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Thread: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

  1. #1
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    Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    Hi all.. this thread is for my friend Timmy. He's an HR-OS5 that's been pieced together and even 3D printed to make whole. At this point he's a little naked but thanks to Shapeways and their black friday/cyber monday sales that will no longer be the case in just a short amount of time.

    Timmy is running on an Intel NUC i5 with lots of ram, storage, wifi, bluetooth, and USB3 ports. This is complimented with the new Arbotix-Pro board and Ubuntu 14.04. Once all the parts were ready his assembly took somewhere around 30 hours and pushed my physical limit for how many screws I could install by hand in a short time span.

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    After assembly he's received a few new modifications. First was a Chappie head but not just the same thing as before, this one was going to be special. I took my original design and scaled it up plus added 3x servos to control features, OLED displays for eyes, and a custom VU meter for illuminating his mouth when talking. All but the audio signal for the mouth is controlled and powered over the Dynamixel bus, minimizing the the wiring between the head and the body. Two custom circuits were designed and etched on the CNC for easy and quick production. All the code to interface with the DXL bus, control the eyes, and move the servos was put on my pink Teensy 3.1 (yes, it finally found a perfect purpose) which is mounted on one of the aforementioned PCBs.

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    Of course this means I’d like to hear the robot so I started digging in those boxes of old electronics and computers that I can’t quite throw away and found a great Altec Lansing sound bar from a HP laptop that someone no longer wanted. These were perfect 4 ohm 1.5watt speakers that with a little modification and hot glue became Timmy’s new speaker box. Now with tiny speakers and a tiny amplifier circuit I could fit both audio components between the hips and batteries concealing the whole setup.

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    https://www.instagram.com/p/9wmue4nyaT

    Now because what I’ve really got my eye on is some of these grippers from Seed Robotics, SR-DH4D Articulated Hand http://www.seedrobotics.com/products.html I decided to make some quick and simple hands to give him a friendlier look. I modeled them after some pictures found in Tyberius’ photo gallery and used some 7mm energy chain for fingers that I could get from amazon.com in a couple of days

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    And before I get to the good stuff I’ve also been playing with a new head design that is admittedly on the simple side but holds the Intel RealSense R200 camera. It’s taken me a good amount of time to get my hands on one of these cameras and currently Intel seems to support only the Windows SDK. That said there is some linux/ubuntu development and along with that a little bit of ROS code. I’ve had a chance to test the PercATI RealSense_ROS code and have successfully interfaced with the camera in Linux/ROS. I’m looking forward to more testing with a 60Hz depth camera and would like to integrate support with the ROS stuff I’ve been putting together.

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    And now for the fun part.. ROS ROS Taking from a number of open source projects I’ve been putting together a small ROS stack that is capable of controlling the robot, visualization, DS4 teleoperation, and 3D mapping the environment. As of late I’ve been focused on getting decent odometry but will soon be working towards a smoother walk gait to stabilize the body and therefore the IMU readings plus depth data. I’ve also been having fun with a ROS wrapper for pocketsphinx, allowing me to talk to Timmy and laugh at some of his responses.

    I still have a ways to go on the development efforts but he's come a long way in a short time with a ton of great stuff on the horizon. If you've made it this far thank you for meeting Timmy. I'm sure I've left out some key details ( I'd rather be programming ) but feel free to ask away.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/-b9tF_nyep/





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  2. #2

    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    Great stuff and congratulations on all that you have accomplished already with this project! I can not wait to see what you are able to do with it next!

    Again great stuff!

  3. #3
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    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    Thank you Kurt It's been a really enjoyable project so far!
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    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    WOW! Timmy looks great and your modifications - ROS, Chappie head, extra articulations, audio, etc., are fantastic!

    Quote Originally Posted by r3n33 View Post
    Timmy is running on an Intel NUC i5 with lots of ram, storage, wifi, bluetooth, and USB3 ports. This is complimented with the new Arbotix-Pro board and Ubuntu 14.04. Once all the parts were ready his assembly took somewhere around 30 hours and pushed my physical limit for how many screws I could install by hand in a short time span.
    I wonder if all that software will work/run okay on an Odroid-XU4? When I get over my current illness and some more dental surgery next week, I will have to try it and see.

