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asbrandsson
12-28-2006, 04:27 PM
Hello,

I am looking for some good resources for building a PC based Robot Frame.

Asbrandsson

Dave
12-29-2006, 12:44 PM
Well, you can make a PC-based robot out of just about any mobile platform that can handle the size and weight of your computer. We sell a variety of bases that would work for this. You may want to look through the wheelbot section in our catalog:
http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/c/2657-Wheel-Bots.aspx

Here are my personal recommendations:

Trossen 1
http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/3552-Trossen1-Chassis-Motors.aspx
This is a good base for an indoor bot that will mainly be driving around on a flat surface like tile or concrete. Multiple levels can be added to increase height and cargo space

Superdroid ATR
http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/3149-All-Terrain-Robot-Base-Kit.aspx
The ATR is a solid 4 wheel drive all terrain base.

We've got a very nice prototype in the works, but we're still revising some of the design so it will be a while before we start offering it for sale. We blogged it a while ago, and here's a link:
http://blog.trossenrobotics.com/index.php/archives/2006/12/04/pc-robot-demo-sneak-peak/

asbrandsson
12-29-2006, 11:43 PM
Hello,

What is the best for indoor and outdoor use?

Asbrandsson

Dave
01-02-2007, 02:24 PM
The Superdroid ATR will traverse just about any terrain that's reasonably flat. Grass, gravel, etc...

Tymtravler
12-05-2007, 10:30 AM
If you want to start from the beginning, I have used the 8020 beams and connectors. They can be cut any size and are not that expensive. They are great for outdoor use and are very lite.

www.8020.com (http://www.8020.com)

archcvd
04-29-2008, 09:38 AM
If you want to start from the beginning, I have used the 8020 beams and connectors. They can be cut any size and are not that expensive. They are great for outdoor use and are very lite.

www.8020.com (http://www.8020.com)

They also have a great eBay store full of surplus stuff. I have been getting my 80/20 parts from there :D

http://stores.ebay.com/8020-Inc-Garage-Sale

metaform3d
04-29-2008, 10:32 AM
I've always wondered what those aluminum trusses were called. Thanks for the links.

darkback2
04-30-2008, 12:06 AM
Ok...so not to toot my own horn, but...were you meaning a PC desktop or laptop? I've never tried to make a desktop capable frame...that said, check out Gepetto in the project link. The first version caries a mac, but could really work with any laptop. Vivian the second version uses a sony vaio vgn-180p ux...about $800 on ebay by the way. I have complete turbocad drawings if you want them. I am also willing to build people frames if needed.

If you were talking about a robot capable of carrying a desktop PC...that is a whole other animal.

In either case, if you need help just ask.

DB

asbrandsson
04-30-2008, 12:56 PM
Hello,

I originally posted the PC based frame when I was doing more experimenting with an ER-1 style robot. After that I have gotten more into the Humanoid Robots, and now that you can get smaller and smaller motherboards it is easier to mount the PC inside the Humanoid framework.

Asbrandsson

anandoc
11-08-2008, 10:30 PM
Sorry for hijacking this thread, however, I am trying to build a pico-ITX based robot and was looking for a good track based chassis which could hold my pico-ITX motherboard, phidgets motor controller, batteries and a couple of sensors here and there. I am looking for something similar to:

http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/3181-Traxster-Robot-Chassis.aspx (too expensive)

http://www.robotshop.ca/pob-technology-mobile-tank-base-1.html (not sure if my components will fit inside)

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

4mem8
11-08-2008, 11:04 PM
How about making your own from these tracks [ Here (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=94) ], I have just made my own track system [ Here (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=2342&page=28) ] Hope this helps you out.

Adrenalynn
11-08-2008, 11:06 PM
I wouldn't recommend the first. I wasn't happy with it.

The second is teeny - getting enough battery power for your pico alone in there would be tough. And they're slow.

Check out the Tri Track base.

anandoc
11-08-2008, 11:15 PM
How about making your own from these tracks [ Here ], I have just made my own track system [ Here ] Hope this helps you out.
The lynxmotion tracks definitely look good. However, I am not very confident of building them from scratch since I am a beginner at this and want to focus more on the software aspect. If I can get a parts list off you or something, then I can definitely give it a try. This definitely looks like something I would want:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/images/jpg/tracks05.jpg

Could you guide me as to what parts I would need to assemble this? Also, do you think it can fit my pico-ITX and a phidgets motor controller along with a battery pack or two?


