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elaughlin
06-27-2010, 11:07 AM
Ok, I am finally getting around to starting my project thread for the Mech I am working on for Mech Warfare 2011. I will definitely be going, and I have to get it done before the time comes, so I work on some part of it at least for a little while everyday. I might not get so much physical work done each day or week, but I am learning things, like Autodesk Inventor, C++ Programming, Electronics, etc. Guys like Tyberius, Inxfergy, Upgrayd, and Webgeek have all helped me out a ton already. Even if not directly, I have used a lot of their tutorials at least to get my stuff up and running.

Alright, so to get on with what has happened so far with my Mech. It is going to be a Quad, seeing as I wanted to go with a Biped, but I knew it would be a little much for my first run at this. Plus I think I came up with a really nice design so far for what I want to do. I am using the Robotis Bioloid Comprehensive Kit so far. (That was a blast to put together all of the projects that come with that, and had a walking Biped, Quad, Dinosaur, within a day per project. Its a good build all on its own.) I have stepped past the CM-5 now and am using the Arbotix Robocontroller setup from Trossen Robotics website. I got the startup kit with the 2 Xbees and the AVR Programmer and Xbee explorer board. Now then, I assembled just a mock up of something That I am trying to do, just using the Bioloid brackets. So I haven't customized any parts yet, but after assembled, I used the NUKE and PyPose software, uploaded them to the Arbotix, and had my very own walking Quad Mech Robot. It is getting power through the Power Block that came with the Bioloid Kit right now, and that runs throught the USB Bioloid Bus Board to the Arbotix. Oh, and it is also running wirelessly via controller through the Xbees to my computer, and just test run through the NUKE program. So thats what I have done so far with the physical aspect of my Mech. I will be posting pictures and a video at the end of the post.

The future plans for the Mech, are to custom build the torso and chasis. Attach 2 tank aursoft guns. Install a Trendnet IP 110 camera for vision. Add LiPo batteries for power. Be controller from a PS# controller possibly, unsure how hard that is to do right now. (Will post about that in another thread, but answer here also if you want.) Thats about it. I want to keep it simple, not too many extras on it (i.e. range finders, IR, etc.). I want to keep it as light as possible for quick movement around the arena.

If you have any questions about what I am doing with it or comments about any parts, please let me know. This is my first robot build, so I need lots of help and pointers.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7wyd1v8B30

elaughlin
06-27-2010, 11:12 AM
I forgot I had a PDF file of the lay out of the legs if anyone wanted to see. You can move it around and see the different angles of the legs.


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DresnerRobotics
06-27-2010, 12:14 PM
Have you tried out the amble gaits from NUKE on this bot yet? I think you can switch between them with the middle most buttons on your ArbotiX commander.

elaughlin
06-27-2010, 01:32 PM
I have not tried that. I dont have the Commander to use. I dont have any controlling device yet, except for the computer.

DresnerRobotics
06-27-2010, 04:07 PM
I think there is a way to do it via the software version of the commander. Fergs?

lnxfergy
06-27-2010, 04:20 PM
Good looking bot!

As for Tyb's suggestions: the default NUKE sketch doesn't currently include the button functionality that he is thinking of (It's something I tend to add, and it will be stock in the next release of NUKE/PyPose). The Python-based ArbotiX Commander GUI also doesn't have buttons... another thing that will be fixed in the next release. You can do all of this programmatically though. To switch to using amble, just change the line near the top of the setup() function that says:

gaitSelect(RIPPLE);

to:

gaitSelect(AMBLE);

This will move 2 legs at once -- for some bots it's more stable than a ripple, for others it's not -- this mostly depends on how wide your stance is. The biggest thing here though is: you can increase the speed by adding a multiplier. The default sketch only will go -100mm/s to 100mm/s. In your main loop, you change the line that says:

Xspeed = command.walkV;

to:

Xspeed = 2*command.walkV;

Which will double the max speed. You might also be able to do a 3 or a 4 instead of 2x. Realistically speaking, 200-300mm/s is probably close to the limit of what can actually be driven through a webcam.

-Fergs

elaughlin
06-27-2010, 05:57 PM
Wow, thanks a lot. That is really something I am looking to do. I want to have a good amount of speed out of my Mech. Hoping it will be low enough COG that I can work on speed more than having to deal with stability, and that is something the Quad as a big advantage over Bipeds.

When using the different gait and speed modifications, can that be seen while "Test Run"ning in the PyPose/Nuke, or would it only be seen when I am really commanding it from a different source?

lnxfergy
06-27-2010, 06:17 PM
The "test" in PyPose/Nuke is just a virtual Commander, dragging the cursor up/down is like pushing the joystick forward/backward. This sends Xspeeds in the range of -100mm/s to 100mm/s. By scaling it on the bot, we can make it move faster. So, yes, if you change your loop and re-upload the code, the bot should walk 2x as fast in the forward/backward directions.

You can actually get fairly fancy with this portion of the code: by varying speeds and by switching gaits if the speed is at a certain point. Issy2 walked up to 300mm/s in forward speed, if he backed up, we automatically switched to the Amble gait, and capped the reverse speed at 150mm/s.

This page has a few notes about the Gait Engine: http://code.google.com/p/arbotix/wiki/NukeTuning

-Fergs

elaughlin
06-27-2010, 07:34 PM
I have a question for you, how come recently, my IDLE Python is getting error every time I try to open it. It has two pop-up errors:
1 - IDLE Subprocess Error
X Socket Error: Connection refused

2 - Subprocess Startup Error
X IDLE's subprocess didn't make connection. Either IDLE can't start a subprocess or personal firewall software is blocking connection.

I did look through the firewall protection, and allowed access for anything Python pretty much that I could find as a possible fix, but still always get that error.

I can bypass it though by going to a .py file, and choosing to edit it, then it will open up IDLE fine, and can run it. Confused, if I have to always open the file first, its not a problem, but thought maybe you'd have an idea about it.

lnxfergy
06-27-2010, 07:42 PM
I have a question for you, how come recently, my IDLE Python is getting error every time I try to open it. It has two pop-up errors:
1 - IDLE Subprocess Error
X Socket Error: Connection refused

2 - Subprocess Startup Error
X IDLE's subprocess didn't make connection. Either IDLE can't start a subprocess or personal firewall software is blocking connection.

I did look through the firewall protection, and allowed access for anything Python pretty much that I could find as a possible fix, but still always get that error.

I can bypass it though by going to a .py file, and choosing to edit it, then it will open up IDLE fine, and can run it. Confused, if I have to always open the file first, its not a problem, but thought maybe you'd have an idea about it.

I really don't use IDLE, I just start python at the command line. I seem to recall this being a problem with IDLE back when I was a TA for a python based course a few years ago. As I recall, it had something to do with how you opened IDLE, but I really don't recall.

-Fergs

elaughlin
06-27-2010, 08:53 PM
Alright, no problem. I will try other places, but can always just open to edit a .py file and bypass it anyways.

Thanks

DresnerRobotics
06-28-2010, 12:47 AM
IDLE is terrible. Has caused nothing but problems for me as a new python user.

elaughlin
06-28-2010, 10:10 PM
I have made a little progress. Only in terms of designing what I want to do. So I have a leg design V2. It is based on a set of legs I saw on Tyberius' hexapod he had at Mech Warfare. I really liked the aesthetics of the design so I am stealing it basically. I just added a different bioloid bracket at one joint to make it a longer leg, making room for the torso/chasis. So take a look.

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elaughlin
06-29-2010, 11:04 PM
I made some more advances. I just started creating the chassis that will hold all of the legs together and house the batteries. The body/turret will be mounted on top of this plate. Haven't finished the bottom part yet, got too hungry, and too tired. It really is from looking at Tyberius' Quad form. But it was really a nice design.

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elaughlin
06-30-2010, 11:22 PM
Another small update. I finished designing the bottom chassis plate. I also added on the pan servo "thingi". I really hope I can get these parts made in real life, as easily as they are coming out on the computer. Here is a look see of what has been completed so far.

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lnxfergy
07-01-2010, 10:04 AM
Looking good. How big is that bot though? I think the quad with the smaller chassis/legs that Andrew had was about 14-16" wide. With the payload of a mech, you might not want to get much larger than that. In addition to it being difficult to drive a wide bot down our streets, there's the issue of how much the body rolls when a foot is picked up, and these wireless IP cams tend not to handle all that movement too well. Just a few thoughts.

