PDA

View Full Version : [Contest Entry] MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod



Zenta
11-19-2010, 07:00 AM
This is a project I've been thinking on for a very long time. Shortly explained this is a sphere shaped hexapod that I plan to give the following features:


Roll freely like a ball
Have different sort of locomotion for moving in any direction
Variable inner-body dimensions
Transform from a sphere shape into a hexapod and vice versa
Walk like a hexapod


Before I started to make any exact sketches or started building anything, I shared my ideas with my friend Jeroen Janssen (Xan). We talked about this project when I visited him in Netherlands this summer. At first I was thinking of using a fixed sized inner body with 6 x 4 DOF legs, similar to what I used for the T-Hex hexapod. Another problem was finding a sphere shaped material that I could use. Jeroen and I went to a local toy-shop and I just asked him to look for ball-shaped object. After a little while Jeroen had found a globe! At that moment I got the feeling that using a globe could actually work. After a few months and some searching in different book and toy-shop’s I found a 28cm in diameter globe from Toysrus. It was also cheap and the plastic material seemed to be relative solid (about 3mm thick).

I’m cutting out 12 identical sphere parts. Using a simple handsaw and cutting along the lines of the Longitude every 60 deg. The line of equator was made of 1mm thick dark blue plastic band and was very easy to remove, that resulted in a perfect clean edge too! Here are some pictures of the sphere parts:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/10/D-Hex00003.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/10/D-Hex00001.jpg

The map coating was very easy to peel of. The trick was to preheat the surface carefully and then start in one corner and just peel off the whole layer. To the left is the original part. The middle part has the globe/map layer peeled off and the right part is sanded by hand:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/10/D-Hex00002.jpg

As you can see the material is very transparent, I do have some future ideas of mounting several LED’s for some cool lighting effects.

Morphing inner-body:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/D-Hex_01.jpg

The principle is very simple. I’m using one digital 5645 servo in the centre of the body, the servo holds two delrin gears.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex_02.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/D-Hex_02.jpg

I’m using 7x of the LPA gear sets from Lynxmotion. (http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-794-low-profile-axis-gear-set-for-servo-and-ses.aspx) One gear with SES holes is mounted to each of the 6 outer body sections.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/D-Hex_03.jpg

This construction makes it possible to adjust the body dimension by about x2 using only one servo.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/D-Hex_05.jpg

The main reason for making the body like this is to hopefully make some more free space for each leg when the robot are in the walking mode. Even with the increased body size the legs are still going to be highly restricted in free motion caused by the large sphere parts, but I think it will work ;) I've already done some changes to the body section, like replaced the 1,5 mm aluminium parts used on the 6 outer sections to 2mm for more strength and stability. And also some more stuff like an holder for electronics.

There is still a lot of work left and I'm currently working with assembling all the legs. In total there will be 31 servos, 12* 5990 + 19*5645.

I'll post more info when I'm finished with all the legs and have some more and better photos.

tician
11-19-2010, 08:01 AM
I don't like to use smileys, but :eek:.

That seems like a pretty effective way to simultaneously stuff a hex in an even smaller sphere and reducing the sphere's interference with the bot's mobility.

innerbreed has been working on a similar project for a while, but had to abandon the pre-made sphere.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=4399

Zenta
11-19-2010, 04:01 PM
Thanks!

Yeah I'm very aware of Jonny's great work. I did comment in his thread in the LM forum.

There is still a lot of work left on this project and it won't be finished before 1. December though. I'll keep you updated.

Zenta
11-30-2010, 05:48 AM
Leg design

To make MorpHex being able to curl up into a ball shape, I've decided to go for a little special leg design. Actually, MorpHex is a sort of dual hexapod, where one leg share a common coxa part with two femur and tibia parts.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex01.jpg

I'm using standard SES brackets, but pay attention to the ASB 15 v2 bracket that holds the two femur servos. The v2 bracket is just perfect for attaching the ASB-04 coxa bracket.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex02.jpg

5990's are used for the femur and 5645's for the tibia and coxa. Notice that the 5990 wires are guided through the 8 mm bearing/SES hole between the ASB-15 v2, LPA lexan spacer and the ASB-04 coxa bracket.


Body modifications

Since my first post about this project I've replaced the outer body parts from 1,5 mm to 2 mm thick aluminium, mainly for increased strength and stability (less flexing):

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex04.jpg

Making sure that every gear is aligned correctly was the hardest part when assembling the body section. I solved it by carefully placing one gear at the time and mark the 4 SES holes on each outer bodysection, remove the section, drill the holes and mount the section onto the inner body section again. Repeated this process for all the 6 sections.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex05.jpg

Instead of using 3mm steel hex screws for holding the 12 ball-bearings onto the inner body I'm using 3mm threaded rods. The rods make it much easier for mounting a holder for battery and electronics.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex06.jpg

All the six legs are finally assembled, next step is to mount them to the body:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex08.jpg


MorpHex, taking form

I know it looks kinda messy right now, but I do have plan, LOL. This picture show all legs mounted to the body and the upper part have their legs curled up into the ball shape position.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex12.jpg

Another picture illustrate MorpHex in the walk mode position:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex14.jpg

I've fixed some sphere parts with velcro just for giving you a little hint of how MorpHex are going to look like with all the sphere parts mounted:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex15.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex16.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex17.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex18.jpg

I might have to modify the feet a little bit (using smaller end caps and modify the ends of the tubes) so that they can be aligned even closer in the curled position. But these pictures illustrate how it's going to look like at the end:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex20.jpg

Just for visualization:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex21.jpg

This is one of my favorite pictures, it kinda remind me of the unfinished Death Star from Star Wars, LOL:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex24.jpg

Xevel
11-30-2010, 06:26 AM
Wow. This is completely crazy.

