SSC-32. I've already uploaded the base program. The software I am currently working on expands that so that a person can make a series of walk cycles and store them in the software calling them up later.

One thing that really excites me about squidword is that he is completely symetrical. I can use that so that by simply assigning the legs different values I can adapt any walk cycle to make him walk in almost any direction.

I had to make some changes to the software, and it took me a while to solve a couple of problems. The software has a bunch of dials each connected to a servo. You can set the position of the dials, and store them as a part of a sequence. Then you can select a counter which will step through the sequenced poses...creating a gate.
YouTube - Using Mechmover

YouTube - Using Mechmover

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Nt8DqP9OOo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPCw1PvO6GE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDc0knUbCEhttp://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8067.jpg


Enjoy.

Tutorial (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?p=28962#post28962)

gdubb2
03-19-2009, 10:32 AM
Very nicely done..Good job..
Gary

darkback2
03-22-2009, 09:21 PM
Very nicely done..Good job..
Gary

Thanks for the kind words.

For anyone interested I updated the post and will adding pictures of the stand I made and a youtube video explaining how to use mechmover.

DB

jes1510
03-22-2009, 09:31 PM
Outstanding work man!

darkback2
04-13-2009, 10:39 PM
I updated the first post with a new video.

nagmier
04-13-2009, 11:11 PM
nice vid, with no audio, there is a NASTY High pitch squeal. But with mute on its fantastic!

darkback2
04-14-2009, 10:36 AM
the high pitched squeel is the sound the digital servos make. Squidword has 4 hs 5990s now which are what are providing the necessary torque to carry around that big lunk of a brain. PC based robotics is great...if you don't mind the weight!

ok...that was cheezy.

I'm hoping to have a vid of a live fire test for both squidword and charlie by the end of the week.

DB

nagmier
04-14-2009, 05:38 PM
Ahhh I'm too cheap to buy digital servos :D

Still great work!

darkback2
04-14-2009, 05:48 PM
I'm like the king of cheap...or was. Basically I was, and still for the ankle servos using MG 995s...Here is the deal though. Half of the MG 995s I got didn't work out of the box. A number of other ones overheated and caught on fire...and the rest, have been troopers. While I agree with you, and find it difficult to justify spending the serious dough people spend on high end servos, I realized that I was spending a lot of money trying to be cheap.

I settled on this. Every month for the next year or so (next month excluded) I will buy one expensive servo. My family already knows...christmas...my birthday...servos! The set of expensive servos will be what I use to build up squidword, and possibly will be stripped out to build another robot. The point being that I'm not going to spend 2 or 3 grand at once, but instead will relax and realize things like this take time. You could also just start a savings account, and put $100 in a month or so so that at the end of the year you could buy a bunch of servos all at once.

The second thing is, the digital servos hs 5995s are the only things strong enough to support the weight of the computer without using a lever system.

Given all of the above, spending $500 or so on 4 of them seamed like a nice compromise. I used cheaper servos for the rest of the robot, and sprung for the good stuff only where I absolutely had to.

Connor
04-14-2009, 08:46 PM
The second thing is, the digital servos hs 5995s are the only things strong enough to support the weight of the computer without using a lever system.

He means HS5990's. The 5995's are disco'd and have issues.. They're strong, but, can overheat and die.. No internal shutdown and no heatsink built into the case.. I'm upgrading 4 of my 5995's in my mech to 5990's for this very reason.

Thanks, Connor

darkback2
04-14-2009, 09:44 PM
Thanks connor...My mistake.

see...I have it so good now I don't even know what I have.

On a side note...squidword almost died today. I decided to mount up/wireup the gun...and decided while I was at it I would add a switch. I was in a bit of a hurry, and somehow managed to connect the positive terminal of the battery to one side of the switch, and the negative to the other...flip the switch and let the white smoke out.

Luckily the SSC-32 is fine...Not sure about the battery...but I cut everything off really quickly, so it was only shorted for a few seconds...I'll test it out tomorrow.