I wouldn't recommend the first. I wasn't happy with it.
The second is teeny - getting enough battery power for your pico alone in there would be tough. And they're slow.
Check out the Tri Track base.
Yeah, I have seen on some thread where you have recommended against them. I wont be using my robot outdoors though.
I guessed the second one is very tiny and might not have enough space inside it.
What are you referring to by Tri Track base?

4mem8
11-08-2008, 11:44 PM
Ok, this is the tri track base system, [ Here (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=109)] Check it out first, If this is a no goer I can give you a list of what you need, BUT you will have to do some modding to get my system to look like what I have done as Lynxmotion have not yet produce a system to put their 3" tracks together. But is is not that hard to do as lond as you have a sander or metal lathe, hacksaw, files, drillpress, drills ecct.

anandoc
11-08-2008, 11:59 PM
Ok, this is the tri track base system, [ Here (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=109)] Check it out first, If this is a no goer I can give you a list of what you need, BUT you will have to do some modding to get my system to look like what I have done as Lynxmotion have not yet produce a system to put their 3" tracks together. But is is not that hard to do as lond as you have a sander or metal lathe, hacksaw, files, drillpress, drills ecct.

Thanks for the reply again. I am not sure why they would post something like this (http://www.lynxmotion.com/images/jpg/tracks05.jpg) on their website if they dont sell it or have the instructions on how to assemble it. The tri track system is a no-goer since its (a) too expensive and (b) I want a normal tank tracks system like in the picture mentioned above.

I was looking at the parts here (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=94) so that I can build the 2" tracks (with the hubs, sprockets, idlers etc) and hook them up with this (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=604&CategoryID=112) . Do you think I am in the right direction? I dont have a whole lot of equipment, but if you post your parts list, it would be great. Thanks again!

lnxfergy
11-09-2008, 12:28 AM
Thanks for the reply again. I am not sure why they would post something like this (http://www.lynxmotion.com/images/jpg/tracks05.jpg) on their website if they dont sell it or have the instructions on how to assemble it. The tri track system is a no-goer since its (a) too expensive and (b) I want a normal tank tracks system like in the picture mentioned above.

I was looking at the parts here (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=94) so that I can build the 2" tracks (with the hubs, sprockets, idlers etc) and hook them up with this (http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=604&CategoryID=112) . Do you think I am in the right direction? I dont have a whole lot of equipment, but if you post your parts list, it would be great. Thanks again!

As far as (a), if that is too expensive, then you had better plan to drop tracks all together. I don't think you will find a desirable track based system that carry a pico-itx and it's associated hardware for under $150. If you homebrew the base but use the Lynx tracks, you are already at $50-75 for the tracks, and another $50 for the idlers/drives. You've probably already got ~$400-450 tied up in a pico+batts, don't skimp on the mechanics or your bot won't be going very far.

As for (b), I think it was a prototype that never panned out. You might be able to do just that using the base from: http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=604&CategoryID=112 and then getting the tracks separately.

-Fergs

4mem8
11-09-2008, 03:20 AM
As inxfergy has stated, don't skimp on good parts, it will land you in trouble in the long run. BNot sure about that alloy chasis as far as mating it up to the track system, It would depend on how long that base unit is as to whether it would fit the tracks.Either way you will have to make the polycarb or lexan side plates for the tracks as i do not see any standard tank track side plates on their site.

anandoc
11-09-2008, 10:47 AM
So you mean it is possible to use that chassis with the track parts mentioned here:
http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=604&CategoryID=112

If so, that would be ideal. I guess I would have to put up with the slightly higher costs if I can get that chassis with the track parts.

@4mem8: Do i have to use the side plates? I mean, would the tracks not functions without the plates?

4mem8
11-09-2008, 11:36 AM
No, they will not function, You need the plates. Check out my tutorials on J5 and T-1 and you will see that you need the plates. The plates hold the front and rear bearings that the Sprockets and motors fit to, You also have hex and nylon spacers in between the plats that the tracks run on.

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/9192/49np6.jpg

Nylon hex and nylon tube for the tracks to roll over.



http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/961/51cy3.jpg

Sprockets either end in their bearings.




http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/9892/52nv8.jpg

Top view showing the battery compartment, 3" tracks only. 2" not really wide enough for this mod.



http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/2042/53ri3.jpg

Finished track.


http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/7507/54xl4.jpg

Base plate connected. Hope this helps you out.

anandoc
11-09-2008, 04:27 PM
Needless to say, you are definitely the best at what you do. I do not have the tools necessarry to build something like this. Is there anything you can suggest to me (besides the tri-track) that can be built using the lynxmotion tracks and the chassis? Else, I will have to settle with the over-priced RoboticsConnection traxster robot base :(

DresnerRobotics
11-09-2008, 04:58 PM
Isn't the tri-track only like $20 more than the Traxster?