Very original ideas, and beautiful realization.

At first I wondered where you would put that many servos in a hexapod, but now that I see it, I find this just brilliant.

Consider my mind blown :eek:

jdolecki
11-30-2010, 06:28 AM
Amazing

You are an Artist.

I cant wait to see the finished robot.

Please keep posting picture.

Zenta
11-30-2010, 12:52 PM
Thanks for your nice comment guys!

Btw, for powering I'm planning two use this 2S LiPo battery (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/6300-2S-7-4V-2000mAh-Pro-Lite-Military-Spec-LiPo-Battery.aspx) I bought from Trossen Robotics. I really like the formfactor of this battery and they have a very good weight vs. capacity ratio.

djsures
12-04-2010, 11:55 AM
super creative dude! a+

kensbey
12-09-2010, 09:29 PM
this is sick!

have you put any thought into how you can make it roll in a controlled way? this has a very destroyer droid feel to it!

Zenta
12-10-2010, 04:58 AM
this is sick!

have you put any thought into how you can make it roll in a controlled way? this has a very destroyer droid feel to it!

Hi, Yes I've done many thoughts of how to control and interact with it. Also planning to add an 6 DOF IMU so that it always know how it's oriented.

BTW:
Sadly (or luckily) I won't be able to do much more about this project until next year because I got my #3 son last sunday night :D. So I'm a bit occupied with family and Christmas stuff at the time..

darkback2
12-10-2010, 08:03 AM
Wow! Congratulations!

jdolecki
12-10-2010, 10:50 AM
Wow, your kids have cool toys to play with?

How do you children interact with the robots you make.

elaughlin
12-10-2010, 02:43 PM
Well congrats on that. Too bad we can't see your work for awhile. But definately congrats!

Stobs
12-10-2010, 09:22 PM
Hi, Yes I've done many thoughts of how to control and interact with it. Also planning to add an 6 DOF IMU so that it always know how it's oriented.

BTW:
Sadly (or luckily) I won't be able to do much more about this project until next year because I got my #3 son last sunday night :D. So I'm a bit occupied with family and Christmas stuff at the time..

AWESOME news Zenta! Congratulations and God Bless you and yours! :D

Paul

Zenta
12-11-2010, 01:45 PM
Thanks! It's always a bit exciting when having a new family member. More work and more fun!


Wow, your kids have cool toys to play with?

How do you children interact with the robots you make.
Well, the "toys" are just mine for now..

They think robots are fun to watch but I've not included them very much into robotics yet (they are only 4 and 6 years old). Its more Lego and stuff like that we currently play with.

cire
02-07-2011, 12:11 AM
This is insanely awesome. You never cease to amaze me Zenta!

Zenta
02-07-2011, 07:17 AM
This is insanely awesome. You never cease to amaze me Zenta!
Thanks!

I've not done much progress since november on this project. I've only made a stand and some decks. I'll post more info later.

4mem8
02-09-2011, 01:11 PM
Hey Zenta real real cool work , love it :-) always a pleasure seeing your work in progress.

Vanmunch
03-02-2011, 07:44 PM
I saw this new project of yours and... (jaw drop)

Anyhow, congratulations, hope things are going well

Zenta
04-07-2011, 11:26 AM
Hi,

Its been awhile since I posted anything about MorpHex. I've not got much time for it either. Sadly this has to be a longterm project.
Anyway, I just wanted to post some minor updates. I've added two decks (acrylic, I'm not sure to be honest) that are going to hold the electronics on one side and the battery on the other side:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00003.jpg

Still a lot of work left. But thats kinda good thing since I'm strongly considering to build a humanoid using the 5990's, meaning that I've not wasted to much time.

Its much easier to work on MorpHex when you have a strong stand:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00008.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00002.jpg

One big challenge was to guide the power wires from the battery from one side to the other due to all the gears and the outher (variable) body parts. I solved it by carefully drill a hole through the battery-deck and inserting two brass tubes:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00005.jpg

The power wires are going to be guide through these brass tubes. The tubes protects the wires from being crushed between all the gears. That would be very messy using LiPo power.. :lol:
Picture from the battery-deck:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00006.jpg

Talking about LiPo. I'm considering to apply the 5990's directly to the LiPo without any regulators. So I'm using some self-made power distributors, the principle is very easy. Only ground and signal are connected to the SSC-32.
A picture of the power distributors:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00009.jpg

gonzo
04-07-2011, 11:43 AM
Hi,

Its been awhile since I posted anything about MorpHex. I've not got much time for it either. Sadly this has to be a longterm project.
Anyway, I just wanted to post some minor updates. I've added two decks (acrylic, I'm not sure to be honest) that are going to hold the electronics on one side and the battery on the other side:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00003.jpg

Still a lot of work left. But thats kinda good thing since I'm strongly considering to build a humanoid using the 5990's, meaning that I've not wasted to much time.

