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Thread: Argos pr1

  1. #1
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    Argos PR1

    Hey folks,


    Thought I would show everyone what I've been working on as of late. I call him ARGOS PR1. (Autonomous Robotic Guidance and Orientation System Personal Robot 1) I'm almost done with Phase 1, which includes the base iRobot Create chassis, Onboard Mini-ITX main board, Logitec Orbit AF, Phidgit 8/8/8 with Voltage and AMP Sensors. Currently stuck on the power and charging system.. I was planning on 4 3800mAh Sub-C battery packs (each with 12 cells) wired in parallel, but the charging circuit is the issue there. I plan on using a Roomba Home base for the docking station and modifying it with extra contacts for the separate battery packs.


    Phase 2 will include a 2 DOF Arm with a 3 DOF gripper. I'll be using Massive geared servos from RobotZone (ServoCity) for the Shoulder and Elbow.. I hope to be able to lift around 7-8lbs with the arm.. (Not necessarily attached to Argos..)

    My current road blocks are the charging circuits. (Planning on using MAX712's) and how to power the servos which require 7.2v to operate at max power and draw over 5amps when stalled (each). I also be adding a few sonar sensors to it as well.. Still debating on were to place them.. On the bottom plat form (on the underside) or on the top platform. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Connor
    Last edited by Connor; 12-28-2009 at 02:19 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: ARGOS PR1

    Your bot is looking great! Where were you thinking of installing the arm? I hope it's not big enough to topple him over with a sudden move. If you can't find something to support your servos' current draws you could maybe have them connected to a relay board and have them on their own separate circuit so as to not fry anything

    Have you ever thought of consolidating all of your power sources into one? Maybe create your own little power management unit board so that you can run off a single battery. There may be schematics on Google to help you own with that.

    As for the sonar, I think you could get away with putting them on the bottom platform just in case something shorter than ARGOS doesn't register as an obstacle.

    I look forward to seeing more!
    It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. --Carl Sagan

  3. #3
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    Re: ARGOS PR1

    Quote Originally Posted by archcvd View Post
    Your bot is looking great! Where were you thinking of installing the arm? I hope it's not big enough to topple him over with a sudden move.
    The arm will be mounted on the right hand side of him (left hand facing him). It'll be made up of 2 8" rounded sections with the gripper at end obviously.

    Quote Originally Posted by archcvd View Post
    If you can't find something to support your servos' current draws you could maybe have them connected to a relay board and have them on their own separate circuit so as to not fry anything

    Have you ever thought of consolidating all of your power sources into one? Maybe create your own little power management unit board so that you can run off a single battery. There may be schematics on Google to help you own with that.
    I have a few different thoughts on battery power and management. The idea with the 4 packs was to give me a total of 15200mAh, and with the Mini-ITX board pulling around 1.7amps, that'll give me a really good long runtime without using the arm. I then thought about just using 3 packs to power the Mini-ITX, and turn the other into a 7.2v pack at 7600mAh to run just the arm (run it straight into the Linxmotion SSC board I'm planning to use.) I also thought about using 12 10000mAh D's or 12 14000mAh F's.. Like I said, I'm a tad stuck. The one thing I'm sure of is I'm going to let the Create handle it's own power via the 14.4v pack that's on the underside of him. I did think about maybe hooking up a realy system to toggle the create over to the Mini-ITX pack so that he could run off of it in case the Create's pack started running low. Another question.. The Power supply for the Mini-ITX is rated for 12-25v, I'm planning on 14.4v, I could take it down to 12v by using 10 cells vs 12, but, I think 14.4v might be better in the long run.

    Quote Originally Posted by archcvd View Post
    As for the sonar, I think you could get away with putting them on the bottom platform just in case something shorter than ARGOS doesn't register as an obstacle.
    I could do both! Put 4 on the bottom (1 forward 1 on each side, 1 in back, and 1 on top forward) Would I want the ones on the sides angled or just straight out?

    Quote Originally Posted by archcvd View Post
    I look forward to seeing more!
    I hope to be able to post more about him, just have to figure out these little road blocks!

    Thanks, Connor

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    Re: ARGOS PR1

    Nice bot! I recently started a robot project and was debating between a Lynxmotion crawler and an iRobot Create. I went with the crawler because of the extra "walking fun", but the iRobot Create had some really appealing features, including the docking station that I now have to design and build for the crawler.

    I'd really love to see how your charging/power system is put together. I'm using 2x 2600mAh 12V packs in parallel powering a Lynxmotion SSC-32 and a pico-itx PSU (120watt), both in parallel and I'm having power issues. I put a voltage regulator in line to drop the voltage to the SSC-32 to 9V, but moving more than one leg at a time reboots everything. I think the answer is to have a seperate power rail for the servos (easily done with the SSC-32).

    The part of your power system I'm interested in is the charging circuit. I want to be able to "dock" the bot, but I'm not sure how to do it correctly. I'm sure you can't just slap a charger in parallel somewhere and I'm not sure how to correctly isolate the battery.