-Fergs

elaughlin
07-01-2010, 02:32 PM
It is 20" long by 18" wide in that drawing. You think that would be too big to handle all the weight? I could easily shorten up the chassis or sub out the longer bracket for the shorter version on each leg. Tell me your thoughts more, please.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2010, 02:55 PM
That's too big in my opinion. You actually want a more compact mech in Mech Warfare. As Fergs said, it increases your agility when maneuvering through the streets. Check the pictures I sent you, I'd honestly just go that route and tighten up the body a good amount.

Also: How much is that lazy susan going to weigh? Looks like an awful lot of metal and machining cost for something that isn't really that weight bearing. A turret directly attached to a pan AX-12 could honestly do you just fine, or if you're worried about it pick up a 22mm ID thrust bearing/washer set from McMaster Carr.

gdubb2
07-01-2010, 02:57 PM
I like the overall look of it, personally, I'd shorten up on the Coxa/Femur bracket. and perhaps even move the Coxa servo back into the body a little if you have room. It just seems a little "leggy" to me.

Good Luck
Gary

lnxfergy
07-01-2010, 03:08 PM
So, for comparison:


Issy1 was about 13" wide/long.
Issy2 was about 14" wide/long and had heat trouble after about 25-30 minutes of high speed movement (both in testing and in the rumble).
Issy3 is actually slightly lighter than Issy2 (no idea how I did that), and although he's about the same width/length, he has shorter legs. Issy3 won't be as maneuverable, but I can't really shrink his body any more because of the FitPC.

I honestly think something in the 14x14" footprint and 6"x6" body range is about perfect for a Mech Warfare quad. There's enough space to fit all the Mech gear, plenty of leg movement for speed, and it's still tiny enough to maneuver the environment with ease.

-Fergs

elaughlin
07-01-2010, 10:51 PM
So I have gotten it down to about 15.5" square, by replacing the longer bracket, for the shorter version, and took away the extra material in the chassis. So now its been updated in my design, I also took out the lazy susan, which I still might still get made, to see if I like the way it spins, if it makes for a smoother turn/less jumpiness, I might keep it on. If its just too heavy and makes negligible difference, I will just keep it for another project later on if I may want.

Fergs, Tyberius, Gdubb - Thanks a lot for the advice. It really helps to get it from experienced, veteran, mech pilots. It would be terrible if I created my mech and then I couldn't walk it down the street or couldn't hold up the weight. Thanks a lot guys.

I believe I will be ordering a trendnet camera very soon. My GF needs to order a bunch of things on Amazon and the trendnet is only 70$ with rebate now. So I'll add it onto her shopping cart, muahhhaha.

I've posted before, but if anyone wants to help me out, if you are good with modifying electronics, I would really wish to disconnect the camera lens from the board. I want to house it differently than right next to the boards. I would be willing to pay for time and hardware. It would be a good tutorial or video to have posted on the forums here. Please let me know if there are any takers.

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elaughlin
07-08-2010, 10:49 PM
I have only done a little work this whole long weekend we had. I was pretty sick, and even thought I wanted to, I couldn't get off the couch to even sit at the computer. But I did some more design work, I think I am almost ready to send a file to get my first custom laser cut piece done for the chassis. Just need to figure out a few more mounting holes. Added on the pan servo and bracket connecting to the torso. Also, added a few cut outs to reduce some of the weight. Oh, and those blobs inside the chassis are mock ups for the batteries. Took some dimensions of 11.1v LiPos off the Trossen site and went by that. They would fit easily between the servos.

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lnxfergy
07-08-2010, 11:05 PM
Looking Good.

But, batteries? Plural? Just a note, Issy and the quad/hex we had at RoboGames were all running the $49 11.1V 2200mAH packs -- and easily getting 30-40 minutes of runtime -- servo heat was a bigger problem than battery life.

-Fergs

elaughlin
07-09-2010, 06:07 AM
What about running the camera? You can run that off the same battery too?

gdubb2
07-09-2010, 09:20 AM
Here again you will find as many ideas as there are builders. My method of choice is to have a separate battery supply for each basic function. This does add a lot of weight in the process though. On Bheka I use Nimh battery packs simply as a matter of economics. (I don't want to buy more batterys and replace my chargers.)

I have separate battery packs for the logic, camera, gun power, and servo power.

I know it's strange to pack around that much extra weight, but it's kind of a paranoia thing.

Gary

DresnerRobotics
07-09-2010, 09:26 AM
I used 2x 2000mAh packs on Giger, but I had well over an hour of active runtime. Far too much for competition purposes.

I'd suggest only using one 2100mAh pack personally, you only need 12 minutes of runtime for Mech Warfare. We keep this time limit in place because we know robots will be packing a payload for the actual weaponry and scoring system as well, so it keeps battery requirements down.

RobotAtlas
07-09-2010, 10:10 PM
Last weekend I was considering purchasing 4 (four) smaller LiPos like this one:
Thunder Power RC Pro Lite V2 910mAh 11.1V 3 Cell Li Poly 3s 910 Lithium Battery

and then placing them on each leg. But after about an hour of considering pros/cons I just went with purchasing earlier mentioned $49 11.1V 2200mAH $49 11.1V 2200mAH on this site.

And you know what was my main reason? To keep our platforms at least semi-standard.
That's why I also bought bioloid comprehensive.
And FitPC2, even though I also have a Noikia N900 (kind of equivalent of BeagleBoard and GumStix).

It also helps that I happen to agree that this configuration gives the most long-term bang for the money today.

elaughlin
07-18-2010, 08:51 PM
I feel like I haven't dont much of anything with my mech for a while. It is a disappointment to myself. But I did do a little work this weekend. I have a Trendnet camera coming in soon and I got in my black Rit dye. I went to work with that stuff right away. I followed Tyberius' tutorial on here, but used the powder dye instead of the liquid. It worked great. One box was plenty for dying the brackets. I left them in simmering dye/water mix for about 25 minutes. They came out a perfect black color, its maybe a little darker than the AX-12 servos. But looks so nice. I personally think the black looks amazing compared to the white, but it is good that they come in white, so you could dye them any color you would want. I dyed enough pieces to construct the legs for my Quad Mech, plus a few more for putting together a turret. I took some pictures and will share the product of the dying with everyone.

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elaughlin
07-31-2010, 12:02 AM
Its been about a week again since I have posted about my progress. After dying my brackets, I have received a few pieces that are really amazing. I now have a custom chassis and tibias. I really love the look. Although I will be creating my own chassis down the line to suit a pan servo to connect the torso of my mech. But, this is a really good start. I also put it all together as you can see in the pictures, I ran it through the NUKE program again, and got it up and running in no time. I will play around with the NUKE optimizing and such this week to get it going at a speed I like, also might try out the amble gait. But I have a short video of it running as well.

I know it looks incredibly stupid with the white brackets that stick out the back. I just needed a way to connect my power source since I dont have a battery yet. So I just used a few undyed brackets and connected the USB bioloid bus board to use the power brick. So yes, it does have a white tail hanging off its butt. It wont be there at the final product though.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i2vKKTthdQ

darkback2
07-31-2010, 01:02 AM
great to see this mech come off the screen and into the real world. Great work.

can't wait to see you in the arena!

elaughlin
08-01-2010, 08:31 PM
I have done a little bit more both design-wise and physically with my mech. I changed the gait off of the ripple to amble, which is a lot nicer for this type of quad, and boosted the speed up to 2x times. Inxfergy advised these changes. Tyberius let me onto some code to use to optimize the Quads movements as well. So I will be implementing that soon also. I will probably take some more pictures and a video this week or next weekend if I can't get to it until then.

I then designed on Inventor pretty much what I want the Mech to look like. It is just my thoughts though, and will have to see how the design vs. budget really holds up. It is going to be done in pretty much all plastic. I will probably be getting those cut by bigbluesaw.com in the near future. There are some brackets which I don't think you can see (that hold the plates of the torso together) from the outside view which will be done in aluminum but I already bought a sheet of that, and have a metal shop where I can cut them out and drill holes on my own. Overall, the design is pretty much done. I do have to figure out a few more areas like the guns, hit panels, some electronics. I would think some people may think my Mech is not going to end up like this, and I'm sure it won't be exactly. But I don't come from a robotics, electronics, or programming background. I am doing the stuff that I know how to do best - creating things and the aesthetics. I get a lot of help with the other parts and slowly learn from what I am told. So I hope I can make what I have designed. Here are a few pictures of the design close to being finished.

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jes1510
08-01-2010, 11:57 PM
I like the concept. It has kind of a Leonardo DaVinci / steampunk vibe going on.

lnxfergy
08-02-2010, 12:00 AM
One word of caution: plan your target plate mounts now! I'm not sure where you're planning to mount your 4 plates, but make sure you leave a space for them, and design the aesthetics around them so they don't look just plopped on there....