When you're looking at larger bases like this, $200 really isn't over-priced. If you think about the time needed to make something of similar quality + the parts to do it, its not all that bad. Try having a machine shop quote you a price to make something similar and you'll see what I mean.

Welcome to robotics, not exactly the cheapest of hobbies.

anandoc
11-09-2008, 05:10 PM
Isn't the tri-track only like $20 more than the Traxster?

When you're looking at larger bases like this, $200 really isn't over-priced. If you think about the time needed to make something of similar quality + the parts to do it, its not all that bad. Try having a machine shop quote you a price to make something similar and you'll see what I mean.

Welcome to robotics, not exactly the cheapest of hobbies.

Hi Tyberius,
I dont have a problem with the costs of the tri-track v/s traxster. I just want something in this (http://www.lynxmotion.com/images/jpg/tracks05.jpg) form factor, which looks more like a conventional tank. I dont like the tri-tracks form factor. Still searching around for something...

Adrenalynn
11-09-2008, 07:03 PM
Why not just get an R/C tank?

anandoc
11-09-2008, 07:10 PM
Why not just get an R/C tank?

Any suggestions for such a R/C tank which can hold my pico-ITX, phidget motorcontrol and the batteries?

Adrenalynn
11-09-2008, 07:25 PM
Just a quick web-search. I figured 1:12 scale to be around the right neighborhood. 1:16 may work too...

http://www.remotecontrolplanet.com/site/1478540/product/309
http://www.snuffledopple.com/scale-remote-control-tank-shoots-p-1101.html
http://www.trendtimes.com/rcta1sc212fe.html
http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/1-12-scale-radio-remote-control-rc-m1a1-abrams-airsoft-battle-bb-tank


Yeah, you might squeeze it all in on a 1/16th

http://www.backyardarmor.com/TAM56010.htm
http://www.dansdata.com/pershing.htm

anandoc
11-09-2008, 07:44 PM
Thanks Adrenalynn. The reason why I was opting for the lynxmotion or robotics connection was because I can actually see their innards and figure out if there would be enough space for my components etc. Too bad I dont have mad skills like 4mem8 to build my modded version with the lynxmotion tracks.

The RC tanks, on the other hand, do not tell you how much space they have inside and how I pry them open etc.

At this time, the Traxster II from Robotics Connection looks quite attractive for indoors usage. I know you dont like them a lot though.

lnxfergy
11-09-2008, 08:00 PM
With the tank, just cut the turret off and mount your stuff on top of the main body.

-Fergs

4mem8
11-09-2008, 11:18 PM
Well, If you want, you can send me all the parts, [A list will have to be made up] and I can make them for you. Either way they will not be cheap, by the time you freight them to me and I freight them back to you. But the offer is there anandoc.

4mem8
11-09-2008, 11:27 PM
I quite like those tanks Adrenalynn, Specificly the 2.5 ft one and reasonably priced at that.

anandoc
11-10-2008, 04:59 AM
Hi 4mem8,

Sent you a private message.

Sienna
11-10-2008, 06:17 AM
Ugh... I HATE those 1/12th scale tanks.

I bought one, specifically to turn into an autonomous platform. The quality was unnaceptable. The tracks barely stayed on the sprockets, the suspension arms were on the verge of snapping, the molding of the parts doesn't begin to describe "loose tolerance", and all in all it was pure flimsy. I ended up tossing mine as unsalvagable. While they are very empty inside, I would stay far far away from them.

anandoc
11-10-2008, 09:59 AM
Now I am in complete confusion. Sienna does not like the 1/12 tanks. Adrenalynn does not like the Robotics Connection Traxster II. So we just have one decent track based system..namely the tri-track base from Lynxmotion? Is that the only decent tracks based development platform?

darkback2
11-10-2008, 10:29 AM
Personally I think the real problem is the difficulty involved in building a decent track system on a budget. All of the research I have done on track systems for previous laptop based robots has led me to believe that Tracks that overcome the problems (slipping cogs/tracks comming off of the rails, a base capable of carrying a decent amount of weight) cannot be had on a budget...That is ofcourse unless you are willing to do all of your own fabrication...which leads to its own problems...

