Older blog entries for JamesBruton (starting at number 28)

Just posted some pics of the android around the house so you can get an idea for it's physical size - it's exactly 1m/39inches tall, they are here, here, and here.

I'm doing ok with dynamic stability testing, more in the article here.

26 May 2006 (updated 26 May 2006 at 10:27 UTC) »

Since my last post here I've mainly finished the mechanical construction of Android 9. I've got a few bits left to tidy up but I've now moved onto the electronics to control it. I'm using mainly Picaxe microcontrollers because they are cheap and have lots of built in functions like RS232 / PWM etc - a bit like a very low cost Basic Stamp on one chip (~$5/10). They are also pin-for-pin compatable with a standard pic (since that's what they are made from).

The basic summary for control is that the side-to-side leaning joints at the ankles are compleatly passive, i.e. no motors. The android will be dynamically stable, getting feedback from a GWS PG-03 gyro so that the hip motors can push it's weight off centre onto each leg in turn, but not tipping so far it falls over, even with momentum builds up. To start, effectively the gyro will act as a kind of safety switch to kill the momentum if the android leans too far outside a predefined safety zone.

I've already started building the picaxe/Gyro 'warning alarm'/measuring circuit so there should be something working soon...

I'm back in the land of the robots now I've mostly finished redecorating my house. Android 9 is underway again and there should be regular updates on my website including some more this week. The legs have their motors attached so it's on with the body which will hold all the electronics.

I'll be coming back to attached the sideways-leaning motors once I know how far it will have to lean to stand on one leg, it's kind of hard to tell at the moment but once I get a feel for how tall it is and how the arms will look it will be easier to find the right place for the extra hip motors. It's going to end up over 1m / 3ft tall by the looks of it...

A few people have asked me if there will more updates on my website soon as I haven't posted as much as I have done previously. So I've started a blog which I'll update every few days with robot things (mainly my thought process etc) as I have a few other things going on in the background at the moment: XRobots Blog

I've started the actual construction of the android now, the front and back sections of the legs are complete, pics are here... More coming this week.

I have ordered the parts for the new android. All of it so far has come from an educational website that supplies schools, but also the general public. They are located in the UK and have some very reasonable prices. Check out: www.mutr.co.uk.

I'll be using mainly balsa wood for this biped but I'm still aiming to make the legs about 50cm long so the whole thing comes to about 90/100cm (approx 3ft) tall. It will use some of the high torque linear actuators although I haven't seen them in real life yet so I've no idea if they're up to it. The plan is to move the leg joints as little as possible for walking in order to 'gear down' the actuators and increase power through levering.

I may still use aluminium tube for some of it but the main concept will be a balsa box construction with heavy card glued on with PVA to make the structure rigid. Anything that needs extra strength will be reinforced with 0.5mm aluminium sheet. All the joints will be made from 3mm steel rod rotating inside polythene bushes so I'm hoping that the whole construction will be light but relatively strong.

I'll start a new article on my site and start posting pics as soon as I get the items delivered...

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...

19 older entries...

Share this page