-Fergs

elaughlin
08-02-2010, 12:07 AM
I was either thinking about having them all placed low around the chassis between each of the legs. Or having the front/rear/right attached in a box style like "Warchild" and then the left connected to the gun mount on the left side.

elaughlin
08-14-2010, 09:00 PM
I have recently done a little bit more work. Made the aluminum brackets which I will need for my Mech. Got a sheet of aluminum, I believe 5052. Drilled all the mounting holes with a nice big drill press. Unfortunately, the band saw was broken at the machine shop, so I had to cut each bracket out with a rotary tool. Cleaned them all up, and then bent them to the specified angles. I think they came out pretty well. They are not professionally done by any means, but will do. I will probably spray them black also in the future, even though they will be inside the Mech's body, still don't want the cuts and scratches on the brackets to standout. I took a few shots of them. You can see them at the bottom.

I think I am also done with the design of the Mech. I think I will be getting the plastic parts laser cut maybe this week. Fingers crossed to hopefully having everything planned out how I want it.

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elaughlin
08-14-2010, 09:06 PM
I also had a question on the laser cutting of parts at bigbluesaw.com. I was thinking about using the Acetal Black Plastic 0.125" for the chassis plates and more of the load bearing plastics pieces. I wouldn't need to dye that plastic then since its already black. Then for the non-load bearing pieces like the walls and small pieces I was going to use the PETG Clear Plastic 0.0938" or 0.125". Would the clear plastic be dyable? I wanted to get that since some pieces I would like to make black, and some pieces of a different color. If you have any answers about that, or info about my choices of plastic, please let me know.

Thanks,
Erik

mannyr7
08-15-2010, 01:22 AM
You can't dye pet-g, as the heat required to dye it would curl it into a plastic ball. It does take paint very well though, and is scratch resistant if you paint the inside. Lexan paint for r/c car bodies has the added benefit of flexing with the material and not flaking off as standard paint would tend to do.

elaughlin
08-15-2010, 07:40 AM
Ahh. Thanks for letting me know. I might have to change my choice then. I would really like to have them dyed and not worry so much about paint. Thanks again for the quick response so I can choose appropriately.

elaughlin
08-15-2010, 07:44 AM
How about the Polypropylene White Plastic? Would that be dyable?? That one is also not too thick, and comes in white, so I would be able to choose other colors to dye, if it will take the dye and not shrink up or melt? Manny, if you know about that one, let me know.

elaughlin
08-21-2010, 10:34 AM
A little more progress this week. Been asking a lot of people a lot of questions. Talked to the guy at Big Blue Saw, have my pieces ready to get cut. I have also come up with a way to attach the target plates on the non-gun side. I think I should be able to have a physical creation within a few weeks. Not totally operational yet, but will get it assembled soon, I think and hope. I have a picture posted of what the final assembly should look like.

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I have been thinking of a checklist of things I still need to get done before it is totally complete. Please help me fill in any missing pieces if you believe there is. Or if you have any input on the pieces for which type, brand, etc. to buy, all is welcome advice.

-Buy Lipo battery and charger
-Buy SMPS2Dynamixel adapter
-Breakdown Trendnet camera
-Buy Target Panels
-Buy Hardware (screws and standoffs)
-Adjust walking gaits
-Program pan and tilt
-Buy PS3 controller
-Program control
-Buy Tank guns
-Design/Create gun brackets
-Design/Create Hoppers
-Program Firing

These are in no specific order by the way. It was just created as a train of thought, writing down what came to me. Please give me more advice/ideas/comments/suggestions. I am still new at this and plan on asking a lot of questions as time goes on.

Erik

elaughlin
08-21-2010, 03:57 PM
I had a question again about airsoft tank guns.

Well more of a comparison question. Which of these 2 would be the better buy for my mech?

http://matomart.com/prodview.php?p=767 I was just looking over my post and noticed neither of these links bring you to the products, my bad.
or
http://www.toyeast.com/v3/pdtdetail.asp?pdt_id=A02106813

I do want to get two guns and modify them for quicker shooting in the end. So, does the first one come with two guns, and need barrels constructed for them? And the second one is a barrel + gun mechanism combo, but only 1 per package?

Thanks for anyones help. Just trying to figure out what to buy before I throw money at it, and it doesn't work for what I need.

elaughlin
09-01-2010, 03:42 PM
My parts arrived!!! It only took one week, from the date the DXF file was sent to bigbluesaw.com on Tuesday night to the time it arrived on Tuesday afternoon by UPS. Simon Arthur, the guy at bigbluesaw that I was in contact with, was amazing at telling me everything for the whole process and about the materials. It has been a really great experience not even including how amazing the parts turned out. Everything has come out perfectly and fits like a glove so far. I started putting my Mech together and it is so awesome to have my idea that I could see on paper and in 3-D models on screen. But now it is really in 3-D in real life. Looks so much better. I have included a few pictures of all the pieces lined up after the masking tape was removed and a couple of assembly shots so far. Unfortunately I need to order even more screws in order to put the whole thing together. So that's why you either see only 2 screws put in when there are 6 holes that I designed for. Or else I just hold up a part sometimes for the position it should be in. But it is coming a long, I hope to get more done and take some more shots tonight of it.
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DresnerRobotics
09-01-2010, 03:53 PM
Dude. This is a seriously awesome mech.

Really cool to see you start off here at the TRC just asking questions and come this far in this short amount of time.

Can't wait to see this bot in action! You better be at Mech Warfare 2010!

darkback2
09-01-2010, 08:31 PM
Sweet work.

Its nice to see something on paper come to life like that.

DB

RobotAtlas
09-02-2010, 12:36 AM
This is impressive. Just great.

Quantum
09-02-2010, 01:09 AM
Cool Project

sthmck
09-02-2010, 10:05 AM
Hey your project looks great. I have a suggestion for you. I noticed you were using the screws that come with the bioloid and I think you may want to check out this post (http://www.showusyoursensors.com/2009/09/bioloid-build-tips-2.html) in ferg's blog. If you haven't already ordered the rest of the screws that you need you should consider getting some of the ones he links to in that blog. Speaking from personal experience they make it way easier to put bioloid stuff together.

DresnerRobotics
09-02-2010, 12:47 PM
Hey your project looks great. I have a suggestion for you. I noticed you were using the screws that come with the bioloid and I think you may want to check out this post (http://www.showusyoursensors.com/2009/09/bioloid-build-tips-2.html) in ferg's blog. If you haven't already ordered the rest of the screws that you need you should consider getting some of the ones he links to in that blog. Speaking from personal experience they make it way easier to put bioloid stuff together.

Also, socket heads look a lot better than pan head phillips :P

elaughlin
09-02-2010, 02:36 PM
Yeah, I do know this. I had already purchased a bunch. You might be able to see in the one picture I used one of the socket heads on a wall plate. So I have them, and am going to use them on the parts that show. I do need a metric hex key though, I have some small american standard size ones, but it just doesn't fit right, so I have to push really hard to get it in. I also got some black oxide ones that I am going to switch out the stainless ones on the leg pieces.

Tyberius, can I ask where you got the black hex standoffs from. The male-female and female-female ones. I need to order a bunch of those. And what size are they, or how do you write the sizing so I can search for them?

elaughlin
09-05-2010, 03:31 PM
I haven't done anything else for the mech yet. But here were some more pics I forgot to post of it assembled almost all the way.

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elaughlin
09-07-2010, 10:54 PM
Yeah!!! My screws came today, and of course I couldn't wait more than a second to start putting together my mech. Spent a few hours just sitting there, screwing everything together, working hard to fit into small places - and yet knowing I will have to take it apart and put it together still later on. But hey, I had to put it together, come on, you would do the same thing. So here are a bunch of pictures.

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1. Aluminum brackets attached. 2. Wall Holders in place. 3. Walls attached.

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4. Close up of back wall. 5. Torso attached to chassis. 6. High front left view.

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7. Front view. 8. Above view. 9. Target panel holder attached to right arm.

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10. Above view of target panels. 11. Front right view of target panels. 12. Black oxide socket heads.

And here are a few videos.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Huthwojys48

1. Mech walking with new chassis. Arbotix board will be tucked underneath mech.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SCx0YtgADY

2. Different views of finished assembly of torso, chassis, and legs. This is just a mock up, have yet to attach guns or target panels.

elaughlin
09-18-2010, 11:05 AM
I have now received the guns from Matotoys.com. They look really nice. I was a little confused as to why they arrive as white, instead of black, but I guess I can paint them and it will be fine. I also got the barrels with it so it would look more mech-ish. They do look awesome, however they are really long barrels. So if need be, I will resort to making my own out of aluminum, but if it works, I will keep these look plastic formed barrels. Here are some pictures.

