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Thread: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

  1. #1
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    ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    I suppose in many aspects my project is the same as KevinO's awesome robot Golem. Kevin has been kind enough to allow me to work on his ROS development and at the moment I'm re-gearing the system for the PhantomX kit.

    So her name is ROSie and I'm thinking it stands for ROS Intelligent Explorer unless I come up with something better

    I went with the AX18 kit because I figured I could potentially do more with faster servos. After the kit was assembled I used a couple of AX12 servos and a 3D printed adapter to attached a pan and tilt neck on the front of the body that holds the PrimeSense scanner.

    With the extra 330 grams of weight on the front rather than the top of the body I was noticing the femur servos were getting extra warm on the front two legs and would tend to over heat to the point where they would shut down. The weight didn't seem unreasonable so I started to experiment with 30mm cooling fans and 3D printed brackets. While they do generate a little bit of noise they also keep the servos cool enough to run continuously ( or at least enough to bother my dogs until the battery dies ). If you are interested in the AX servo cooling fan mod the files are available on http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:781366

    My current plans are to run ROS on a Raspberry Pi 2 but if I run out of processing power too soon I'll be switching to a new platform. For now I'm trying to utilize as many of the existing parts that I have laying around and the RPi2 is holding up pretty good under the ROS load.

    I've brought in customized 3D models of the PhantomX for the robot model in ROS.. they aren't 100% perfect but I think they look pretty good for the amount of time utilized. I plan to add the models for the pan and tilt servos as well as the PrimeSense.

    All the PhantomX measurements have been brought into the system and she's been walking around in my small dev area just a bit as you can see from my mapping screen shot.

    As of last night I brought in an alternate IMU driver since I'm using the CH Robotics UM7 and I now have the IMU auto levelling working. And if you notice in the screen shots depth scanning, laser scanning, odometry, and 2D mapping are up and running as well. I also went with a bluetooth PS3 controller for manual control and a small amplified speaker for sound effects and talking.

    I think that's about all for now. I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself here as some plans are likely to change as the development continues but at the same time I wanted to share and show my presence on the forums a bit.

    Current hardware setup:

    PhantomX AX MKII Kit with AX-18A Servos
    ODROID XU3 with 32GB eMMC 5.0 and USB Bluetooth
    PrimeSense 1.08 Camera and Depth Sensor on AX-12A Pan/Tilt Servos
    USB2AX Servo Communication Adapter
    CH Robotics CHR-UM7 IMU
    Adafruit USB FTDI Friend
    Boise 11N 300Mbps WiFi Adapter
    Pololu 5V 5A voltage regulator

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    Last edited by r3n33; 05-24-2015 at 11:46 PM. Reason: update current hardware
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  2. #2

    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    This is really phenomenal. I can't wait to try this out on one of our hexapods! Great work.

  3. #3

    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    The RPi2 has plenty of processing power. ROS won't be a problem for it.

    Regarding servo cooling, when I was looking for it for Onyx, I found some 18mm, thin, 5V fans that fit very well on that bot. Small and lightweight and surprisingly quiet! (I also found another, even thinner, fan that wasn't quiet :-)

  4. #4
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    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    It's really great to see the code running on another hexapod! Great job getting it all working!

  5. #5
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    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    Great work! Looking good. Would be great to see a video of the real hex walking too.
    Kåre Halvorsen aka Zenta
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  6. #6

    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    Let me 2nd or 3rd the great work!

    I will have to try it out on my PhantomX, not sure yet which Linux board to try it out with?

    Maybe easiest to try with may spare RPI2, but am leaning more toward ODrdoid. Maybe the C1 I have that has Ubuntu 14.04 with Ros already installed on it. But then maybe an Edison :lol:

    Again great job!

  7. #7
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    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    Thanks everyone!

    It has been a blast so far and I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can do to advance this already really nice ROS package.

    I'm still making slight adjustments to the code to properly drive the PhantomX around but it is looking pretty good already. I can't wait to put some final touches and see what ya'll think of the code on your bots! I hope it goes as smoothly as I imagine it will.

    The RPi2 was holding up well but I think the CPU usage was up around 80% on all four cores the last time I checked. I like the idea of the ODroid because it has some extra power and I think it will fit in the frame unlike the NUC. Time will tell. I've been cheating a bit and running the code through the development process on my desktop since it's much faster. That leaves the hex standing with a nest of USB cables connected to the PC ( hence the mere 180 degree view on the 2D map ).

    And I'll get a video soon.. Promise Just have to finish installing a couple components like the 5V regulator and 3D printed IMU mount.
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  8. #8
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    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    Well I didn't quite finish installing all of my hardware but I didn't want to leave everyone hanging without a video so here's a little demo of ROS running on the RPi2.



    And a screen shot of the CPU load at the time of the video..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is just the beginning and I haven't had any time to try and smooth things out. Still, pretty cool overall if you ask me
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  9. #9

    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    Wow, that's high load!
    How many Hz are you running at?
    Also, did you build with the stock gcc, or thw upgeaded 4.8?
    By default, the gcc builds for old rpi arm6 with gcc 4.6.
    Building for arm7 with -O3 and neon fp on 4.8 gives back a bunch of cpu (depending on what the code is doing)

  10. #10
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    Re: ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

    Here is another video showing some smoother motion from KevinO's ROS package on the PhantomX

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