Its much easier to work on MorpHex when you have a strong stand:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00008.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00002.jpg

One big challenge was to guide the power wires from the battery from one side to the other due to all the gears and the outher (variable) body parts. I solved it by carefully drill a hole through the battery-deck and inserting two brass tubes:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00005.jpg

The power wires are going to be guide through these brass tubes. The tubes protects the wires from being crushed between all the gears. That would be very messy using LiPo power.. :lol:
Picture from the battery-deck:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00006.jpg

Talking about LiPo. I'm considering to apply the 5990's directly to the LiPo without any regulators. So I'm using some self-made power distributors, the principle is very easy. Only ground and signal are connected to the SSC-32.
A picture of the power distributors:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/04/MorpHex_040411_00009.jpg

Take it easy , Zenta. :happy: No need for haste.
This project of yours brings a whole new level of complexity and surely spends a lot of time.
Anyway, just keep us updated for the next improvements.
Cheers

rebel
04-08-2011, 05:42 PM
Amazing work man, good job :)

tom_chang79
05-11-2011, 02:27 AM
Zenta, I always wonder if there is some sort of psychic link between us. I've actually been modeling something like this recently, although my approach was no where as sophisticated as yours, I wanted a hex that can roll around like a ball too! :wink:

Awesome work and craftsmanship as always, I actually put my variant on hold since I caught the octopod fever...

I saw your other post saying you were going to use 31 servos, I'm up to 30 on my octopod, been thinking about adding two more to completely fill and use the SSC-32 to its capacity... :p

MorpHex looks excellent! :D

Zenta
06-30-2011, 02:45 PM
Hi,

Sorry for not posting enough info in this forum. But I've done some changes to Morphex lately. For reducing total weight I'm using simple 3 DOF legs not the double femur/tibias. Instead I plan to mount 6 servos on the top deck for manipulating the six upper half spheres.

Anyway, here is a video that demonstrate how the morphing part (variable body size) work.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA9BlcwLlxM

Much more work left, so far so good..


Awesome work and craftsmanship as always, I actually put my variant on hold since I caught the octopod fever...

I saw your other post saying you were going to use 31 servos, I'm up to 30 on my octopod, been thinking about adding two more to completely fill and use the SSC-32 to its capacity..
Thanks!
I'm using a single ARC-32 board only, and I'm going to use 25 servo, not 31 servos as planned.

Gertlex
06-30-2011, 03:04 PM
Even if that was just the complete bot, that would be ridiculously awesome... The contracting center is mesmerizing. Final product is going to be amazing...

Great work :)

Quantum
06-30-2011, 03:32 PM
How does the IK work on that? Do you just ignore the fact the body is expanding and the end positions are lost or do you figure that on the fly?

Zenta
06-30-2011, 04:04 PM
Thanks Gertlex!


How does the IK work on that? Do you just ignore the fact the body is expanding and the end positions are lost or do you figure that on the fly?

The IK work fine. But there are some math to do, simple trig (law of cosine). The input value is the angle of the inner body servo. Then you've to calc the new bodyradius and a new coxaoffset. When you have the body radius its pretty easy to find the new body dimensions (coordinates) for a circular body.

After that you need to adjust the positions of the feet corresponding to the new body radius. In the walking gait you can re-set the inital positions when the leg is lifted.

Zenta
07-12-2011, 03:19 PM
Hi,

A new update about my MorpHex project. I didn't have time to take some good quality pictures because I'm working with some gardening and renovating stuff that occupies my "photo studio". Some workshop pics with bad lighting was my only option last evening/night.

Anyway, I've been very eager to get the lower sphere sections mounted onto the legs. So eager that I selected a rather easy way by using some counter sink white nylon screws. I'm planning to use three screws on each sphere part and mount it to the ASB-04 tibia bracket. So far I'm using only two for testing. It was a bit tricky to align the hole for drilling, so I used a LED as a lamp behind the sphere part:

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex21.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex22.jpg

Already drilled and just plugged in the screws for holding it in place when doing the next leg (sorry for the blurry picture):

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex23.jpg

Btw, I'm also planning to reinforce each sphere part. I did just a simple test, the final result will be better. The plastic material is Poly Carbonate. By mounting a rail (or what should we call it?) on each side the part gets more rigid, the rail also make sure that the neighbor leg/sphere part doesn't overlap each other in sphere mode.

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex20.jpg

---

Here are some pictures of MorpHex in action with all six sphere parts mounted.