2120 2121

2122 2123

I have a few questions about these as well.

1. The mechanisms didn't come with any leads, so what would be needed to connect them?

2. There looks to be some extra plastic, probably designed to fit into the r/c tanks, and if looks like just a solid piece, it wouldn't matter if I trimmed it off, correct? It would give a better fit on my mounting method if I could get rid of those pieces.

RavenW
09-18-2010, 01:46 PM
You just need to solder wires to the motor where that capacitor is (the capacitor is there to filter feedback noise). There should be holes in the metal tabs there to feed the wires through. As for the plastic, it looks like you could take off a few of those tabs but I would avoid getting to chop happy until someone comes in here with more information on these.

Xevel
09-19-2010, 04:00 PM
This looks great!

Just out of curiosity, do you have an idea of how heavy the complete bot will be in the end ?

elaughlin
09-19-2010, 04:37 PM
This looks great!

Just out of curiosity, do you have an idea of how heavy the complete bot will be in the end ?

Not yet I don't. The battery should be coming in early this week and the last of the components that I need as well. After I get everything in, I should be able to do a final assembly and tell you how much the total weight is.

elaughlin
09-23-2010, 05:39 PM
Mainly just an update of a post I had before of progress, but since the Mech Warfare Roll-Call thread, I have been thinking about what still needs to get done.

-Buy Lipo battery and charger
-Buy SMPS2Dynamixel adapter
-Breakdown Trendnet camera
-Buy Target Panels
-Buy Hardware (screws and standoffs)
-Adjust walking gaits
-Program pan and tilt
-Buy PS3 controller
-Program control
-Buy Tank guns
-Design/Create gun brackets
-Design/Create Hoppers
-Program Firing

The list was what I came up with before. It is still pretty much a valid list. The black are things that still need to get done. The red are the things that have already been completed. As you can tell, it is mostly programming that I have left to do, which is the hard part for me. But I will get through it. I am going to be at MW2011!

mannyr7
09-24-2010, 12:58 AM
Now you do know there is no way to control that Arbotix directly, using a PS3 controller? You'll need a USB host controller like this (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9628) or one of these (http://www.circuitsathome.com/products-page/arduino-shields) to interface with a USB Bluetooth dongle (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9434), which will send and receive signal from the PS3 controller. I imagine it wouldn't be terribly difficult to rewire a USB host shield to the Arbotix I/O pins and convert/integrate existing Arduino code (http://www.circuitsathome.com/mcu/programming/ps3-and-wiimote-game-controllers-on-the-arduino-host-shield-part-1) into your Arbotix sketch.

More relevant links:
http://code.rancidbacon.com/ProjectLogArduinoUSB
http://hackaday.com/2010/02/01/game-controllers-using-usb-host-shield/
http://www.circuitsathome.com/downloads
http://github.com/felis/USB_Host_Shield/blob/master/examples/PS3LCD.pde

mannyr7
09-24-2010, 01:13 AM
Wow, now that I think about it, it would be awesome if somebody made a usb host shield that fit in an X-Bee socket! Plug and play PS3 compatibility for the Arbotix. Another major selling point in my book. :veryhappy:

elaughlin
09-24-2010, 06:07 AM
Thanks. I don't think I was looking to control it directly with the PS3 controller. I thought I was just going to use it to move the controls on screen of the laptop. That in turn sends the commands back to the Arbotix through the Xbee setup. Does that make sense?

They do have a plug & play system for controlling pretty much already, you can use the Arbotix Commander to do that. Could use that for the control and bypass sending it through the computer, and only use the computer for the vision of the robot.

lnxfergy
09-24-2010, 09:20 AM
Wow, now that I think about it, it would be awesome if somebody made a usb host shield that fit in an X-Bee socket! Plug and play PS3 compatibility for the Arbotix. Another major selling point in my book. :veryhappy:

Yeah.... that's a seriously hard project. You'd need to get a hacked version of a bluetooth driver running on the ArbotiX to pull that off.


Thanks. I don't think I was looking to control it directly with the PS3 controller. I thought I was just going to use it to move the controls on screen of the laptop. That in turn sends the commands back to the Arbotix through the Xbee setup. Does that make sense?

They do have a plug & play system for controlling pretty much already, you can use the Arbotix Commander to do that. Could use that for the control and bypass sending it through the computer, and only use the computer for the vision of the robot.

For IssyDunnYet, I used full PC-based control. A USB joystick was accessed through the Python PyGame system, commands were then processed and sent out through an XBEE which was attached via an XBEE Explorer.

For Issy2, I used the ArbotiX Commander, so that I would have a second joystick for the turret. The downside here is: if you want to change parameters, you have to recompile code.

For 2011, IssyLite will be back to a PC-based control loop for 2 reasons: 1) I can change parameters such as max speed, max turning angle, etc on the fly within my control program and 2) I can use an XBEE pro on the transmit side (would seriously drain the Commander battery in about 10 minutes with that extra current draw, assuming the regulator didn't just go poof).

-Fergs

elaughlin
09-24-2010, 11:42 AM
For 2011, IssyLite will be back to a PC-based control loop for 2 reasons: 1) I can change parameters such as max speed, max turning angle, etc on the fly within my control program and 2) I can use an XBEE pro on the transmit side (would seriously drain the Commander battery in about 10 minutes with that extra current draw, assuming the regulator didn't just go poof).

-Fergs

Is it a better idea to get an Xbee Pro on the transmit side of the mech setup? I didn't know if it was worth the extra buck to get it, but if it would make for a smoother signal, I might think about it.

gdubb2
09-24-2010, 11:55 AM
It just gives you more power. With the Xbee, you get 0 dBm (1 mW) transmit power. With the Xbee Pro you can select 10,12,14,16, or 18 dBm (63 mW).

I ran mine at RG last year at 14 dBm and had no problems.

Gary

lnxfergy
09-24-2010, 12:29 PM
Is it a better idea to get an Xbee Pro on the transmit side of the mech setup? I didn't know if it was worth the extra buck to get it, but if it would make for a smoother signal, I might think about it.

I don't think you need it, I've had no issues in the past with my regular XBEE -- but this is sorta like an arms race: if somebody else has more transmit power, you might want to match them....

-Fergs

elaughlin
09-25-2010, 09:18 PM
Not much of an update, but I think I need to redo my gun holding brackets. I didn't account for the size of the standoffs that go between the plates. Trial and error, luckily it isn't that big of a problem. I should have waited until I purchased the shooting units anyways to take into account the ammo loader/motor/various other parts that stick out a bit father than the not so detailed CAD model of the gun I had. Also it turns out to be a good thing, so I can design the hopper as well.

I have a few more pictures as well of the gun barrels that I scaled down the mantlet. I just didn't want the big rectangles sticking out on the guns, so I cut it back to just the inner circular piece. I like the outcome. There are some pictures of the Mech Warfare target panels as well. I soldered them all together except for the wires because I don't know how long I need the wires yet, but will get done soon.

2130 2131

2132 2133

There is a little void between two sections on the mantlet which I want to fill up. Does anyone know if I could use something like hot glue to fill up the gap, and then sand it down? If that works, can hot glue be painted over also? That was my idea because I weld and just fill in gaps no problem, so I kind of think the same way, but if anyone has some better ideas, I'd like to hear them. The gap is only about 0.5 cm wide and maybe 2 cm long.

gdubb2
09-25-2010, 09:45 PM
I agree with Fergs on the Xbee power thing. I use the pro because I had it. I bought Pro's originally, then had to get a standard one for the bot due to battery drain. I was hoping that by my using the pro it didn't cause problems for others, and it didn't appear to.

Gary

HyperMouse
09-28-2010, 11:37 AM
I'm not quite sure which gaps you mean, but would Bondo be better for filling them? I'm not sure how well sanding hot glue would work... Bondo's an autobody filler, sandable and paintable and suchlike...

elaughlin
09-28-2010, 12:41 PM
How is the weight of bondo though? Not that I kow how heavy hot glue is either... But I would think bondo would be more heavy duty sine it is used on auto repairs and patch work, and therefore heavier in weight. It is a consideration though. Thanks for the idea. I will be looking into bondo then as well.

