In my obsession for robotics I’ve come to the point where it no longer stimulates me to build kits that, while impressive in some aspect, are really quite limited as to what kind of experimentation can be done with them. So I set out to build an experimental platform that would allow me to do most of the things I’m interested in trying out. Fortunately for me I have a well equipt wood shop, so I’d decided to build a knee high mobile robot platform of wood. Standard aluminum wheel hubs and rollerskate wheels, 6mm axles, ball bearings, sprockets and chains, and 2 powerful planetary motors make the drive system. Basic navigation by 4 srf02’s mounted on servo turrets on the 4 inset corners at the base. An arm strong enough to hold an object weighing at least 1 kilo. CMUcam2+ mounted in Devantech turret for the ‘head’ and for the brains a PC based on Via Epia M. DC and servo motor controllers, sensores, everything but the camera by I2C for easy PC access. For the monitor an 8 inch touchscreen VGA designed for Car PC mounted on the top. Satellite speakers mounted on the sides, LCD status panel, sockets for recharging lead acid bats, independent 3 way power switches (On/Off/Charge) for each system (Servos/DC motors/PC/Aux). Work on the project is advancing quite nicely, check the link to see how far I’ve gotten (note bot is on assembly bench both are wood look closely, arm reaches to ground when on it’s wheels. Hopefully It’ll be a while before I feel the need to build another. At least long enough to improve the design…
Oh, I don’t know about that. I think the new LM rovers will be quite nice and allow for a lot of experimentation. I really like what I see in the new designs and may in fact just have to save up and get one of them when they are officially released. I’m really waiting to see what Jim comes up with for a 6 wheel rover…
I am always interested in what others are doing with their robots, especially when they are building something custom. I am still debating whether I want to try having custom decks made from light weight aluminum or go with one of the upcoming new LM four wheel rover kits. I don’t have the ability to fabricate anything, so I would have to pay somebody to do that for me if I do go custom.
Work is advancing, in response to your requests links to photos of my progress. Since last contact I’ve added a spring to act as counterweight at the shoulder joint, the arm was heavy, now the motors work with payload and inertial forces. The VGA with touchscreen is ordered and on it’s way.
What I should have said is - What I really want is a robot that will allow me to do all the experimentation my imagination can provide. That plus, I had an Via Epia miniITX I wanted to put to use. Artificial vision, voice recognition, navegation, Wifi, GPS, 3D scanning, artificial intelligence, hold this, bring that, read my mail, find the tv remote control, bring beer and sandwiches, telemetry by Internet, etc…
Kits are cool but the big ones are usually very expensive, this thing has a total budget of $2000 but I’m finishing up and I still haven’t spent near that yet. On the otherhand any body see an arm kit that can lift a kilo or more? Lifting a battery or a chess piece is cool (once or twice) but not very useful.
I have faith that Lynxmotion are moving in the right direction, just don’t have the patience to wait (and I love to tinker in my shop). I’m going nuts waiting for the new planetary motor servo they’re throwing together and as soon as they’re out I’ll be redesigning my arm.
I think the whitebox is ok (but mine is better of course).
i absolutely adore fine wood craftsman, especially when piled with robotics, they look so cool.
your robot is good, but it just looks huge and everything looks so separated from each other and well…not in unison for some reason. seems like theres a lot of wood thats there and not being used or occupied by parts. dunno, i love wooden mechanics but your robot looks just a bit “empty”.
Empty, lets see, 3 panasonic 12v 7 amp lead acid batteries, 1 6v 4 amp lead acid battery, Placa MiniITX, 12v PSU, SSC32 servo controller, DC motor controller, 5 watt audio amplifier, well it’s not full yet but its getting there fast. Apart from that I’d planned dimensions so the VGA touchscreen is reachable without squatting and the wheel base is wide enough to take it to LAN parties and conventions and not worry about it getting knocked over.
Art is cool but I aint doing art. In this case form is function. It’s a prototype and it’s purpose is experimentation. When I have a general purpose autonomous robot working - shouldn’t take more than 20 years or so )) - then I’ll get some expert aesthetic advice and redesign the whole thing.
Just to be objective, if a robot performs its intended function thru the required range, then it is successful. Personally I think some people spend way too much time and $$$ on looks instead of just getting the job done. The robots that show up in this forum generally only exist for learning and entertainment purposes.
you know you comment in a rude way, whether you had intended to or not. by empty i meant it looks like a lot of wood on the sides thats not being used. i understand you have all those electronics or not, but to the person that didn’t build the robot (us, the audience) we cant tell whats inside it and how it works. i can’t explain it very well, but it seems like you have large surfaces of plain wood with no robotic function in them. i just cant see why its this big, but im waiting for a video or something to explain everything. im just telling you my opinion from a first glance.
oh and by the way, this is a forum and you’re posting your work in a public domain. criticism will come and theres nothing someone can do to stop it, whether you like it or not, no reason to jump about it. i’d defend my robot too, and while it seems good for experimenting as you say, i cant see what function it has so its in my natural instinct to criticize on form while i await for its mechanics to prove itself.
I think there should be more info/sites dealing with wooden hobby robotic projects. Although there are some parts that need to be metal, wood can be used instead of metal or plastic in a lot of the structure, saving significant time and $$$. It would be interesting to make a list of the minimum tooling and equipment needed for fabricating wooden parts for robotic projects.