Fully extended body:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex25.jpg

Ready for transforming into sphere mode:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex26.jpg

Transforming:
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex27.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex28.jpg

Sphere mode! :D As you can see there are some small adjustments to do, and I've already done some improvements today to get them even better aligned. but so far, so good.
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex29.jpg

http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex30.jpg

Normal body height for walking, the legs have very much free space for moving around without any conflict.
http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/07/MorpHex31.jpg

Still a lot of work left. I'll start on the upper sphere section when I'm satisfied with the lower section.

Btw: Did I forgot to tell you that it look pretty cool watching it in action? :wink:

Kar
07-13-2011, 02:19 AM
Hi Zenta

Nice to see some more work been done on this project. I have been hoping to see some more progress with this build. Its looking grate and i cant wate to see its final look. I have looked at all your Robot builds to date that i know of and if i may say very nice work. I respect people that put the time in and most of all produce high qulity work from hobbys. It give's the rest of us a standed to try and mach.

Thanks for your time

Garry

jdolecki
07-13-2011, 07:08 AM
That is so cool.

Like I said before your a mechanical artist.

Cant wait to see it finished.

Stobs
07-13-2011, 10:52 AM
Simply put, it's an inspiring build Zenta, just awesome. The movements seem organic they're so smooth!

Regards

Zenta
09-13-2011, 07:20 AM
Hi,


Its been a while since I last got some time for working on this project. But luckily I've had some time now and then for working on the upper sphere sections. I mentioned earlier that I'm using only six servos for controlling the six upper sphere sections. This mean that each sphere section only have 1 DOF of movement. If each sphere section where coupled together with a simple joint/hinge at the top center of the upper sphere half they wouldn't be able to move at all or at least not at the same time. That's because of several mechanical obstructions between the sphere sections. So I had to figure out a mechanical hinge solution that made the sphere section translate a little away from the top center before it could swing out and upward (bad english.. sight). I hope you get what I mean..


Anyway, pictures tell much more that any words. All parts are handmade, the material is polycarbonate. Here are some pictures of the hinge system:


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex31.jpg


The hinge-system are going to be placed above the ARC-32 board. Another picture of the hinges in the max/fan position:


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex32.jpg


This picture illustrate how the sphere sections are going to be mounted to the hinge-system:


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex33.jpg


Just for the fun of it I've placed the upper sections loosely on top of MorpHex just for giving you an image of how it will be at the end:


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex34.jpg


As you can see, the sphere parts does deflect a little under load, but hopefully its not going to be a problem. I'll probably need to make sure there is a little gap between the upper and lower sphere sections:


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex35.jpg


I'll come back with more info on how I'll attach the servos. At the moment I'm also very curious to see how it will perform when the upper sections are mounted. It will add about 1,2 kg extra load. Earlier I did some testings and it seemed to perform ok with the extra load. The extra load was 3 beefy 3S LiPo's :p :


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex30.jpg


One thing is for sure, my workshop is a complete mess at the moment.. ;):


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex36.jpg

darkback2
09-13-2011, 08:40 AM
Sweet work on the polycarb. Its amazing how clean it is. I can't wait to see this bot running around.

DB

Zenta
09-13-2011, 02:28 PM
Thanks DB!

I hope it won't be for a very long time until i can post a new video of it.

Stobs
09-13-2011, 02:37 PM
uhmmm, outside of your signature Zenta I don't see any pics/links on your post (#32; and I can see pics/vids from other posts). :/

Regards

Zenta
09-13-2011, 02:47 PM
uhmmm, outside of your signature Zenta I don't see any pics/links on your post (#32; and I can see pics/vids from other posts). :/

Regards

Hi, i'm not sure whats causing this. but I've noticed that some ISP's sort of block my blog at a certain time of the day. Are you able to see my blog?

Stobs
09-13-2011, 03:51 PM
No Zenta, I'm not. I confirmed www accessibility via a new search as well. FYI, my ISP is Comcast.

Regards

elaughlin
09-13-2011, 05:29 PM
Weird stobs... I have Comcast also, but get on fine to Zenta's blog and see everything.

Stobs
09-13-2011, 06:43 PM
Dang, my bad. :/ Just did a tracert to abc.com to double check and I'm now connecting through RedShift, which is a local ISP. It's my sis's house but I would've thought she'd say something about the change - should've realized Comcast got axed when we switched to DishTV :/

Regards

Zenta
09-18-2011, 03:33 PM
Hi,


The upper sphere sections are now mounted onto the hinge/linkage system.


So today I took some more pictures with a darker background for better contrast, do I need to say more.. :wink:


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex40.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex49.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex41.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex42.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex43.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex45.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex46.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2011/09/MorpHex47.jpg


I believe having an upper section that can take different shapes might be a cool feature in walking mode.

Stobs
09-18-2011, 07:11 PM
I'm a bit outside of LA for a few days and can see all the pics as well as providing access to your blog site Zenta. Very nice work, as usual.