HyperMouse
09-29-2010, 12:49 AM
Good question about the weight. I think it's actually fiberglass based, although I'm no expert on it. A quick search did pop up

http://solutions.3mcanada.ca/wps/portal/3M/en_CA/Bondo/Home/Applications/Metal/

which is supposed to be a lightweight version or something along those lines... The wikipedia page on it has a mix down at the bottom for 'a fine, lightweight body filler' but I'm not sure what they're talking about there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondo_(putty)

RavenW
10-02-2010, 03:00 PM
You could also try epoxy. Some mixes are specifically designed to be sanded and painted. Hot glue will not sand and will not take paint very well.

mannyr7
10-02-2010, 06:09 PM
Try Squadron Green Putty (http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=SQ9050). It's found in most hobby shops and is for use filling imperfections and gaps in plastic models. It's sandable, easily workable while hardening, and you can even sculpt with it. Easy clean-up, no catalysts to mix, no toxic vapors.

elaughlin
10-02-2010, 06:36 PM
Ahh that sounds great actually. I think I have seen it before as well. Thanks a lot Manny.

elaughlin
10-06-2010, 07:03 PM
I have found some pictures, but none close enough for me to make a move.

I am looking for a picture of one of the tank guns wired up. My guns came with no wiring, and I am looking for a picture of someones tank gun wired up, and which side is positive and negative.

I have had my guns for about 2-3 weeks now, and it feels real strange that I have not even tested them out.

If you have any pictures of a wired tank gun that is close enough to see where the connection needs to go, it would really help me out. Thanks in advance.

DresnerRobotics
10-06-2010, 07:15 PM
There should be two solder-tabs coming off the motor, check the plastic casing to see if either is marked with a + or a -.

elaughlin
10-06-2010, 08:07 PM
On my motors, I see two solder tabs I believe, where a small orange capacitor is connected at both ends, which also continues on one side to be soldered onto the motor itself as well.

Here is a crude picture of what I am talking about.

2143

elaughlin
10-06-2010, 08:09 PM
Oh I forgot to say in response to you Tybs that there are no markings of + or - that I can see on it.

Quantum
10-06-2010, 08:29 PM
The side that is soldered to the can of the motor is your ground.

Looking at your picture the top tab is + side.

elaughlin
10-08-2010, 07:04 PM
The side that is soldered to the can of the motor is your ground.

Looking at your picture the top tab is + side.


Thanks Quantum. I am going to try and test it this weekend then.

elaughlin
10-08-2010, 07:55 PM
So I tried out the + / - like you suggested Quantum. I thought it was working perfectly. I had a 9V battery just connected with some wires. Touched them to the gun, and heard the whirrrr noise starting, so thought I was doing it the right way. Then touched it again, whirrrr kept going then a clanking noise, something terrible. So I switched the leads around, only heard the whirrr then a pop. So, oddly enough I guess the - is on the top, and the + is on the bottom.

Also, had trouble firing the BB out of the barrel. It would make the pop with the BB in there and just stop, then trickle out sometimes. So I ended up pulling the gun apart and a little rubber sleeve fell out, I put that back in, and now it fires fine...??? Weird, I read that rubber sleeve hold the BB in place so the air doesn't escape around the sides.

Maybe I made it loose with my mess up with the wires, but I know have firing tank guns. Of course I had to try it out a little, I shot it down my hall way which is about 30+ feet at our metal door. I hit that, and the BB came back about a quarter of the way on the fly, and rolled back to my feet. These things really pack a punch.

Scared the cat also, DIDN'T shoot her, but she stood next to me for one of the firings, and she jumped pretty high! Overall, I had some fun with this thing tonight.

elaughlin
10-19-2010, 06:29 PM
After using the CAD design of the tank gun and barrels I made, I think I have finished up designing everything for the guns and mounting. Here is a picture.

2156

The servo actually mounts to the gun on the right side, and the gun on the left rotates over and behind the servo. (The gun on the right of the picture is the outside gun when connected to the mech.)

I did the hoppers too, but does anyone have ideas for the size they need to be? Like how many BB's a hopper should be able to hold for a single competition?

The measurements of the inside of the hopper are 2.5cm x 4.5 cm x 4.2 cm. That is without the false slanting floor which will be added to direct the BB's. That came out to be 48 cm3. Then I thought since they are 6mm BB's that would be about 0.6 x 0.6 x 0.6 in size. Making them about 0.216 cm3. And about a little more than 200 BB's would be able to fit. Again, that is without the false floor still, but also not taking into account the circular form of the BB, which can fit more compactly together. So I just cancel those 2 exceptions out in my head and the final number would be about 200 BB's per hopper.

Is 200 BB's per hopper too small? Overkill?

gdubb2
10-19-2010, 06:38 PM
When I had tank guns on Bheka, I carried about 60 BB's per gun.. NOT enough...200 per gun won't be out of the realm.. Currently with a single Defender, I carry about 450-500 BB's and have run out during a fight. It's not so much that one really needs to shoot that much, but when in the heat of battle it's really easy to try for overkill in a big way.

Looking good..

Gary

DresnerRobotics
10-19-2010, 07:09 PM
When I had tank guns on Bheka, I carried about 60 BB's per gun.. NOT enough...200 per gun won't be out of the realm.. Currently with a single Defender, I carry about 450-500 BB's and have run out during a fight. It's not so much that one really needs to shoot that much, but when in the heat of battle it's really easy to try for overkill in a big way.

Looking good..

Gary

You also have the tendency to RAM people when you run out of ammo. -_-

gdubb2
10-19-2010, 07:32 PM
Ignore him.. he's just upset 'cause I tipped poor defenseless Giger over...Bwaaahaahaaaa

Would kicked him in the cojones but couldn't reach em..

jRaskell
10-20-2010, 12:14 PM
Ignore him.. he's just upset 'cause I tipped poor defenseless Giger over...Bwaaahaahaaaa

Would kicked him in the cojones but couldn't reach em..


Giger has cojones as well? Good grief!

mannyr7
10-20-2010, 05:11 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qosdIw9yYMM
:veryhappy::veryhappy::veryhappy:

gdubb2
10-20-2010, 06:26 PM
:veryhappy:..Oh -- ya gotta love that one...:veryhappy:

Stobs
10-20-2010, 08:25 PM
@elaughlin: If you're looking to size a hopper for a given amount of bb's you could count out the bb's and put them in measuring cup. I'm not sure when they started being made like this but, the one's recently produced usually have both Imperial and Metric graduations. If I was going to do one, for say 500 bb's? I'd count out 100 a day (WAY too tedious for me to do in one sitting!), then put them in the afore mentioned cup and round the volume up a little. If you wanted to be a bit more conservative in sizing the hopper you could rap the side of the cup a few times (for me, I'd consider placing my old cell phone next to it and set it to vibrate ...no, that's right, DON'T go there...), which would help settle the bb's a bit more compactly.

Stobs/Paul

gdubb2
10-20-2010, 08:55 PM
Or.. use weight.. The BB's are a given weight.. I use .20g BB's and just weighed them.

Stobs
10-21-2010, 06:09 PM
How would weighing the bb's translate to figuring the volume of a hopper? :confused:

Stobs/Paul

[PS: Nevermind; I realize now that you meant to weigh them out to a particular weight, thereby determining the count.]

elaughlin
10-23-2010, 10:52 PM
I think I have now, totally finished creating every piece for my mech in Inventor. I figured out the Mini Robocontroller position needed for the targeting boards and how everything is going to be connected. I am going to wait a little while see if anything might need changes in the near future, but will probably get the extra final pieces cut soon after that. But here is a little picture with color, how it all should look.

2166

SteamAutomaton
10-24-2010, 06:43 AM
But here is a little picture with color, how it all should look.

2166
Quick question: Would having both guns on one side cause aiming issues with the kickback and extra vibration for the turret servo?

Yours,
SA:)

elaughlin
10-24-2010, 07:11 AM
Possibly, I dont know. But I had thought since people usually have the whole camera/guns/electronics all mounted on one tilt servo, that just have 2 guns wouldn't be a problem for one of the tilt servos.

My camera is connected to its own tilt servo which will just read the same position as the gun tilt servo.

gdubb2
10-24-2010, 10:38 AM
I really like the look of the guns that way.. adds a certain mean efficiency to it..

Gary

Stobs
10-24-2010, 01:41 PM
Man, that's a great looking mech elaughlin, very cool! I like how you have the camera tucked away into the housing like that, but doesn't that require the quad itself to move in order to perform panning? And did you hack down the Trendnet or go with a different camera setup? Keep up the good work!