I also got Charlie's gun wired...I'll try to shoot video tonight...and I'll have squidword all patched up tomorrow... :(

nagmier
04-14-2009, 11:15 PM
Ouch I hope it all comes together.... How much does he weigh? I know he is made of gold spray painted to look like alum right? or at least thats what the family thinks I'm sure ;)

Adrenalynn
04-15-2009, 01:13 AM
Naw, that's not aluminum - that's solid Unobtanium!

darkback2
04-15-2009, 10:15 AM
The frame is junk yard aluminum. (what they have is what I get) At $1 a pound I got 5 pounds worth, but considering all of squidword computer included weighs just over 5 pounds I figure there is a lot of waste in that system...hense why I have to clean the floor of my shed. I could probably buy lighter/stronger stuff...but I'm too darn cheap. (we'll see how well that works out) If anyone does want to make a squidword frame out of lighter stronger aluminum I would love to know how much it weighs. A couple of people have suggested that at some point they are planning to make a charlie...same suggestion applies.

In anycase back to patching things together. I'm going to add a block terminal after the new switch so that I can add or take away things without effecting the rest of the system. Seams smarter than the current method.

DB

WGhost9
04-15-2009, 11:11 AM
Nice design :)

I am curious, what kind of computer are you using to control the the Squidword?

darkback2
04-15-2009, 01:51 PM
Thanks to all for the kind words.

I'm using a Wibrain (http://www.wibrain.com/products/b1lh.php?Top_Class=A&Left_Class=D). The model I have isn't listed here...it has a 32 gig solid state drive...and 1 gig of ram...

I picked it up on ebay for just under $500.

If you can program a micro, or use a roboard, you could save yourself a lot of weight...and probably money.

On another note...yesterday when I tried to kill squidword part of the reason for my mistake was that I was wicked hungry and had a hamburger waiting for me...getting cold...while I tried to do just one more thing.

So today during my lunch break I ran out and got a hamburger and a new switch...

In other words...I'm dumb.
DB

darkback2
04-26-2009, 09:51 PM
Squidword had an interesting weekend...Or well...I did with squidword.

I wanted to let some friends play with squidword and charlie so I spent the afternoon friday trying to work out all the bugs with both, and getting squidword to talk to an old dell PC laptop so that I could control both robots at the same time. (both Squidword and Charlie were controlled from my mac laptop.) I got charlie dialed in aiming, and firing.

When I moved on to Squidword I found a pretty big problem.

Friday was the first time I had fired a gun from squidword, and the video would freeze periodically when the gun fired. Then...firing the gun began to freeze up the whole computer program and all.

Everything would just lock up and stop working. The wierd thing is that the drop outs were periodic. It wasn't every time...just sometimes, and it took me a while to realize that the freezing was related to firing.

In anycase, friends came over last night, and I took out the robots. Charlie died almost instantly (demo mode I guess) Actually the battery on her UMPC has been pretty much done for the past month or so. I just ordered a new one though so that problem should be smoothed out soon.

Squidword was doing great...I was walking him around and shooting people in the butt. :)

In anycase, one fire too many, and the computer locked up as the video went out. The gun stayed on, shooting all over the place. (now that I think about it...probably wasn't too safe of me) Everyone had to duck and cover.

Funny thing is a bunch of the people there are ex navy, and served recently.

In anycase I swapped out the camera today. Haven't had the chance to test it because the UMPC battery was dead.


Oh...and over the past few days I've been building a box to keep squidword in. Not sure why I spent a weekend doing this with so little time left...but what is done is done. Its nothing that anyone who actually works with wood would be proud of...but I made it with my own two hands...

DB


http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8575.jpg
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8576.jpg
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8577.jpg
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8579.jpg

lnxfergy
04-26-2009, 11:01 PM
Actually DB, I quite like it. And there is definately something to be said for actually finishing a project... I've been working on a case for XR-B3 for a year+ (on and off)...