Regards

rebel
09-20-2011, 02:44 PM
Amazing work as always

Zenta
09-21-2011, 02:50 AM
Thanks for your comment guys! :D

Zenta
12-10-2011, 04:26 AM
Hi,

I've not had much time for robotics this year. But yesterday I finally got some time for shooting a video of MorpHex. I'm still not finished so there are still some features missing, like rolling. Hopefully there will be a part III video too.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2j69eI9ob8

elaughlin
12-10-2011, 06:51 AM
That is just one of the coolest things I have seen. I just really am so impressed by how nicely it moves and folds up. It looks like it was completely effortless for you. Totally amazing my friend.

gdubb2
12-10-2011, 10:24 AM
Amazing work, I love it..

Gary

darkback2
12-10-2011, 10:43 AM
That is seriously beautiful. I can't wait to share this video with my students.

Gertlex
12-11-2011, 08:51 PM
Fantastic movements :)

You need some bright red LEDs behind a couple of the top panels... creepy eyes, and stuff, y'know.

Zenta
12-12-2011, 01:42 AM
Thanks guys!

I do plan to have some serial controlled RGB LED's but that is not on my priority list until I'm finished with some mechanical stuff and more programming.

Big Dutch
12-12-2011, 09:11 AM
That is awesome. Great creativity mixed in with your amazing robotics.
Edwin

Chench
12-12-2011, 02:39 PM
Great stuff as always Zenta! PS you're on the front page of engadget :-) .

rebel
12-12-2011, 06:03 PM
Amazing work :p

Suicidal.Banana
12-19-2011, 10:04 AM
Great stuff as always Zenta! PS you're on the front page of engadget :-) .

who in turn copyd it over from botjunkie (or the other way around ofc)

Also, nice to see your still workin on this, good job

Zenta
12-20-2011, 04:32 AM
Thanks guys, glad you liked it!

Yeah, it sure got some attention. I just hope more people can see the fun in this kind of hobby.
There are still much work left on this project. I'll keep you updated when I've done some progress.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Suicidal.Banana
12-20-2011, 06:32 AM
How cant we like it? :tongue:
Merry Christmas to you too! cant wait to see you continue/finish this thing.

Also, just wondering, how do you program your bots? i notice you still have that insane remote, what code is actually 'behind' it? is it similair to your previous projects (like a-pod) or no?
The reason i ask is that ive been lurking this site, wanting to build some sweet custom robot, but i just have no idea where to begin, id love to (for example, prolly to hard for me) rebuild this project with my own parts, but i wouldn't even know how you control it (and really, the thing that interest me most about bots is making ai, which is holding me back hardware wise)

Adam
03-19-2012, 11:36 PM
Wow, I take a break from the hobby for a while and come back to find this. Zenta, you never cease to amaze. Very beautiful and inspiring work. I don't know how you keep coming up with such cool and original stuff. Sure, lots of people have ideas and dreams of cool robot projects, but your dreams inevitably become reality. Genius.

Zenta
03-20-2012, 08:51 AM
Thanks for your comment Adam!

I'm still working with this project, like several mechanical reinforcements for improving the strength and durability. I've also made a lot of code stuff to make it able to roll like a ball. Last weekend I got some help from my wife to shoot a video of MorpHex rolling in our living-room. I'm also planning to shoot some more vids of it before I post a new part III on youtube.

Also check my blog for more info.:D

lildreamer
03-20-2012, 10:44 AM
Its work like this that keeps me comming back to the site in amazement
talented group with very creative minds - Zenta, no words can do justice ....love to see more pictures

side note -I can imagine applying similar design to space exploration on a larger scale...oh and congrats on Child #3....

(dang spell checker...)

Zenta
03-26-2012, 05:15 PM
Thanks lildreamer!

FYI, I've just updated my blog (http://robot-kits.org/) with more information and many new photos of MorpHex. :D


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2012/03/MorpHex099.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2012/03/MorpHex089.jpg


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2012/03/MorpHex094.jpg

rebel
03-26-2012, 05:45 PM
That thing is so cool :p

Really azaming work man

Zenta
03-27-2012, 12:46 PM
Thanks, glad you liked it!:D

Zenta
04-02-2012, 10:10 AM
Hi,


I've just made a new video of MorpHex for demonstrating the rolling feature. One thing you may notice is that MorpHex rolls more or less in a curved direction instead of a straight forward direction. This is caused by the asymmetric design; the upper sphere section vs. the lower section. I'm about to get my hands on some more of those high torque servos and I'm thinking of making MorpHex more symmetrical again. Actually, that was my original plan:


http://robot-kits.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files/2010/11/MorpHex24.jpg


I've found a way around the wiring issue but I might want to go for a totally different leg design too. At this moment I'm not sure.


Anyway, here is the new video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuC6q9kbryw


I hope you enjoyed it! I'm also using this video to promote my April contest entry at the Boca Bearings 2012 Innovation Competition. The video with the most votes will be announced winner at the beginning of the following month. Out of all monthly winners the jury of Boca Bearings will select a grant prize winner who will receive $10000 in cash. The two follow up winners will receive their own Makerbot 3D printer.


To be the monthly winner I need your vote.