Stobs/Paul

elaughlin
10-24-2010, 05:37 PM
Man, that's a great looking mech elaughlin, very cool! I like how you have the camera tucked away into the housing like that, but doesn't that require the quad itself to move in order to perform panning? And did you hack down the Trendnet or go with a different camera setup? Keep up the good work!

Stobs/Paul

Thanks a lot.

The mech does not need to turn in order to pan actually. The pan servo is set into the chassis, but the horn is connected to the floor of the torso. So that whole upper octanganal shaped body spins and the guns and camera tilt.

I am still in the process of deciding between the trendnet and another option. The trendnet camera lens is connected to a large board. So that won't work for my set up, unless anyone know how to disconnect it from the board and use some sort of cables to connect it back to the board.

Otherwise, I am looking into using a small camera lens that can connect to a wifi video encoder.

Stobs
10-24-2010, 08:49 PM
Thanks for the reply elaughlin, much appreciated.

I'm considering the MS LifeCam (http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/digitalcommunication/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=008&active_tab=systemRequirements) that lnxfergy referrenced, and will very likely get one soon just to see how far down I can hack it. I'm sure I can get the height down since my implementation will provide for the pan and tilt (obviously manual positioning for the product), although I'm not so sure I'd get the cylindrical housing reduced much or even alter the front face significantly at all. I'd have to examine it and the accompanying documentation, but the autofocus feature may well take into account the frontal texture, which would preclude messing much with the facing profile.

Even if I don't touch the housing itself, it's a much more compact unit than the Trendnet but, if I have to start learning ROS, which would necessitate my starting the learning curve on Ubuntu as well, that would put it out of the realm of feasibility for RG'11.

Stobs/Paul

SteamAutomaton
10-24-2010, 08:59 PM
Possibly, I dont know. But I had thought since people usually have the whole camera/guns/electronics all mounted on one tilt servo, that just have 2 guns wouldn't be a problem for one of the tilt servos.

My camera is connected to its own tilt servo which will just read the same position as the gun tilt servo.
Sorry, I meant the pan servo. I am assuming the offset of the gun's kickback jars the pan servo's gears on all side-by-side gun setups.

Yours,
SA:)

lnxfergy
10-24-2010, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the reply elaughlin, much appreciated.

I'm considering the MS LifeCam (http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/digitalcommunication/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=008&active_tab=systemRequirements) that lnxfergy referrenced, and will very likely get one soon just to see how far down I can hack it. I'm sure I can get the height down since my implementation will provide for the pan and tilt (obviously manual positioning for the product), although I'm not so sure I'd get the cylindrical housing reduced much or even alter the front face significantly at all. I'd have to examine it and the accompanying documentation, but the autofocus feature may well take into account the frontal texture, which would preclude messing much with the facing profile.

Even if I don't touch the housing itself, it's a much more compact unit than the Trendnet but, if I have to start learning ROS, which would necessitate my starting the learning curve on Ubuntu as well, that would put it out of the realm of feasibility for RG'11.

Stobs/Paul

What is your plan? The lifecam is completely different from the Trendnet -- one is a webcam, the other is an internet camera -- i.e. one needs a computer attached, the other just needs an available wireless network to piggy back onto.

-Fergs

Stobs
10-24-2010, 09:18 PM
What is your plan? The lifecam is completely different from the Trendnet -- one is a webcam, the other is an internet camera -- i.e. one needs a computer attached, the other just needs an available wireless network to piggy back onto.

-Fergs

It all depends on what I can get done as RG'11 approaches, but off the cuff here's what I'm planning so far:

1) Basic turret fixed to a base for testing with servos driving pan and tilt of one or two guns (was planning on one, but pricing isn't that much for an additional gun and once I've got the assembly worked out for mounting the one then mirroring that for 2nd mounting shouldn't be all that time consuming), along with a hopper(s) as well as the space to mount a Trendnet. If I do go with the Trendnet for this year it will be fixed to the same mounting as the gun(s), so there'll be only one pan/tilt mechanism.

2) Basic carrier to allow for battery position and an Arbotix/XBee setup. Unlikely for this year but I want to allow for using the controller as a spine (might switch to Parallax for that) and going with a brain - i.e., netbook or Fit2PC.

3) Chassis to allow for attachment of the carrier and hardpoints for either legs or cats.

4) 4DoF legs or cats.

That's a pretty rough overview of it but, maybe I should also mention, that I'm considering implementing robotic vision for RG'12 or such, so that's primarily why I'm considering an alternative to the Trendnet.

Stobs/Paul

elaughlin
10-24-2010, 09:20 PM
What is your plan? The lifecam is completely different from the Trendnet -- one is a webcam, the other is an internet camera -- i.e. one needs a computer attached, the other just needs an available wireless network to piggy back onto.

-Fergs

Yeah, if I could use a USB Cam it would be pretty easy to find a small USB came to just hook up, but I need an internet cam since I don't have an onboard computer to hook it up to. I am not using ROS, just the Arbotix, and was going to send the video via internet.

Stobs
10-24-2010, 09:23 PM
Whoops! :o Sorry elaughlin for surreptitiously hijacking the thread like that, mistakenly thought Fergs was pointing that at me - well, it is ALL ABOUT ME, isn't it?! :} :} :}

Regards,
Stops/Paul

lnxfergy
10-24-2010, 10:04 PM
Whoops! :o Sorry elaughlin for surreptitiously hijacking the thread like that, mistakenly thought Fergs was pointing that at me - well, it is ALL ABOUT ME, isn't it?! :} :} :}

Regards,
Stops/Paul

No, I was assisting in the hijacking and referring to your comments about the lifecam: because you can't settle on a webcam and then dump the FitPC -- you'll have no video feedback. Honestly, get it walking before bothering with anything else -- if it doesn't walk, it won't matter what else you have working. (further discussion should be moved to a separate thread).

Erik, you can ignore my comments --- they totally don't apply to you (as you already have the trendnet and are showing excellent progress towards RG'11 readiness -- in fact, you're more ready than I am at this point).

-Fergs

elaughlin
10-24-2010, 10:56 PM
Oh I was actually responding to stobs as well. Just using your message as the quote, kind of agreeing and adding to what you said.

elaughlin
11-01-2010, 02:44 PM
After putting the robot together this weekend, and seeing if I could get it running under battery power, I have noticed it seems a little heavy with the battery and other pieces on. So I will be redoing the chassis pieces and probably bring in the width and length of the bot maybe 1.5cm on each side. I think there is enough clearence for that between the torso compartment and the leg sections.

I also noticed I need some more work done on the chassis for assembly as well. Like on the Trossen quad that will be coming out soon (which I saw on tyb's post of the soon to be kit), I need a place for the on/off switch, 6 port wire port thingi, better battery holding velcro section, and some other small things.

So those are some changes I am going to be working on this week/weekend while I also get a voltmeter and check what is up with my battery power.

elaughlin
12-02-2010, 06:35 PM
So some small updates on Draco_08.

~Updated the design for the chassis. Its about 1 cm smaller in from each side. Also put in custom holes and cuts to have the chassis more functional and form fitting to different pieces. It should be ready for the final cut once I figure out a few more holes.

~Painted the guns, barrels, and target plates black.

~Ordered an Arbotix Commander to practice the control.

~Got another battery to have 2 for competition purposes.

Maybe more, but thats all I can think of right now. Have some pictures of the painted pieces.

2232
Painted gun and barrel

2233 2234
This is the one of the back wall panels I got cut. The openings were larger than BB size so I decided to put some black wire mesh behind it to give a little bit of protection to the electronics that will be inside the torso.

elaughlin
12-14-2010, 09:09 PM
Posting some small updates.

Thanks to the help of the usual awesome guys on the forum (Tybs, Fergs, DB) I got my scoring system up and running. Not only that, but I can now use battery power!!! That was very exciting to me, since I had problems with that for a while.
I purchased the Lipo Audio/Visual Battery Monitor from Trossen a little while ago, and I got that running via the Robotis cables connected strait to the daisy chain on the rest of the AX-12's.
Did the same with the Mini Robocontroller, hooking it up to the daisy chain in order to get power.

I feel like I got a little momentum. Still need to finalize a bunch of things, but its going well. Really love working on robots. So glad I found this site.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped me out so far.

elaughlin
01-17-2011, 10:49 PM
I already posted this in my Shaping Plastic (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=4607) question, but just for the progress of the mech on this thread, here are some pictures of what I did to make the window for my mech.