-Fergs

jes1510
04-27-2009, 01:22 PM
The box is awesome! He looks quite comfortable in there.

We need video of his escapades this past weekend man! Video!

darkback2
05-16-2009, 06:28 PM
OK...so its been a while.

This morning I finally got the rocket mounts done for both squidword and charlie. I'm using 4 half inch diameter aluminum tubes held in a rectangular aluminum box. For squidword the rocket mounts pretty much had to be fixed, so I won't really be able to aim them too well...Not that aiming seams to really matter when it comes to rockets. I'm using a scoop of pyrodex (synthetic gun powder) as an ignitor. I've tried a bunch of other tricks to no avail.

Basically I take a christmas light, cut open the bulb, and put the exposed filament into a scoop of powder. Then I wrap the whole bit into a duct tape bundle, and shove it into the tube. Finally I put 4 rockets into the tube and cover the end with some tape.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Nt8DqP9OOo

Now you probably notice the burn mark on the deck at the end of the above video. Well...I was worried about that too so I made the box to hold the rockets.

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_8610.jpg

Here is a vid of the rockets actually mounted on squidword. I was a bit worried that blow back from one rocket igniting might ignite the rocket in the neighboring barrel. Luckily it didn't happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPCw1PvO6GE

Dude!!! I'm so happy with this.

DB

nagmier
05-16-2009, 08:22 PM
AWESOME DB Thats really great to see it in action! You mentioned not being able to get reliable ignition? I was under the impression micro rockets were like the standard model rocket engines and you can use the standard "electric fuse" igniter? Now that I think about it I would venture a guess its because of the need to ignite 4 at a time?

darkback2
05-16-2009, 09:32 PM
No...I was running into a couple of problems that you don't run into with a standard rocket. First of all with a normal rocket system the rocket is mounted vertically...So gravity helps hold the rocket up against the ignitor. So in a horizontal system its hard to keep the rocket pressed against the ignitor without either braking the contact or having the rocket be held so tightly in the tube that it won't launch.

Another problem is that the first tubes I used were plastic big pens...Which worked great...except for the fact that they caught on fire, and the heat from the ignitor sometimes made the plastic melt into the rocket so the rocket wouldn't launch at all, and just burned itself out inside the tube...So I switched over to aluminum tubing...Again with the original problem of having the tube either be so tight that the rocket failed to launch, or so loose that it didn't remain in contact with the ignitor.

Also the ignitors that did work took a really long time to light the rocket...Not good in a gun fight. With pyrodex its almost instantaneous.

Finally using aluminum tubes was causing the ignitors to short out if they touched the tube at all, which forced me to bend them trying to get them into the perfect shape which more often than not resulted in the ignitor itself breaking.

Enter pyrodex. Pyrodex is synthetic gun powder. It burns hot and fast like real gunpowder, but is less vulnerable to explode due to static electricity. The way I see it, either the rocket will ignite, or it will get shot across the arena by the gun powder blast anyway. so either way I win! :)

Ok...not really. Next year I'll probably either add longer barrels, or fins to the rockets, or something...and more rockets...cause 20 just isn't enough.

Hope this answers your question.

DB

nagmier
05-16-2009, 10:37 PM
Yeah! Thats going to save me some serious time! If/When you get a chance I wouldn't mind a bit of a how-to on your ignition system with a bit more detail, like the christmas bulb is it one of the tiny indoor ones or an outdoor? (ironically I live literally yards from a christmas store :D)

Thanks again! For pure scare/cool factor alone they are worth it!

darkback2
05-16-2009, 11:28 PM
I'll put together a tutorial and try to post it tomorrow.

all for you.

mannyr7
05-17-2009, 12:11 PM
I'm guessing those are wildly inaccurate, but still I'm scared!!! :robotsurprised: Nice work, db. I'd like to see a huge box of them on both shoulders like the Archer or Longbow mechs.

darkback2
05-18-2009, 12:02 AM
Tutorial is posted

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/tutorials/how-to-diy-128/mounting-rockets-on-your-robot-3249/

ooops
05-19-2009, 12:39 PM
DB, just got my first look at Squidword, and it is awesome!
I love it:)

darkback2
05-26-2009, 01:13 AM
Hey everyone,

I updated the first page with a new vid of squidword and charlie fighting in my friends driveway.