If you want to see more advanced robots coming out of my hands leave your vote here (http://www.bocabearings.com/innovation-contest/ContestantDetails.aspx?ProjectID=37). Every vote is highly appreciated! Thanks :D

Suicidal.Banana
04-03-2012, 05:45 AM
Real cool progress! i just saw it featured on engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/03/mighty-morphing-hexapod-bot-is-back-now-rolls-with-the-punches/#continued), nice.
cant wait for the next version (for its better rolling capabilities) :)
keep it up!!

edit; oh and voted for you :)

Ravenous
04-03-2012, 07:03 AM
This thing vaguely reminded me of the strange shape-changing tetrahedral thing that killed someone in the (otherwise not-recommended) "Demon seed" :eek:

elaughlin
04-03-2012, 07:07 PM
Zenta, as always a crazy awesome project. I was wondering how well you'd be able to make that thing rule, but I should have never second guessed your programming. That is amazing.

Voted for you on the boca bearings contest. Awesome work sir. Love it, and want it.

Zenta
04-04-2012, 05:12 AM
Thanks a lot for your comments and vote! Highly appreciated!

Stobs
04-04-2012, 06:32 PM
Vote confirmed - hope it goes well for you Zenta

Zenta
02-13-2014, 07:30 AM
Hi,

Sadly it's been a while since I posted anything about my progress on Morphex. Currently I'm working on the code. Yesterday I finished servo calibration (a real pain). The hardware work is 99,9% done. Only need to make a holder for the servo power switch.

The MKII version contain 31 servos. Yeah, I know it's crazy.:p The weight is heavy, over 5kg I think. I'm using 1x 5645, 6x 5980 and 24x 5990 servos. I've done some tests and can confirm that it is still able walk and transform into a ball and back, but I'm pushing the limits of what the servos can handle.

I took this picture about a half year ago:
5370

At that point (summer 2013) I was done with the hardware modifications. Completely new tibia sections for all the 12 sphere sections. As you can see my workshop was a mess.

I'm sorry I didn't take more pictures during the making process. Here is a picture of the new 2 DOF upper sphere section:
5371

You are probably thinking there is way to much metal and you are probably right. But making all parts by hand and having little time for everything made me do it simple. I could probably drill a lot of holes on each part, actually I did that on one section for testing. I guess I've to learn CAD one day..

Hope to post more soon about my progress.

Meanwhile, here is a new video I made yesterday. I thought it was about time to make a channel intro video on youtube.


http://youtu.be/eeBodoXwnPk

Btw, I've decided to move more over to Robotis servos in my future projects. I've just ordered a couple of MX-64 for testing, a spare AX18-A and several spare gear train. On my PhantomX one of the AX18's broke the gears.


-Having fun with robots! (again)

KurtEck
02-13-2014, 08:16 AM
Great to see you are having some fun

KevinO
02-13-2014, 12:37 PM
Can't wait to see what you come up with next for a project! It was great seeing all your robots powered up in the background.

DresnerRobotics
02-13-2014, 04:59 PM
Welcome back Zenta!

Zenta
02-13-2014, 06:10 PM
Thanks guys!

To day I got some time in my workshop to finish the hardware part on Morphex. It was a really simple task using standard Lynxmotion parts, a L-Bracket (http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-328-aluminum-l-connector-bracket-two-pack.aspx) and a SES Electronic Carrier (http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-501-ses-electronics-carrier.aspx). The servo power switch is mounted on the L-bracket. This way its easy to power off the servos while MorpHex is transformed into a ball, like I did to the first version.

Some pictures:

5373

5375

5374

I'm not done with the code for the upper section yet, so I'm just using some tape to hold the un-powered sections together. The lower section is powered and controlled though.

I'll keep you posted with some better pictures later.

jwatte
02-14-2014, 11:32 AM
Very cool! In fact, very, very cool! (Although the movie could do with some editing -- it reminds me too much of my household right now ;-)

Is that Swedish being spoken in the background?

tician
02-14-2014, 12:14 PM
Is that Swedish being spoken in the background?
http://satwcomic.com/language-lesson

guruguhan
02-16-2014, 04:56 PM
What a great robot! Blown away

Zenta
03-17-2014, 05:12 AM
Hi,

I've just updated my blog (http://zentasrobots.com/) with some pictures and information about my last progress on MorpHex MKII.
I'm still working on the code, but have done good progress lately. Atleast I've got it rolling again, lol.
The new upper section with 2 DOF make a big difference when it comes to freedom though.

Here are some pics:
5435

5436

5437

5438

Hopefully I'll have a video ready soon..

KurtEck
03-17-2014, 08:29 AM
Pretty darn cool! Great stuff up on your blog.

KevinO
03-17-2014, 01:11 PM
Look great! Can't wait to see it move again!

Zenta
03-17-2014, 05:47 PM
Thanks guys!

I've just uploaded a new video.


http://youtu.be/OI4OiKNEixc

Enjoy!

KevinO
03-17-2014, 05:58 PM
Looks great! The balloon bit was funny! Well done! (as always.)

KurtEck
03-17-2014, 06:59 PM
Again Great stuff.