2348 2349

2350 2351 2352

elaughlin
01-22-2011, 07:48 PM
I have gotten around to finding an adapter at Radioshack to test out the camera board that I bought recently. It is from Supercircuits.com, the PC823XP (http://www.supercircuits.com/Security-Cameras/Board-Cameras/PC823XP) . It is quite small and looks like it will produce some nice images. It is going to be seating directly behind the window that I created in the post above. Here is a short video of how it looks, although it is taken from my small camera looking at the computer screen. So the quality might not look great, but is a lot better in person. Looked extremely nice attached to my TV.


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

DresnerRobotics
01-22-2011, 07:59 PM
The picture quality on that looks pretty solid. Wide angle pinhole lens is pretty much perfect for Mech Warfare, nice find! This will go well with the super secret Wifi encoder you discovered :P

elaughlin
01-22-2011, 08:10 PM
I sure hope it does! I was acting real dorky, and putting it down at "Mech Warfare height" for a while, and imagining what I would be seeing during competition.

But now everyone knows what I look like! I was going to keep that a surprise until competition day!

rebel
01-28-2011, 08:20 AM
super secret Wifi encoder, wait whats that :p

elaughlin
01-28-2011, 11:47 PM
I got my new plastic cut pieces in and the few last parts needed from Trossen at the same time today. It was like Christmas! So I started peeling off the masking tape (took forever) but well worth it. Than I also started putting things together. I had made my own little assembly guide, so constructing it has gone pretty well. Didn't have to take sections apart and put them back on. I would advise builders to plan out the assembly ahead of time like this to avoid having to to disassemble and re-assemble multiple times. Either way, I have a bunch of pictures to try and document the process of the construction.

2362 2363 2364

2365 2366 2367

2368 2369 2370

2371

I have discovered 2 small flaws already though. I forgot to add 2 mounting holes for the arbotix holder in the laser cutting designs. And I need to carve out a little of one piece to allow for the velcro strips to pass neatly through. Well let me know what you think about how its going so far. Ill continue more on it tomorrow, and post progress again.

k3nt
01-29-2011, 03:09 AM
that looks awesome! Very clean well laid out design.

Xevel
01-29-2011, 06:35 AM
This here looks very good.
I can't wait to see it moving :)

I wonder how the body reacts to torsion... does it deform when you try to twist it ? Or are the little hardeners enough to prevent such an effect ?

elaughlin
01-29-2011, 08:27 AM
What part are you talking about specifically Xevel? It is made out of ABS plastic so it is very strong. And there are a lot of connection points between the top and bottom chassis that it does not move at all. The arbotix case is only held on by plastic standoff, but that won't have any load on it really.

Xevel
01-29-2011, 03:01 PM
I was primarily thinking about the two body plates, but I had not realized it was all ABS (I skipped quite some part of the thread, sorry if it had already been said :s).
My question was based on some bad experience I had with softer plastics I used for a prototype of my Xachikoma's body, a few weeks back. The body would deform a little bit sometimes. I guess my concerns does not apply to your case ^^

elaughlin
01-29-2011, 07:03 PM
Not a problem. Yeah, the ABS is quite strong, and the other parts in the earlier thread are made from Acetal. All hold very well. If you have any other questions, feel free. I have more pictures and updates coming later tonight.

Quantum
01-29-2011, 09:27 PM
Awesome work dude.

elaughlin
01-29-2011, 09:56 PM
Here is some of the progress today. The gun holders didnt work out perfectly, but 3 out of the 5 holes that I planned for using, but the 3 holes hold the guns perfectly still. I was happy it still worked out. Other than that, it was a pretty smooth day of assembling the robot. Also fixed the few minor problems from yesterday, so now all 4 sides that protect the arbotix are in securely, and the velcro strap is not hitting the one plate. Here are some pictures.

2382 2383 2384

2385 2386 2388

2389

lnxfergy
01-29-2011, 10:06 PM
That is an awesome hopper design. One word of advice: you might want to have a spare of those hopper sides -- I've seen close-up BB shots break the little wire-holding tabs on AX-12 brackets, so a close up shot might damage one of those thin grates.

-Fergs

elaughlin
01-29-2011, 10:13 PM
Thanks, have doubles, and even triples of those actually. So I will be sure to bring them. Also have spares of every part almost, and definitely have doubles of all the pieces that have openings that might be breakable.

I still need to build the inside false floor though to lead the BBs into the chamber. I was going to attach that to the hopper walls, so now I have to figure how to build them inside there and not rely on the walls for attaching. maybe glue it straight to the gun...?

mannyr7
01-29-2011, 10:39 PM
Absolutely beautiful build! Can't wait to see it in action. How is that camera setup working out? Are you willing to share details on getting that setup and running, or is it strictly a plug and play affair?

elaughlin
01-29-2011, 10:53 PM
The camera so far looks nice just plugged in. Haven't done anything with the wifi encoder board yet. I am going to be getting help with that. But I will let you know about it when I am up on it.

Thank you for the kind words. I also can't wait to see it move around. I can't wait to join you guys at Mech Warfare actually.

elaughlin
01-30-2011, 09:39 PM
I just have a little bit of an update today. Spent most of my time on the turret today. But I put together the Target Panel box. I think it will work out. Due to the ribbons that connect to each sensor, the plates to stay snuggly in the position I wanted. So I am going to add some velcro to the back plate of the target to the green Mech Warfare circuit board. Then the board it still connected with the mounting holes to the black plastic plates in the pictures.

2401 2402

2403 2404

Upgrayd
01-31-2011, 09:41 AM
Great looking build you have going on here.

What service did you use to cut the parts? Also about how many bb's can your gun hoppers hold?

elaughlin
02-01-2011, 05:59 AM
Big blue saw does my cutting. They do a great job.

I don't know how many BB's it holds yet, but Ill put them in today and see.

Thanks Upgrayd.

elaughlin
02-04-2011, 09:25 PM
Not too related to my mech progress, but it is the reason why I bought it at least. This is my new workbench where I can now have my own area for my robot. Now I don't have to put away all of my tools after working for a few hours to make way for someone else. So I believe its postable.

2409

You may see the pegboard down behind the workbench. Because of the snow storms here recently, when the box was delivered, it got wet and some holes were made, and therefore some mounting brackets and screws for the pegboard were lost.

mannyr7
02-04-2011, 10:27 PM
I agree completely. Having your own dedicated workspace makes all the difference!

k3nt
02-05-2011, 02:01 AM
A nice space indeed! I'm putting together a workbench this weekend for my garage, hoping my carpenter skills will surface...

elaughlin
02-05-2011, 08:42 PM
So I did more work today. Seems like I got a lot done.

-Got the wifi encoder up and running and transmitting.
-Finished putting everything inside the torso and wired up.
-Finished building the torso.

-Now I need to connect the torso to the chassis.
-Finish the target box and connect it to the torso.
-Finish the gun setup and connect it to the torso.

That would be it for the build process. And then work on walking, shooting, etc inside the programming.

Here are some pictures from todays progress.

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2414 2415 2416

2417 2418 2419

Upgrayd - Each hopper holds about 150+ BBs, might need a new solution to increase that.

And Xevel - you asked awhile about the weight. I dont have the final weight yet, but the Torso is 640 grams and the Chassis and legs are 1560 grams. These weights include everything placed inside, electronics, batteries, hardware, etc.

Xevel
02-06-2011, 05:29 AM
Awesome work!

And thanks for the weight info ;)

rebel
02-06-2011, 10:09 AM
Looking good :)

elaughlin
02-09-2011, 06:29 PM
I ran into a little problem after talking to a bunch of mech warfare veterans. My hoppers may not be carrying enough ammo. So I re-did the design, and will be getting them cut soon.

I did however figure out the mounting brackets needed to attach the gun setup to the tilt servo on the "arm" of the mech. So I was pretty happy about that. I attached it to my only extra "servo" which was just the AX-S1 to mock it up for now. Also finished putting together the target panel box on the other "arm", and just attached with one screw for pictures (thats why its sagging a little). I used the hex stand-offs to hold the MW Target boards to the mounting plates, but ordered some 4-40 nuts that will replace those next week probably. Took a few pictures.

2437 2438 2439

2441 2440

Also worked on getting the Nuke and walking ability working. And it does. Also in this video is showing that it works on battery power, and can be switched quickly to a wall supply by plugging into the SMPS2Dynamixel. It is just the first of the getting walk videos. Ill post more when I work on it, and add more parts to the mech.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m2AUlVRBrM

elaughlin
02-14-2011, 04:42 PM
The other day, Fergs was helping me out with my code for getting the walking gait smooth. I had noticed that when I increased the speed of Draco and changed the gait to amble, the mech would just "walk in place" when I was not using him. So talking to Fergs, he helped deduce that it was probably because of the Joystick on the commander that I was using. Since it wasn't perfectly zero when not in use, that the code was seeing it as being pushed forward just a tiny bit, and the increased speed wanted the robot to move forward, even if just a little, and therefore looked like he was walking in place.

