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Thread: BrainBot Work

  1. BrainBot Work

    So, I've now got two BrainBots put together here, not including the third one that is down in New Hampshire at the Brain Engineering Lab.



    That's the latest one, with a second tracked base. Its mostly together, but I need to do some more wiring and get the gumstix mounted in the chest.

    Here's the two of them together:



    Still lots of work to do, but things are coming along...

    - Jon

  2. Re: BrainBot Work

    So last night I finally got wifi running with the gumstix, and now BrainBot can tool around completely wirelessly. Today at lunch I made a short video of BrainBot driving around my driveway (I'm controlling it with a joystick attached to my PC).



    Things are starting to happen...

    - Jon

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    Re: BrainBot Work

    Great work Jon! It's only a matter of time until you have a swarm of "huvoloids" running around and doing your bidding, haha

    Have you worked out the feeds coming in from the cameras? I'd love to see that vision software in action

    EDIT: BTW, how does the whole communication with the gumstix thing work? I have an idea of it, but I haven't had the opportunity to mess around with it personally. Is it a master slave scenario, where the gumstix run embedded Linux and talks to a Windows PC via WiFi? I thought you briefly explained this once before in our forums, but I can't seem to find the link anymore...
    Last edited by Alex; 10-15-2007 at 02:30 PM.

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

  4. Re: BrainBot Work

    The cameras are wireless, so we connect the receiver to a frame grabber running on the PC.

    The communications works like this:

    At the bottom level, I have a PCB made which is a Bioloid bus device - see the second board mentioned in this blog post for details. That becomes just another device on the Bioloid bus, which is a 1.0 Mbps serial multi-drop bus. The gumstix talks to the Bioloid bus using an FT-232 chip from FTDI, through one of its host USB ports. That gives me a virtual serial port from the gumstix to the Bioloid bus, also at 1.0 Mbps.

    The gumstix has an application on it (written by myself and a friend) that sets up a socket, and waits for a connection.

    The PC runs another custom application, which connects to the gumstix socket, and sends Bioloid bus commands to the gumstix, which forwards them to the devices on the bus. The socket communication takes place over wifi, which gives us a full 1.0 Mbps wireless connection from a PC to the Bioloid bus...

    - Jon

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    Re: BrainBot Work

    I was pretty close, haha Thanks for the info!

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

  6. Re: BrainBot Work

    Last night I got another piece working - I was able to stream audio from my PC to my gumstix, over wifi. I took an MP3 song and converted it to a WAV file (40 MB). I ran socat on the gumstix (which basically sets up a socket server, and streams incoming data to stdout. I piped the output of that to bplay, which plays WAV files over a speaker plugged into the audiostix.

    I set up a client socket in Squeak on my PC, connected to the gumstix, and started sending chunks of the WAV file over the socket. The sound started playing on the gumstix almost instantly, which is pretty nice.

    The song was 4 minutes long, and it streamed the audio flawlessly for the entire period.

    One of the major goals of the BrainBot project is to stream audio in both directions (from the microphones on the robot to the PC, and to the speaker on the robot from the PC). Having this working so nicely is a major part of that, and streaming in the other direction works basically the same.

    - Jon

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    Re: BrainBot Work

    Nice So when are we going to have a dance room full of these BrainBots, haha.

    Seriously though, so the purpose of streaming the audio is so that you could give the BrainBot voice commands on either the robot (gumstix) end, or the computer end? Or am I totally misunderstanding the point?

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

  8. Re: BrainBot Work

    The purpose of two way streaming audio is so the Brain Engineering guys can do language research with it. There are three main goals to the BrainBot robot: manipulation, vision, and language. We now have the capability to do all three, although all three require more polishing and setup. But we've basically got a proof of concept for all three.

    - Jon

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    Re: BrainBot Work

    Quote Originally Posted by JonHylands View Post
    We now have the capability to do all three, although all three require more polishing and setup. But we've basically got a proof of concept for all three.
    Awesome Jon! So does this mean that we should expect to see some cool new things done in the vision, language and manipulation areas with your BrainBot in the future?

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

  10. Re: BrainBot Work

    Well, I sure hope so :-)

    We're still waiting for a research grant to come through so I can work on this stuff full time. If/when that happens, things will definitely get interesting...

    - Jon

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