Wow I need more practice!
:)
DB

robologist
05-26-2009, 02:51 AM
That looks like a lot of fun, good runtime too.

How hard is it to see while driving? Seems easy to get hung up on obstacles, and opponents may not be easily detected.

darkback2
05-26-2009, 11:40 AM
That looks like a lot of fun, good runtime too.

How hard is it to see while driving? Seems easy to get hung up on obstacles, and opponents may not be easily detected.

I'm going to run another test today...This was the first time I ran both bots at the same time on the same router without being able to look at them directly. The video feed continuously froze on both robots, and I had a larger than usual...a lot larger than usual loss of packets. I have a better router at work that I'll try out tonight, and see if I can't get the video stream a bit faster.

As for getting hung up on obstacles....this is where practice comes in handy. With squidword, to go around a corner, I can turn and face the wall, and then sidestep until I'm clear.

With charlie I have to walk up to the corner, and turn the head to sort of navigate my way around.

DB

gdubb2
05-26-2009, 11:59 AM
I especially liked the shoot-out at the end. Good job.
Gary

darkback2
05-27-2009, 11:50 PM
Ok...so for those of you who don't know...squidword and charlie are both entered in artbots painting. It would be incredibly cool...and much easier if I could just mount a 5 DOF arm on either bot...and that may be in the cards for year two...but for now, charlie has her snout, and squidword...well he holds pencils with his butt.

Here he is making his first sit and squiggle!

Squidword Makes A Squiggle!

darkback2
06-07-2009, 10:14 AM
You know how there is that thing...nagging at the back of your brain...and you can't quite remember what it is...So yesterday I was going over my final checklist for squidword, when I noticed that while I had installed and wired the phidget 0/0/4 that I am using to control my rocket ignition system, I had failded to install the software to run it. So Charlie...rockets work just fine, squidword...no rockets...

So I set about porting over the software from charlie's brain a sony vaio 180UX to squidwords brain a Wibrain...should all be streigt forward right? Only in addition to forgetting to instal the small bit of code connecting the computer I drive to the rocket system, I had also forgotten to instal the phidget libraries...

Again, this should be no biggie...so I downloaded the libraries and installed them, only to find that they require .net which wasn't installed on the wibrain.

So I had to download .net. All in all a day that was supposed to be a fairly streight forward walk in the park turned into a holy cluster F-bomb. I finally gave up at 10:30 and went to bed.

Oh did I mention squidword blew a hip servo also yesterday?

In anycase...

I'm upgrading the hips to 5990s, and as for the .net problem, I'm going to try a couple new things today, and if that doesn't work out, then I'm going to you guys for help. I need something that works like a battle switch, as in take PWM input to turn on switches. I could just get 4 battle switches, but given that I'm already at $600 and my monthly robotics budget is $100 thats probably not going to happen. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

DB

DresnerRobotics
06-07-2009, 01:52 PM
AX-12s > HS-645s.

Nearly the same cost, almost double the torque, and wait for it.... thermal protection. :D

Not to mention full feedback capabilities and a daisy chain network.

darkback2
06-07-2009, 03:45 PM
I get it. Next time...I'll just buy a bioloid, and participate in kung fu or something...sure...hobby servos suck...does that make you happy? Better yet...I'll just scrap the whole project three days before the event and start over with a bioloid comprehensive kit now. I won't even have time to have the kit shipped so I'll have to beg you to carry it in your suitcase and I'll meet you there thursday and have it done in 16 hours...in addition to painting all the buildings and stuff...