    I sympathize in regards to number of screws that have to be used for these types of robots. My hands and wrists were killing me by the time I finished assembly of my HR-OS1. This past Saturday I was at the local Lowe's and found two things that you and others might be interested in. A cordless precision screwdriver by General, and a Micro Precision 30 in 1 Bit Set by Tool Cache that fit the screwdriver. I have no idea how long the AAA batteries will last, but it does have enough torque for the job. Both of these items were less than $10 each so the quality is not that great. In fact, the hex bits smaller than 2mm all are tapered so I had to grind off the tip of the 1.5mm one to get it to fit without just spinning in the socket head. With all the various modifications I've been playing with, I'm sure it is going to be a handy item. The socket for the screwdriver appears to be a 4mm hex, so any bit set that size should work.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    Incredible cool project! The Chappie head sure adds a lot of personality. The RealSense sensor sure looks interesting but its sad you can't make it fit into the head. Maybe a big Jimmy style head would work.

    Looking forward to follow your progress!
    Kåre Halvorsen aka Zenta
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    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    Quote Originally Posted by drachels View Post
    WOW! Timmy looks great and your modifications - ROS, Chappie head, extra articulations, audio, etc., are fantastic!

    I wonder if all that software will work/run okay on an Odroid-XU4? When I get over my current illness and some more dental surgery next week, I will have to try it and see.
    Thanks AL!

    I'm certain it would be possible to run quite a bit of what I'm currently running on an XU4. Although it will be pushed to it's limit as far as processing power goes once you introduce ROS plus a depth sensor. I ran a similar setup on my hexapod using an XU3 and once mapping began the CPU cores were taxed. So it's do-able but the effort and time required would be a debatable topic. Plus the OS1 is a little more limited in terms of mobility.

    Now you could possibly run something like the Intel F200 (taken out of it's case) with an XU4 on the OS1 and play with cob_people_detection to detect known faces and interact with them or detect your presence and perform some specific task. Though much of that would be very lightly or completely uncharted territory

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenta View Post
    Incredible cool project! The Chappie head sure adds a lot of personality. The RealSense sensor sure looks interesting but its sad you can't make it fit into the head. Maybe a big Jimmy style head would work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zenta View Post

    Looking forward to follow your progress!
    Thank you Kåre. You snuck in as I was sending another reply.

    I was a bit bummed that I couldn't mix the Chappie head with the RealSense.. though if I ever go through with a Chappie torso I might be able to add the sensor there. I would just loose the ability to pan and tilt.. oh decisions decisions.
    Last edited by r3n33; 12-03-2015 at 04:41 PM.
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    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    I've been a bit busier lately and spending lots of time trying to solve an incompatibility issue with the R200 and RTAB-Map. Thankfully, just the other day I was able to figure out how to solve this issue and can now 3D map in ROS with my Intel camera at it's highest depth resolution available.

    This means instead of working with a 320x240 depth and color stream I now have 640x480 streams at 60 fps. Which initial testing shows works really well for visual odometry.



    Here is a comparison demonstration of the robot performing mapping while walking (or just pivoting due to a safety harness) with the Intel RealSense. In case it matters, and I think it will in this scenario, I have not adjusted any of RTAB-Map's parameters when switching cameras. The data received from the Intel's depth sensing appears to be quite a bit different from what I'm used to.

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  8. #8

    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    Great stuff.

    You are making a ton of progress. Hopefully one of these days I will get a chance to try out all of your great stuff!

  9. #9
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    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    Well now. It's been a little while since I've provided an update on Timmy's progress. Since the last time he's received new armor, another new head design, and a number of software improvements. Most notably he now works with MoveIt! which is quite exciting and opens the door to many new developments. I've also written a couple demo programs that monitor the servo load and when a threshold is crossed from an external disturbance the robot will move in compliance. It's quite fun and allows me to setup some cool poses without coding in servo positions.

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    This of course doesn't mean I've moved on from mapping completely. I've just started exploring some other development avenues because mapping, localization, odometry are challenging on a two legged robot with limited sensory input. Given all the challenges I'd say he's coming along nicely in the mapping department.

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    With the addition of MoveIt support Timmy now has a graphical interface with IK, FK, Motion Planning and Trajectory execution. In time I'd like to get into object detection and manipulation with an upgraded arm, gripper, and a short range depth sensor or stereo cameras. But before I get lost in future goals I'll show you some of the basics he is capable of demonstrating. And of course, there is so much more to come


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    Re: Meet Timmy, the ROS powered humanoid

    I've recently updated the visual and collision models in order to more accurately define the robot. This was a semi-tedious process but it's now well worth the effort. It's also much safer with accurate collision models when executing trajectories on the physical robot.

    Visual Models:
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