Older blog entries for JamesBruton (starting at number 20)

15 Nov 2005 (updated 15 Nov 2005 at 14:02 UTC) »

I have launched a new website www.music-chat.com, despite it's non-robotic name it will infact be dedicated to musical communication for robots. Think about ringtones / 'Windows desktop' sounds etc. It's mainly coming from the idea of robots interacting with society. I'll be including projects along the lines of:

-The creation of sound schemes for Robots.
-Projects to play the sounds on any robot, whether it has a PC based computer in it or not.
-Speech synthesis and also projects to put expression into robotic speech.
-Robots that play instruments, 'sing' or perform in some way.
-Various related robotic musical industry news.

I will be creating some sounds using various synths and musical equipment as one of my other interests is composing music. I play drums, bass, keyboards, guitar and own a clarinet as well as various software and hardware synthesisers. Anything created here will be 'open source' in that it will be free to download and will not be copyrighted, anyone who wishes to contribute will be welcome to do so.

There's not much content yet but I'll be adding some things over the next few days / weeks and forever... you can always sign up and post 'hello' in the forums if you like, or suggest any project you'd like to see along these lines and I'll build it...! (maybe)

In other news, I'll be updating XRobots.co.uk with some more things this week. Still posting news at 914pcbots.com for the rest of this month - Anyone remember the Tomy Omnibot?

8 Nov 2005 (updated 8 Nov 2005 at 09:33 UTC) »

Was looking at my XRobots.co.uk website stats today, I found that I've had quite a few referals from search engines.

I seem to have the top Google search for 'structure of android' and 'm6 rod'. Also something like 3rd result for 'm8 rod'.

I guess that shows how much M6 and M8 rod rod I must have used in my designs...

I've done my first two 'news' posts over at 914pcbots.com, anyone remember Metal Mickey?

Check it out...

I've pretty much got the computer operating inside and controlling Mr Stick Legs. I have to just write a bit more code to send the output from my basic vision application over IP back to the android to control it... There'll be some more on the site soon about linking the whole thing together, then it'll just be a case of programming as most of the hardware construction is done. I'll post some more videos when it's all together.

In other news, I'm looking after 914pcbots.com for the month of November while Tim is away.

So, I'll be posting some news and items to hopfuly start discussions shortly. Any suggestions - let me know, the site is about general PC based robots as well as the White Box Robotics 914.

Ok, a few updates:

I've fitted the head project mentioned below onto Mr Stick legs, my human sized bi-ped android. There are two pics of him at the bottom of the page here with the new attachement, although he's now short of some arms which will be coming next.

I've also Pretty much sorted my low power portable PC project, although it's not quite the same as I intended. It will use a hard disk for now instead of flash memory, and until I get a wireless base station there will be no Wi-Fi, but these will just plug in anyway when the time comes. Also using Vector Linux instead of Damn Small Linux for the time being.

Next is putting the PC into Mr Stick Legs and talking to it with IP/Sockets from the vision app. Both the software running on Linux and on Windows remotely will be written in Python. I already have a tested IP talking program that allows both platforms to talk to each other. Once the basic infrastructure (and his arms) are in place I can have some fun with writing some loosely termed 'AI' software.

There will be more on the site soon as always...

I've done some more to Mr Stick Legs to make him more stable, soon there will be another video and some more pics.

I've also started a proper head project that includes a pan/tilt camera and will have stereo hearing. I'll be making it all wireless using a video sender and also be exploring machine vision software using Python and it's various open source components.

Maybe the head will go on one of the androids, probably Mr stick legs, and be used for navigation / automated roaming. The head is about as big as mine and has plenty of space for it's brains.

The new article is here. I'll be writing the rest as soon as I make the things...

28 Aug 2005 (updated 28 Aug 2005 at 17:39 UTC) »

I now have Mr Stick Legs walking around, I've put a page up of all the android videos here, more coming as I do them. The Mr Stick legs video is here (6.27Mb Divx)

here are the androids having a loverly time together as a size comparision - the tallest is about 6ft, Mr Stick legs is 4ft7/150cm.

He's a bit wobbly when he's on one leg, but this is because all that holds the leg straight is a bungee cord on each side. The plan is to make the legs a bit more rigid for sideways movement, although this has proven a vauable test to see how much I could reduce the motor count and mecahical linkages to simple flexible cords and springs - a bit like a human. Mr Stick Legs has only three motors for walking. The constuction details are here

The legs have the machanical ability to rotate also, so it can turn on the spot etc, they are fixed for now but the levers are there to attach actuators to, so once it walks reliably this is next to work on, along with the arms/hands and the pen/tilt camera mount.

I've done quite a few things to my android over the last few weeks, the arms are on as well as the elcectronics from the last android have been fitted inside the body.

Some direct links to the pics are:




and here

The rest of the construction is here

Remember - this thing is 4'5''/140cm tall with no head. It can lean from side to side under it's own power so when the legs are bending too it should be able to locomote...

I bought a big piece of drainpipe/waste pipe from my local DIY store - it's like a giant 4 way junction with a large inspection place in the middle to look for something(?). The 4 pipes are ideal for the waist, head and arms and the round section in the middle will hold all the electronics.

ALso got the android to shift and balance it's weight from side to side with only motor now all the bungees as pull- wires are on.

It's all here

I have got the android to statically balance on one leg, nearly there for getting the motor to make it do this, just a few more pulleys to add. It's currently areound 3ft tall without any upper body at all...

It's all here

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