DresnerRobotics
06-07-2009, 04:20 PM
I get it. Next time...I'll just buy a bioloid, and participate in kung fu or something...sure...hobby servos suck...does that make you happy? Better yet...I'll just scrap the whole project three days before the event and start over with a bioloid comprehensive kit now. I won't even have time to have the kit shipped so I'll have to beg you to carry it in your suitcase and I'll meet you there thursday and have it done in 16 hours...in addition to painting all the buildings and stuff...

Just saying man... how many servos have you burnt up and how many times have I made my AX-12 suggestion? =)

I know you like to pave your own path, but sometimes the beaten trail is a better option when your own path catches fire.

Adrenalynn
06-07-2009, 04:46 PM
is a better option when your own path catches fire.

Unless someone brought marshmallows and chocolate. Yum.

mannyr7
06-08-2009, 02:35 AM
I coulda used that advice 6 month ago as well...

lnxfergy
06-08-2009, 05:46 AM
Just saying man... how many servos have you burnt up and how many times have I made my AX-12 suggestion? =)

I know you like to pave your own path, but sometimes the beaten trail is a better option when your own path catches fire.

That said, I think it will take some creative genius to figure out how to put all the mech gear on an AX-12 biped and not have it shutting down from thermal overload in under 10 minutes.

-Fergs

DresnerRobotics
06-08-2009, 08:21 AM
That said, I think it will take some creative genius to figure out how to put all the mech gear on an AX-12 biped and not have it shutting down from thermal overload in under 10 minutes.

-Fergs

Which is why I'm sayin quad, I don't think they'd suffice for a biped.

darkback2
06-08-2009, 11:11 AM
Ok...Not complaining...but here are some lessons learned from squidword...as in things I probably won't do in the future on a walking robot.

- Servos with thermal shutdown. Squidword started out heavy, and has only gotten heavier over time. Having servos that shut down before they burn out would be a major advantage, and save me a lot of money in the long run. Similarly

- Loose the PC. Lets face it, while PC based robots have the advantage of having major processing power on board, and make remote piloting of teh bot a lot easier, how much of that advantage am I currently using. I'm thinking of having a controller on the bot...something like my MR-3000, an SSC-32/botboard, or a dinamixel controller coupled with a PC over Xbee, and a camera coupled over wifi. Possibly using a serializer for sensor input. Given that the PC I use currently weighs 1.2 pounds, that would be a major savings.

- Buying aluminum sheeting. The stuff from the recycling center might make me feel good about myself...but the weight cost is just too great. Using thinner stronger alloys would make these projects much lighter, and potentially much more successful.

OK...all of the above said, Squidword is a pretty darn successful robot. Sure I had to dump a lot more money into him than I did charlie because of the leg design. Initially this was an attept to increase mobility, and to be honest, Squidword is much more maneuverable than charlie. Charlie cannot side step and squidword can.

So that comes at a cost, and I am slowly finding out what that cost is...so consider this a lesson learned.

DB

Adrenalynn
06-08-2009, 12:35 PM
I've gotten pretty stingy with the +Rep lately. My +Rep amounts to a really big jump - probably unreasonably so. But I've +Rep'd that post. Sharing lessons learned like that is huge - thanks for doing so!

jes1510
06-08-2009, 12:39 PM
Outstanding work man. I can't wait to see what "Son of Squidword" looks like with all the things you've learned.

darkback2
06-08-2009, 01:41 PM
honesty time...

Son of squidword is seriously atleast a year away. Squidword isn't done yet. I plan to articulate the rocket mounts, and upgrade all of the servos to HS 5990s. given that I am way over budget at this point, doing that alone will take me a long time, and more over I need to spend some time refilling the coffers as it were. So for mechwarfare year two I probably won't have made that many changes.

I do plan on completing a few software based upgrades, including developing an AI program that can choose to exist in either charlie or squidword over the summer. This will include adding sensors to squidword, which is probably the only expense I will allow myself, and that probably won't happen until december or so.