So Fergs told me I should put a "wrapper" around the code for the Xspeed and Yspeed part of the code. I am still very beginner in the coding part of robotics, so he helped spell it out for me step by step. So now my robot will stay put and not walk in place when the joystick isn't being touched. It happened because of the "wrapper", which is like a cushion for above and below the zero, which the robot will not move when the joystick is only moved a tiny amount. Fergs suggested a +5-5 wrapper. Ill post the before and after codes for anyone who wants to check out what he helped me do.

Here is the before...

if(command.ReadMsgs() > 0){
digitalWrite(0,HIGH-digitalRead(0));
Xspeed = (2*(command.walkV));
if((command.buttons&BUT_LT) > 0)
Yspeed =(2* (command.walkH));
else
Rspeed = -(command.walkH)/250.0;

Here is the after...

if(command.ReadMsgs() > 0){
digitalWrite(0,HIGH-digitalRead(0));
if((command.walkV) > 5 || (command.walkV < -5) ){
Xspeed = (2*(command.walkV));
}else{
Xspeed = 0;
}
if((command.buttons&BUT_LT) > 0){
if((command.walkH) > 5 || (command.walkH < -5) ){
Yspeed = (2*(command.walkH));
}else{
Yspeed = 0;
}
}else{
Rspeed = -(command.walkH)/250.0;
Yspeed = 0;
}

cire
02-14-2011, 06:24 PM
The other day, Fergs was helping me out with my code for getting the walking gait smooth. I had noticed that when I increased the speed of Draco and changed the gait to amble, the mech would just "walk in place" when I was not using him. So talking to Fergs, he helped deduce that it was probably because of the Joystick on the commander that I was using. Since it wasn't perfectly zero when not in use, that the code was seeing it as being pushed forward just a tiny bit, and the increased speed wanted the robot to move forward, even if just a little, and therefore looked like he was walking in place.

So Fergs told me I should put a "wrapper" around the code for the Xspeed and Yspeed part of the code. I am still very beginner in the coding part of robotics, so he helped spell it out for me step by step. So now my robot will stay put and not walk in place when the joystick isn't being touched. It happened because of the "wrapper", which is like a cushion for above and below the zero, which the robot will not move when the joystick is only moved a tiny amount. Fergs suggested a +5-5 wrapper. Ill post the before and after codes for anyone who wants to check out what he helped me do.

Here is the before...

if(command.ReadMsgs() > 0){
digitalWrite(0,HIGH-digitalRead(0));
Xspeed = (2*(command.walkV));
if((command.buttons&BUT_LT) > 0)
Yspeed =(2* (command.walkH));
else
Rspeed = -(command.walkH)/250.0;Here is the after...

if(command.ReadMsgs() > 0){
digitalWrite(0,HIGH-digitalRead(0));
if((command.walkV) > 5 || (command.walkV < -5) ){
Xspeed = (2*(command.walkV));
}else{
Xspeed = 0;
}
if((command.buttons&BUT_LT) > 0){
if((command.walkH) > 5 || (command.walkH < -5) ){
Yspeed = (2*(command.walkH));
}else{
Yspeed = 0;
}
}else{
Rspeed = -(command.walkH)/250.0;
Yspeed = 0;
}

I had the same issue, same fix as well!

elaughlin
02-14-2011, 07:54 PM
Verified proof that it works! Thanks Cire

elaughlin
02-16-2011, 03:34 PM
Update...

Andrew/Fergs to the rescue again. I was helped in setting up my torso pan and the camera/guns tilt. It still needs some tweaking for the speeds and such. But it is another step for my robot, which I have never done before. Here is a short video of it running.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lCw948djWQ

jes1510
02-16-2011, 06:24 PM
I love the mechanical design. The blue LED's look awesome!

elaughlin
02-16-2011, 07:21 PM
Thanks Jes. The blue inside was just by chance. That is the Lipo Battery Monitor. Its really bright for visual warning of battery voltage levels. But I do like how it ended up as well. Comes through the spokes and panels nicely.

kamondelious
02-16-2011, 08:15 PM
Great job, that looks fantastic.

tician
02-20-2011, 12:18 AM
How I wish I could make myself get off my butt and build something containing even a fraction of so awesome.

I know it's just splitting hairs, but I've always heard the "wrapper" called "margin of error". Everything is built on tolerances which lead to variability/error which must be accommodated.

lnxfergy
02-20-2011, 02:17 AM
How I wish I could make myself get off my butt and build something containing even a fraction of so awesome.

I know it's just splitting hairs, but I've always heard the "wrapper" called "margin of error". Everything is built on tolerances which lead to variability/error which must be accommodated.

Sure, we're dealing with the "margin of error" -- but the reason I was referring to it as a wrapper for Elaughlin was that he was literally "wrapping" each statement in an if/then block...

-Fergs

elaughlin
03-03-2011, 09:40 PM
Update

My new hoppers came in. I wasn't happy with what people said about the 150 per gun not being all that much, so I upped the size to almost double the volume with a false floor included. Had to check the holding capacity then of the new hoppers, and it was up to 280 BBs and possibly more, I may have recounted a bunch when I got distracted.

Now, I am happy with the size. The hoppers are ready to be mounted, then the guns will be mounted on the mech. And it will be all set. (almost...)

elaughlin
03-06-2011, 11:10 PM
Hey all,

Been working on getting the last of everything attached to my mech. Ran into a few problems with the new hoppers and the guns. But a lot of back and forth to the dremel tool, I was able to get everything to fit snuggly.

So got the gun brackets all ready, the hoppers ready with the false floors so the BBs run directly to the loading hole. Got the last target panel bolted onto the gun bracket.

Now once I get the guns running, probably later this week. I will be able to put the last few screws and nuts in and it will be assembly complete. Then just have to work on some more programming to get the pan and tilt the speeds I want, and a couple of pose sequences.

Otherwise, its looking fairly close to the end for this guy. Want to have him all done and practicing before I got out to West Virginia for the East Coast Mech Warfare. Also need to get him fitted into his pelican case. Also need to finish up the Turret, but thats for my other thread.

I am really looking forward to having this baby moving and shooting soon. Then really looking forward to meeting a bunch of you down in WV and then onto ROBOGAMES!!!

Heres a picture of the progress. The guns look low because I don't really have anything bolted on at this point (torso or arm). And you can notice, I can take off the wall panels, I like having the ability for that, can just get into a small section inside the bot if need be.

2507

elaughlin
03-12-2011, 11:52 PM
Just wanted to put a quick post in here. I started a new blog to also keep track of my projects and my designs which I want to do more of in the future. Give it a look see if you want. The site will be at the bottom of my posts in my signature.

elaughlin
03-27-2011, 08:41 PM
ShepRobo Fest was awesome. Everyone should have come. I think everyone had a good time. Lots of events going on and a really nice arena for Mech Warfare event. This was a great chance for me to test out Draco. I really learned a lot and not having to do that learning at Robogames was great.

I found out that tank guns really suck a55. One of my guns on Draco would not even spin the motor when I got down there, the other wouldnt fire out of the barrel until my last match. So instead of disassembling Draco's gun mount nicely, I just chopped it off with the dremel and am planning a quick reworking to fit a defender on.

Upon getting down there, I also needed to fix up my gaits which really helped, but I still need to do it some more. Draco is a heavy bot, and the rear femur servos were going into thermal meltdown at about the 10 minute mark in the match. I'm gonna have to work on that, to be able to make a full match without TKO'ing myself out.

The whole weekend was pretty cool, I'll write more for everyone to know what went on, and post a bunch of pics and video from the events.

elaughlin
04-06-2011, 08:29 PM
Got in my new defender gun, chopped it up and put together a quick "new" assembly of how it will look. Hopefully, it will be on like the design shows by tomorrow, but that might be pushing it.

2566

elaughlin
04-11-2011, 05:42 AM
The Cad design I made worked. Draco looks exactly like it. She is all packed up now and ready to go. Waiting for Robogames, so ready!

See everyone there!

Zenta
04-12-2011, 02:20 AM
Awesome work on the quad!
The design of the rotating turret is just brilliant.

elaughlin
04-12-2011, 06:09 AM
Wow. Thanks a lot Zenta. Means a lot coming from you. Have always been watching your pieces or art come alive.