Actually parts of it reminds me of the pods in Aliens :lol:

Th232
03-17-2014, 09:26 PM
Awesome, I wonder what speeds you can get it up to when it's rolling.

hwan we
03-18-2014, 01:16 AM
Very cool
Fantastic:wink:
zenta
in MorpHex
Add it seems more catchy.
Flashing led.
high laser

Carl
03-28-2014, 09:29 AM
FAntastic! When I read your first post I didn't picture it like this at all, I had something else in mind; but it looks really good

Zenta
04-08-2014, 03:37 PM
Thanks for the comments guys!

When it comes to rolling speed I'm not sure at the moment. I'll do some actual speed measurements one day. But I would guess around 3-5 fps (feet per second).

Today we (I and two of my youngest kids) did our first outdoor test on a basketball court. It worked fine and I was able to control it very well, rolling straight, to the left and right!:veryhappy: It's just like driving a RC car.

Compared to the MKI the rolling method by pushing out only one section didn't work very good. The reason was that the sections are a bit heavier on MKII, so when pushing out one section the "ball" tends to roll towards the opposite direction as I want, this method work for rather slow rolling though. But the best approach was to push out the opposite sphere (the other side of the globe) at the same time to sort of keep the ball in balance. This method proved to be more effective, it moves more like a tread, kinda..

Still some tuning to do on the code.

I gave my 8 year old son my phone to shoot a short video of MorpHex for you on the forums, so it's a bit shaky. It's live sound this time and unlisted. I want to make a better video when going public though.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QICHQLX1Ik

Let me know what you think. Thanks.

KevinO
04-08-2014, 05:24 PM
Ser flott ut! (I think that's right...)

Is it pure timing or did you put in an accelerometer/gyro to aid?

Zenta
04-09-2014, 04:13 AM
Thanks Kevin!

Yes, that's perfect Norwegian!
It's pure timing, I adjust the speed manually. I've been thinking of using IMU, but I'm afraid the code/mcu isn't fast enough to get a reliable result while rolling. At first I'm planing to use an IMU or just a 3 axis accelerometer to find the current orientation before it start to move, so that the rolling part start at the correct stage.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Maybe the Teensy 3.1 would be better as main mcu?

KurtEck
04-09-2014, 08:16 AM
I will say it again (already did on Lynxmotion), I love it. Looks like you and your kids were having a blast!

As for Teensy It would give you more horesepower as it runs at 96mhz to do more... Or if you want a lot of CPU power can go up to one of the linux boxes... Like maybe one of the new RPIs just announced or BBBk or ...

Kurt

Xevel
04-09-2014, 10:47 AM
Awesome work, as always :)

I'm pretty sure an atmega could handle generating the motion dynamically and keeping tabs on the orientation of the beast, but going to a faster proc would undoubtedly make it easier (look ma, no optimization!).

jwatte
04-09-2014, 11:33 AM
That is very cool. I second the recommendation for an ARM of some sort with an IMU, although you can get fairly fast poll rates (100 Hz, say) on AVR based boards, too.

Zenta
04-17-2014, 07:09 AM
Thanks for your input guys. I'll definitely consider this at a later stage. A lot of stuff to learn and my C++ is very rusty. I believe I need some filtering of the IMU readings as well.

Meanwhile I got a major set-back on MorpHex, but it's fixed though. You can read about in my latest post on my blog. (http://zentasrobots.com/2014/04/17/outdoor-footage-of-morphex-and-a-servo-failure/)

Also, a new video is out:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn3FWb-vQQ4

Happy Easter holidays!

KurtEck
04-17-2014, 08:08 AM
Thanks Kåre. Sorry to hear about the inner servo. I really enjoyed your video. As I mentioned earlier it looks like you are having a lot of fun with it. Boy those servos are noisy!!!

Gertlex
04-17-2014, 07:43 PM
I like that you have a son named Daggerman. :D

Machine27
04-19-2014, 06:39 AM
After viewing your rebuild I came to two conclusions. First, the engineering and execution are amazing. All those gears working together, Wow! Second, to be able to program that boggles my mind. You are truly talented!
Thank you for sharing it with us!

jwatte
04-19-2014, 12:46 PM
Congratulations on making Hacker News front page, too! (By which I mean news.ycombinator.com -- not the 2600 site.)

Zenta
04-19-2014, 02:36 PM
Thanks Kurt, yeah, the servo make much noise. It get a little better when the robot is closed like a ball though.

Gertlex: LOL, Dag Herman sure sounds like Daggerman.


After viewing your rebuild I came to two conclusions. First, the engineering and execution are amazing. All those gears working together, Wow! Second, to be able to program that boggles my mind. You are truly talented!
Thank you for sharing it with us!
Thanks! I try to do my best when it comes to programming. But my programming skills are limited and very far from many other on this forum..


Congratulations on making Hacker News front page, too! (By which I mean news.ycombinator.com -- not the 2600 site.)
Thanks for letting me know! MorpHex sure got a lot of attention lately. I even got interviewed by two big newspapers in Norway and from a reporter with Motherboard, Vice Magazine's science and tech site motherboard.vice.com (http://motherboard.vice.com/read/this-rolling-transforming-droid-is-the-stuff-of-nightmares)

RWC85
04-20-2014, 12:19 AM
Brand new here...just want to say your MorpHex is amazing!!!!!

random question for you....have you had any problems with grip or the smooth (looking) outer shell slipping at all during rolling or motion related movements when in sphere form?