Finally...thanks for the kind words everyone, as well as the interest in these projects. I really like these two robots. Having other people care enough to comment really validates everything I have been doing.

DB

ScuD
06-08-2009, 02:44 PM
Unless someone brought marshmallows and chocolate. Yum.

This is completely and utterly off-topic, but just last week we found some marshmallows in the local department store and put them over a fire to see what that was all about.
I need to move to the states, cause there's not enough marshmallows in belgium...

Back on-topic, I feel Db2 never lets us down in the 'DIY' department. True, he's burnt up quite a few servo's before taking the AX path, but how many people take recycled scraps of metal and build something that could be harry potter's pet if he ever saw terminator?

I greatly respect anyone that has learned a lot in school and books and builds a kick-ass robot, but I admire someone who's spent years blowing stuff up until he understood why it blew up, and as a result builds a kick-ass robot.

jes1510
06-08-2009, 03:24 PM
Way off topic but this has to be said:

Get those marshmallows and melt them between graham crackers and a Hersheys chocolate bar. Sit back and enjoy the messy awesomeness that is S'Mores. Bonus points if insulin is needed afterwords.

ScuD
06-08-2009, 04:07 PM
It took me 20 years to find marshmallows in belgium... graham crackers and hersheys sounds like one hell of a crusade though! Right, I'll need a helmet and an axe. Jes, this crusade is dedicated to you! (you'll have to take the bloodshed too though..) :-p

DresnerRobotics
06-08-2009, 04:08 PM
Ok...Not complaining...but here are some lessons learned from squidword...as in things I probably won't do in the future on a walking robot.

- Servos with thermal shutdown. Squidword started out heavy, and has only gotten heavier over time. Having servos that shut down before they burn out would be a major advantage, and save me a lot of money in the long run. Similarly

- Loose the PC. Lets face it, while PC based robots have the advantage of having major processing power on board, and make remote piloting of teh bot a lot easier, how much of that advantage am I currently using. I'm thinking of having a controller on the bot...something like my MR-3000, an SSC-32/botboard, or a dinamixel controller coupled with a PC over Xbee, and a camera coupled over wifi. Possibly using a serializer for sensor input. Given that the PC I use currently weighs 1.2 pounds, that would be a major savings.

- Buying aluminum sheeting. The stuff from the recycling center might make me feel good about myself...but the weight cost is just too great. Using thinner stronger alloys would make these projects much lighter, and potentially much more successful.

OK...all of the above said, Squidword is a pretty darn successful robot. Sure I had to dump a lot more money into him than I did charlie because of the leg design. Initially this was an attept to increase mobility, and to be honest, Squidword is much more maneuverable than charlie. Charlie cannot side step and squidword can.

So that comes at a cost, and I am slowly finding out what that cost is...so consider this a lesson learned.

DB

+ Rep from me too! I know I've learned some lessons in my mech building this year, what doesn't kill us makes us smarter... right?

darkback2
06-08-2009, 04:58 PM
It took me 20 years to find marshmallows in belgium... graham crackers and hersheys sounds like one hell of a crusade though! Right, I'll need a helmet and an axe. Jes, this crusade is dedicated to you! (you'll have to take the bloodshed too though..) :-p

I'll send you some...PM me your address.

DB

ScuD
06-09-2009, 11:33 AM
Lol, I love the gesture DB but shipping would be too high for a sugar rush! I couldn't accept that man..

Idea though, if Tybs would be willing to help out, I'm prolly gonna order a few AX-12's, maybe he could slip the graham crackers in the box ? :p

darkback2
06-15-2009, 10:19 PM
So my flight was delayed twice...so I landed in Seattle at 12:30 AM, and the last ferry to the island is at 1AM...so I ended up missing work today. During mechwars squidword shook another camera to death. I had a much smaller camera laying around that I originally couldn't get to work. Had all day to get it running...

