Older blog entries for JamesBruton (starting at number 22)

Well, xmas and new year are out of the way...

I'm currently is the process of refitting my kitchen and bathroom... and then redecorating the whole house from concrete floors up. So not much time for updating my projects, however, my plans for the new year are:

Finishing the last part of Mr stick legs's actual legs which involves another two wiper motors (now makes 5 it total for everything) and some bycycle brake cords to help him stand on one foot. Part of it is done but the page is not yet updated. I'll also post another video when it's done and walking. For now the linux mini-itx system is not on-board and I've not worked on the arms any more.

I'm thinking about building another biped exactly the same but only about 3ft tall instead of 5/6 as the others have been. This will be made from tubular aluminium, some plastic parts from DIY stores as well as polymorph prototyping plastic and use cheaper plastic gearboxes. I've pretty much reaslised that as well as wiper motors being super strong for robots they are also heavy, this means that the android structure has to be stronger (and heavier) and so it's just a vicious circle of power-weight-actuators-power-weight...

There's a rumor about the RoboSapien v3 will be around 3ft tall and be available in 2007 so it seems like a reaslisitc target to work towards for a hobby robot. I'd also like to get further with building arms/head next time before starting at legs again so I think smaller is better.

17 Nov 2005 (updated 17 Nov 2005 at 13:51 UTC) »

Hello, I've finally added some content to my new website 'www.music-chat.com - the home of robotic music and sounds'.

Mostly links to related content although I've explored some future content / projects that I'll create and add.

Any suggestions, let me know what you'd like to see.

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...

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