DB

anandoc
11-10-2008, 10:41 AM
Well, I am not even bringing in the costs here. Apart from the lynxmotion tri-track and the robotics connection traxster, I have yet to see any other decent track based system. The lynxmotion tri-tracks system is not too expensive at about $220, hence I feel its not just the price thats the constraint. I dont see any other higher-end tracks based system either...making me believe that just the money is not really the problem.

Adrenalynn
11-10-2008, 10:58 AM
Sienna,

That's a pretty broad brush. There are literally THOUSANDS of those things by dozens of manufacturers. Did you try thousands of them and find them all failing, or did you try one which you'll now be sharing the manufacturer and model number of so we can avoid it?

4mem8
11-10-2008, 11:09 AM
Agreed Adrenalynn, They ALL can't be bad, Not that Sienna is saying that, she just has picked a bad manufacturer, and that can happen to all of us, and really you don't know until you buy one what it;s like, That's why I build my own wiwth Lynxmotion parts, They seem proven and work well with not much wear that I can tell of.

Sienna
11-10-2008, 11:37 AM
The tri-track is a good kit for the price. (I have it, but am working on something a tiny bit larger with more ground clearance.)

The 1/12th tank that I had was one that had the big "W" on the front of the turret.

And 4men8, its she :P

Adrenalynn
11-10-2008, 11:40 AM
Sorry, Sienna, I didn't PM him the "she" fast enough - but PM him I did. ;)

4mem8
11-10-2008, 11:45 AM
Oops by bad, Sorry Sienna, I should have known from the Avatar, post corrected, and thanks Adrenalynn for the heads up.

anandoc
11-10-2008, 12:28 PM
Ugh... I HATE those 1/12th scale tanks.

I bought one, specifically to turn into an autonomous platform. The quality was unnaceptable. The tracks barely stayed on the sprockets, the suspension arms were on the verge of snapping, the molding of the parts doesn't begin to describe "loose tolerance", and all in all it was pure flimsy. I ended up tossing mine as unsalvagable. While they are very empty inside, I would stay far far away from them.

Sienna, is this the one you are talking about:

http://www.edirectory.co.uk/pf/880/mia/d/rc+radio+remote+control+1+12+tank+almost+1+metre+l ong/pid/4880355

Sienna
11-10-2008, 12:56 PM
Yep, thats one of the ones I am talking about.

And thanks 4mem8.

anandoc
11-10-2008, 01:07 PM
Yep, thats one of the ones I am talking about.

And thanks 4mem8.

Have you worked on any pico-ITX projects? Can you give me an approximate idea if a pico-ITX board will fit inside such a RC tank? I cant find any pictures of it online where the innards are exposed.

Sienna
11-10-2008, 02:01 PM
Its been a few months since I tossed it. I am fairly certain a mini-itx would fit, and a pico would most certainly fit. As well as the battery, etc. Figure its approximately 6"x12"x4" inside (really really rough guess from what little I remember).

However, I would still vote for the tri-track chassis. I know Tyberius put a pico on it, so it will fit. And the Lynxmotion product will last a lot longer in my opinion.

anandoc
11-10-2008, 02:48 PM
Thanks for the reply, Sienna. I am not really a fan of the tri-track because of its form-factor. I was looking to see if there was a way to integrate the A4WD1 chassis with the lynxmotion tracks. Seeing how that is an expensive affair and needs tools, expertise, I think I might just settle with one of these cheaper RC tanks as this is one of my first projects.

ahab
11-12-2008, 11:17 AM
I went the other route... instead of finding a chassis to fit my computer I found a computer to fit my chassis.

ended up with http://buy.advantech.com/PC-104-Modules/CPU-Modules/model-PCM-3353F-L0A1E.htm

Once in a while ebay has good stuff on there, recently picked up a P1-150 class PC/104 board for $60.

edit: i goofed on my tags :D

4mem8
11-12-2008, 11:29 AM
Bad link ahab, cannot link to it on either of my two PC's

anandoc
11-13-2008, 05:00 AM
I went the other route... instead of finding a chassis to fit my computer I found a computer to fit my chassis.

ended up with http://buy.advantech.com/PC-104-Modules/CPU-Modules/model-PCM-3353F-L0A1E.htm

Once in a while ebay has good stuff on there, recently picked up a P1-150 class PC/104 board for $60.

edit: i goofed on my tags :D

The motherboard I have chosen is smaller than yours at 10 cm x 7.2 cm . Did you use a tracked base? Which one?

ahab
11-13-2008, 09:39 AM
Ahh, nice.

I went with a Traxxas E-Maxx (http://www.traxxas.com/products/electric/emaxx3905/trx_emaxx3905.htm)