    Thanks,
    James

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    Re: ARGOS PR1

    This is a great design. I never thought of putting a computer on a Create, but it looks like a good fit.

    PS: Is that a salad mixing bowl for a head? LOL, Awesome.

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    Re: ARGOS PR1

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    This is a great design. I never thought of putting a computer on a Create, but it looks like a good fit.
    Yea, a similar design won a contest. I based mine off of his.. http://www.instructables.com/id/iRob...al-Home-Robot/ Making changes of course. Like I used a pan and tilt camera, Using a Phidgits 8/8/8 for functions, planning to add sonar... and my arm will be way more useful!


    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    PS: Is that a salad mixing bowl for a head? LOL, Awesome.
    Umm, I'll never say... Yea, I found them at Wall-Mart, I have a teal colored one also. Was planning on spray painting it white to match the Create, my wife likes it blue.. What's a guy to do?

    Thanks, Connor

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    Re: ARGOS PR1

    Have any updates on your bot?

    Have you considered entering it in our contest? I could always move this thread over to the Project Showcase forum if you'd like and you can beef up the description to better fit an entry

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

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    ARGOS PR1 - January 2009 Update

    Here are some new pictures and and info on Argos. He now has his Compass, 6 Sonar sensors, a USB-I2C interface board, Microphone, and charging plates on his front bumper.

    Hardware:
    Via Epia SN1800G Mini ITX Main board with 1.8 Ghz Processor and 800Mhz FSB
    2 GB RAM
    Toshiba 120GB SATA Laptop Hardrive
    MiniPCI 802.11b/g Wifi Card
    12-25v Micro PSU
    IRobot Create
    Logitech Orbit AF USB Pan/Tilt Camera
    Phidgets 8/8/8 Digital/Analog I/O Board
    Phidgets Voltage Sensor
    Phidgets Current Sensor
    Phidgets Voltage Divider
    Devantech CMPS03
    5 Maxbotix LV1 Sonars (Front and Sides)
    1 Maxbotix LV0 Sonars (Rear)
    Devantech USB-I2C converter
    RoombaDevTools RooStick (USB to TTL converter) for the IRobot Create
    Old CreativeLabs Desktop Microphone
    Custom built 5v Regulator
    Cheap USB Powered speakers (now powered via custom built 5v Regulator)
    X10 Firecracker

    Software:
    Windows XP SP2 (Manually Stripped down of all unnecessary services)
    RoboRealm for Vision
    Python v2.5
    pySerial Python module
    Phidgets Python API
    pyCreate IRobot Create API
    RoboRealm Python API
    pyTTS
    pywin32_system32
    win32com
    x10.py
    Microsoft TTS
    Microsoft Speach SAPI v5.1
    nircmd (command line package that lets me toggle the mute on the microphone)
    ATT Voice pack Mike and Crystal (I'm using Mike)

    Current Capabilities:
    Voice Recognition based on specific vocabulary.
    Text-to-Speach
    Sonar Ranging
    Compass Readings
    Basic movement via Voice commands (Foward 4 units, left 2 units etc..)
    X10 Control of lights in house
    Tracking Color with Pan/Tilt
    Guard mode (Alerts when he notices movement)
    Remote Operiation vis Terminal Services (With camera feed)

    Future Upgrades:
    Li-Ion Battery pack and charging system
    Possiby IR Sensors on front bumper or lower Deck
    Path Finding based on A-Star algorithm
    5DOF Right Arm

    Thanks, Connor

  9. #9
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    Re: ARGOS PR1

    He's come a long way the last few months! Grats! Nice job!

    I'll be picking your brain on your SONAR array for another couple projects pretty soon.
    I Void Warranties�

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    Re: ARGOS PR1

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrenalynn View Post
    He's come a long way the last few months! Grats! Nice job!

    I'll be picking your brain on your SONAR array for another couple projects pretty soon.
    Most of the upgrades since last time were done over the holidays. He had been put away for a long time, I just finally got around to working on him again.

    As for the sonar, that was a PITA... I completly re-wired it after I first had it in a chain, using the Phidgets 8/8/8 with the Analog inputs.. it's now wired in a chain, using serial output. see this thread: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/sh...p?t=885&page=3 I've since been told by Maxbotix that this isn't 100% ideal because chaining the TX to the RX directly without the BW pin being in pulse mode can introduce noise on the serial output..(and you can't put it in pulse mode, because then, you don't get your serial data) They told me to put a 10K resister between each TX and RX instead of a wire to help reduce noise.. I haven't done that, but, so far, I'm not having any issues with it either.... However, I did have issues trying to do it this method when powered with anything less than 5v (within 5% margin). I was getting some strange issues with the lead Sonar.. Hence the reason I was asking about switching a 5v supply with a 3v logic. The other thing you have to look at, is timing on the reads and trigger.. If you don't put enough delay between your trigger pulse and your read, then you could have overlapping readings, which DID introduce noise and shift the readings etc etc.. Anyway, it's working now.. and I'm happy.. I just need to get the optocoupler installed so I can have Argos re-calibrate his sonar when ever he needs too.

    Thanks, Connor

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