The bracket fits inside the original mounting spot, but because the camera is smaller I got it mounted with a velcro buffer so that it won't get banged around so much.

Here is a pic of it mounted!
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/newcam.jpg

gdubb2
06-15-2009, 10:35 PM
Dang, DB ya should have just stuck around and got your medal..Still could have made it home.

Gary

darkback2
06-15-2009, 10:52 PM
Next year I'll just fly back on Monday.

I hope nobody minds...Dave gave me the gold for hardcore...given that I was the only participant...so two bronze and a gold...hurray!

So...for next time...I"m going to get a trendnet camera that I can mount depending on the router situation. I'm only bringing squidword...I'm going to up grade the front hip servos...then scrap the whole thing and build a new bot from scratch... :)

DB

Adrenalynn
06-15-2009, 11:28 PM
I've got photos of at least one of your Bronze Medal awards, DB, I'll post later. I hadn't found a good spot yet, so they're not the best.

Congrats! I can't imagine why anyone would "mind". Winning's winning. Doesn't matter how many people you competed against. If you're the only one that could "run what you brung", then that just means you deserve it all the more...

DresnerRobotics
06-15-2009, 11:40 PM
I told Dave to give you Gold and Silver for hardcore. You're the only one crazy enough to get rockets working, so that's a solid win in my book :D

ooops
06-17-2009, 08:27 AM
so two bronze and a gold...hurray!


Sounds like a pretty darn good weekend!!!
Congrats!!!

Adrenalynn
06-17-2009, 12:44 PM
Not the bestest shots, I hadn't staked-out a good look yet, but if anyone has better, they haven't posted 'em yet. ;)

1382

1383

darkback2
06-17-2009, 02:57 PM
I feel like I should print out this whole thread for my scrap book!

Thanks for the pics Adren!

lnxfergy
06-17-2009, 03:13 PM
I feel like I should print out this whole thread for my scrap book!

Thanks for the pics Adren!

You have to print out Charlie's thread, make it a signed copy, and sell it with him... it's worth more when its an internet icon... :veryhappy:

-Fergs

revoltage
07-04-2009, 04:00 AM
Nice work buddy. Once again hats off :)

darkback2
11-09-2009, 10:35 PM
Months have gone by. I got swamped with work. Somehow I'm inspired to be a good teacher this year. I also decided to run a marathon...which is at the end of this month.

So...finally back to squidword.

Video was an issue for me. Squidword shook his camera to death...he actually shook two camera's to death and got to robogames on camera 3 which he shook to death before the first round...so I've made a few changes.

First I rewrote mechmover from the ground up. I increased the resolution from 128 (midi) steps for each servo to 751. The increase in resolution has made the gates a lot smoother. I also added a lean function.

He is going on a diet of sorts. In the least I will be using a xbee bridge to communicate with the SSC-32 and loosing the PC on his back for the most part, and at most I'll be adding a phidget SBC if I can get the funds together. The priority for me is making robogames 2010...

The video performance over wifi was sketchy at best...so I'm going to try dynamically changing the resolution. I can drop it as low as 32*24 and still get around OK...and then bump it up to 640 *480 for aiming and shooting. I am putting a control for this on the Control PC...(which is a Mac.) I'm also thinking of automating him to various degrees...not sure about that part.

So for now the shopping list is:

2 HS 5990 TGs
2 IR sensors
4 pressure sensors
1 xbee communication kit
1 Phidget SBC

Crazy part...I got an emotiv EPOC...its a headset you can use to read EEGs and control computer apps. I'm gonna try to use it to control squidword...though I'll mostly be relying on the keyboard or a gamepad.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GX8moQzOOM

Finally...I got the rockets working...not sure its worth it though.

darkback2
01-07-2010, 02:17 PM
Ok...so I have some choices to make and I figure what better way than to open it up to you guys.

Squidword didn't exactly do very well at mech warfare 2009. The camera broke, and when it did work the frame rate was really really slow. Sqidword also carries his PC on his back.