Zenta
07-06-2014, 01:43 PM
Brand new here...just want to say your MorpHex is amazing!!!!!

random question for you....have you had any problems with grip or the smooth (looking) outer shell slipping at all during rolling or motion related movements when in sphere form?

Hi, sorry for my veery late reply.. Thanks, I'm glad you liked my project. So far I'm rolling on a relative flat/even surface so I've not observed much grip problem. To be honest, the major problem was to make it roll properly at all. Installing the IMU made a revolutionary part when it comes to the rolling part.

I've done a lot of code work almost every evenings during the last month. I've also mounted 24 Starlite RGB LED's. Currently I have MorpHex working very well. When I get time I'll post much more information about my latest work. To be honest, the two latest upgrades (IMU and RGB Leds) made a huge improvement to the project, so I'm tempted to call it Morphex MKIII.
When I get time I'll shoot some new videos too.


Here are some pictures I took a couple of weeks ago when I finished mounting the LED's. In a dimmed lighted room the light effect from the LED's is pretty awesome!

5633

Stay tuned for more info.

KevinO
07-06-2014, 08:44 PM
Looks great Kåre! Yes the looks like a MK III. :)

Zenta
07-07-2014, 04:43 AM
Thanks Kevin!
I'm still working on some different lighting effects. Any ideas are appreciated.

Zenta
07-30-2014, 12:06 PM
Hi,

Some weeks ago I got time for shooting some videos for demonstrating the LED's and the IMU. I'll soon update my blog for more info and pics. I'm also planning to post a long (7-8 min) video too.


http://youtu.be/lb3Riq06fVI

KevinO
07-30-2014, 12:12 PM
Looks amazing! Keeps getting better and better.

Zenta
07-30-2014, 02:20 PM
Thanks Kevin!

Glad you liked it, btw I've just updated my blog.

Zenta
01-13-2015, 04:02 PM
Hi,

I just realized that I didn't tell much about the Trondheim Maker Faire I participated at last summer.
They called me and asked if I would like to come and demonstrate my robots.

I had to transport my robots pretty far, so I bought two relative big SKB cases (i series) for a safe transport.
5789

I took some time to cut out the foam for fitting the robots.
This case contain the DIY remote, T-hex, A-Pod and PhantomX:
5790
And MorpHex, Phoenix and Archer well packed in this one:
5791

When arriving Trondheim (in Norway) the weather was just perfect.
I didn't take the following photos. And I didn't have time to take any photos. Next time I think I'll take my eldest son with me to get some time taking my own photos.
5792

There where many cool projects and great participants. Sadly I didn't get much time talking to the others.
My stand got very popular. Especially PhantomX and MorpHex draw some attention. The kids loved MorpHex though, fun to watch them playing and following the robot.

They also had big screen posting interviews.
5793

Here is a short demonstration video of the Maker Faire, there is a short clip of MorpHex at 00:46.


http://youtu.be/TCfTUJ-K-Rw

The thumbnail on the video can't be any coincidence..;)

It sure was fun and the time went really fast, I almost forgot to eat, lol.

KurtEck
01-13-2015, 04:15 PM
Hi Kåre,

Looks like you had some fun: Note: If I try to run your video It simply comes up with a message:

This vido contains content from SME, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.??
Kurt

KevinO
01-13-2015, 04:24 PM
I need to get a case for my hex. What did you think of those cases quality?

jwatte
01-13-2015, 04:24 PM
That's super awesome! The lights really add something, especially when they synchronize with future intent (turning/rolling/etc.)

Separately -- the second video says "This video contains content from SME, which has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

Zenta
01-13-2015, 04:29 PM
Hi Kåre,

Looks like you had some fun: Note: If I try to run your video It simply comes up with a message:
??
Kurt
I've no idea. It's not my video, so I'm not sure. Maybe some settings/restrictions the author did?
I'm sorry.

Zenta
01-13-2015, 04:31 PM
I need to get a case for my hex. What did you think of those cases quality?

So far I find the quality to be very good. I did look at the pelican cases too, but found a bit to pricy..

Zenta
01-13-2015, 04:43 PM
That's super awesome! The lights really add something, especially when they synchronize with future intent (turning/rolling/etc.)

Separately -- the second video says "This video contains content from SME, which has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

Thanks! Yeah, the lights sure added a great effect, especially under low-light conditions.
I'm sorry about the video, I just sent them a message about the problem. Maybe its the background music that causes this? Not sure.

KurtEck
10-13-2015, 05:42 PM
Just saw this robot in the nbc News today: http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/qross-round-robot-rolls-along-then-sprouts-legs-walk-n443871

Personally I think MophHex is a lot better!

Zenta
10-14-2015, 06:51 AM
Thanks Kurt!

They did mention my MorpHex in the original article (http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/robot-unfolds-legs-to-walk) .

Their robot was creative though. But I doubt their robot would be of any practice use in a disaster fields. The cage may protect the robot but it can easily be obstructed or tangled into stuff too.

Fun to see my MorpHex can inspire researchers though!