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Thread: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

  1. Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    Well, I'm working super hard to make this happen, but as is the way of things it is all coming together at the last minute.

    I've got at least a little progress to report, in the form of actual walking:

    Of course, it needs assistance to start or stop, is wobbly when it walks, has no battery, no turret, has unprotected innards, has an affinity for slippery rulers, and is awfully big so I'll have to be aiming down a lot, but hey, it is something! With luck, it will even be able to jump.

  2. #62

    Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    That looks cool!

    I wonder if you could crouch the legs more and get lower height? Or would that overheat the tibia motors?

    Can you strafe? Perhaps mount the gun underslung from the body?

  3. Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    Yep, the legs definitely have room to crouch more, even within their current thermal and power limits. I did these first tests up high largely for stability. I still have direct drive motors on the upper and lower leg, which while they have great compliance and torque control, only have so-so position control bandwidth. Crouching more resulted in them sagging a lot when some legs were in flight, which made the walking not so successful. I'm going to just feed-forward the correct torque for any given static position, and am also going to eventually get gearboxes for all joints. The gearboxes are vastly superior, 6x better position bandwidth, 6-12x higher peak torque and 36-144x less power for the same torque, only minimally less compliant, and only twice as heavy. Mostly it just depends upon time management at this point. Once the last part on the slow boat from aliexpress arrives, I'll have enough parts for a full set of gearboxes, but they currently take me about a day of careful assembly time each, which is kinda cutting it close at this point. Besides the fact that I need to redesign the legs!

    I'm figuring the more successful strategy at this point is to get all the things necessary for an actual match working in some minimal, if suboptimal way, then continue with iterating on performance improvements. At that point, feedforward torque on the direct drive motors is probably the best I can hope for.

    Slinging the turret under the body is a really interesting idea. Unfortunately, because of aforementioned time pressure, I suspect I am stuck with my existing hardware, which wouldn't be super easy to convert from a top mounted position.

  4. #64

    Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    And I thought I was cutting it close ...

  5. Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    And fortunately, the new gimbal control board seems to have functioned correctly on the first try. I'm basically out of time for another revision, so that was good!

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    Everything about this robot is amazing. What changes did you put into the v2 of the turret?

  7. Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    Not much functionally in this revision of the board... it supports the new 5S bus voltage and the RS485 based communcations protocol. It no longer has USB pass through, as the new turret has an rpi3 mounted in the gimbal platform with camera directly attached. Also, it has a power pass through to power that rpi3 without needing a crazy wire harness and the weapon power connector is positioned better to allow more freedom of motion.

    I think it ended up being bigger too, but that was only because of an aborted attempt to use the Intel Joule 3 years ago and I didn't want to spend the time to shrink the footprint back down again...

    I've got a blog post queued up for later in the week with a few more details.

  8. #68

    Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    Wait -- jumping AND stabilized gun?

    I've been thinking about an RPi 3 for a long while, too. It even has solder spots for taking out a composite video signal, to use low-latency FPV video. That would let me overlay all kinds of interesting information on the display, as well as use the Pi to do target plate tracking. Really excited to see you go this direction -- really looking forward to it!
    Last edited by jwatte; 04-29-2019 at 12:17 PM.

  9. Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    Well, like most tortoise and hare stories, you know how this will end.

    Yeah, I've got the pi3 doing aruco target tracking using whatever random technique is built into opencv. Without too much optimization, it can track over a few hundred pixel square image, which covers most of the HD feed I'm sending back.

    Also importantly for the pi3, is that it has a camera connection, and built in 5.8Ghz wifi, neither of which uses USB internally.

  10. #70

    Re: First steps for Super Mega Microbot

    It even has a GPU that can be fooled into doing some useful things (including compressing H.264 in hardware for storing for later offline analytics.)

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