I am thinking of the following...

Option A:

Getting a trendnet camera
Loosing the PC, and switching to using a xbee to control squidword remotely
This would save about 1 pound and make the loading time much faster.

The problem with this is that it would cost me the use of the phidget 8/8/8 and IR sensors,
and I would have to use battle switches to control the rockets (if I go hardcore again.)

Option B:

Keep everything as is but add 2 more HS 5990s for the front legs.

This keeps the bot heavy, and I'm not sure about the frame rate that I'll get.

Option C:

Keep everything the same but use a trendnet instead of the regular camera I am currently using.

Any ideas?

DB

Adam
01-07-2010, 04:09 PM
I would go with C, but I'm firmly in the "brains onboard" camp. Actually, B+C would be best. :p

lnxfergy
01-07-2010, 04:10 PM
I think moving to the Trendnet would be a very good idea.

As for replacing the PC with XBEE, you would lose the 8/8/8 -- but you could replace PC+8/8/8 with XBEE+Arduino. Correct me if I'm wrong, but current configuration is:


Small PC, using Wifi for comms
SSC-32 to control servos
8/8/8 to do rockets/IR. (what are the IR sensors for?)

The new configuration could be:


Arduino with XBEE (you could use a MINI robocontroller even, the same board that was used for the scoring system, to avoid having to wire up the XBEE). The Arduino is in between the SSC-32 and XBEE, so that you could do checksums on your wireless packets.
Rocket control: how much current do you need? And how many channels? Might be able to get away with a small transistor array. Alternatively, I'm working on an SSR-based control for my gun, could be put together for ~$5.

-Fergs

lnxfergy
01-07-2010, 04:14 PM
I would go with C, but I'm firmly in the "brains onboard" camp. Actually, B+C would be best. :p.

Brains onboard, sure, but you don't carry around the whole internet in your head do you? :veryhappy: If all Squidword is doing, is walking and shooting, under human control, for Mech Warfare, there's no brains really required (the SSC-32 that drives the servos is probably sufficient, barring any issues with RF interference).

Hmm, but that brings up the point that Che usually wants to have multipurpose robots. So he'd probably want to be able to slap the PC back on for other events/tasks. In which case, ya, B+C might be the best option for this bot/builder.

-Fergs

darkback2
01-12-2010, 12:16 AM
So I spent some serious time with Squidword today...

I started out by reworking the forward, backward, and side stepping gates. Which are really all just permutations of the same movement. As for the legs and movement, I'm sort of up against a wall until I get the last HS 5990. The back legs have the more powerful servos for hip rotation while the front legs are using HS 645s for hip rotation. This means that the back legs push a lot harder than the front ones, which leads to drifting from side to side as the robot walks. This is especially noticeable when Squidword is side stepping. The back legs take much bigger steps than the front legs.

While I could probably fix this pretty easily by limiting the movement of the back legs I would prefer to just invest in one more servo.

I spent some time under my house digging out Squidword's defender gun. I have to re-solder the connections tomorrow at work. The connection snapped at robogames when I was using squidword as cannon fodder.

I also did some work on Squidword's software. I am currently running MAX/MSP on Squidword's onboard PC. I ran into a few problems. The software boots really slowly on the micro PC. I changed some of the power settings which seamed to help a bit, and at robogames I'll just leave it running the whole time each day.

I also decided that the trendnet is more than necessary. Trying to use the computer's wifi to send video while sending commands slowed everything down to the point where it didn't really work at all. Using the trendnet to send video will free up the computer so that it doesn't have to process all of that.

Not much of a speed difference with or without the PC on board, so I'll leave it on for now.

I'll bring a wiimote as a backup plan. What I really want is to get the emotive epoc working. That will require a separate PC.

Finally while I haven't gotten it working yet, I found some face recognition patches for Max/MSP. I'm not sure what I'll use them for, but having squidword track faces could be cool...

I'll try to get some video over the next few days.

DB