Older blog entries for Kiryu (starting at number 13)

23 Aug 2002 (updated 23 Aug 2002 at 01:02 UTC) »

My companies website, www.LivingCreatures.com , has gone through a complete redesign. Not only does it serve as an information center for our upcoming products, but it is also a complete web portal where you can post to different forums and participate in the community base. Please check it out.

20 Aug 2002 (updated 20 Aug 2002 at 23:49 UTC) »

The humanoid robot is coming along well. The structure is carbon fiber, with a little aluminum and brass throughout. I have modified all of the servos for a 4-wire interface and have mounted them. Some are permanently fixed with epoxy, as this was the best way due to the size constraints.

In other news, my company website is up, although it is being redesigned. The tough thing with a start-up is getting everything that needs to be done - done. You can check it out and send me an email on what you think. I should have some photos of the humanoid project available soon.

Wow, it has been a while! My scaled down humanoid project is now funded by the University. Although not designed to perform its original function, it is nice to finally have someone else buying my parts for me :-) I should have a copy of pro/engineer arriving at my door in the next week, which I will use to model the parts. I picked the Axiom PB555 processor to run the robot- this is a kick butt processor, but it is not for the lightweight. I should have more regular updates happening since this project is going to rule my life for the next year.

Just letting everyone know that I am still around. The quarter is almost over and that means more time to be working on robots. I have an idea for a micro actuator based on muscle wire that would be fully proportional and act like a servo. What would be the advantage of this? A fully functional robotic human torso measured in tens of grams :-) The interesting part will be trying to make these little things. There is a company trying to sell "nanomuscles", but they want $21 each in volume, which is way more expensive than the $1 a motor would cost. The design is good and I started thinking about it when I realized that the current design for my robot is way too expensive for it to be repeatable and something everyone could enjoy making. If I was able to design the robot with a couple of atmel controllers and leave out the rabbit 2000 and use these new muscles to power it rather than the servos that I have, it would be smaller, lighter and most importantly- cheaper. Just a thought to let everyone know that I am still around :-)

Well, I am sorry to say that there is not much to report. I have had a few personal set-backs, so any hobby has been the least of my worries. Keeping up with the influx of mid- quarter approaching is keeping my spare time busy. It is likely at this point that there will be no significant progress on anything until Dec. If something does come up I will certainly put it on here.

THe latest update.... I am still pluging away at the project even if it is a bit slow. School is occupying most of my non-work time (duh). I have both arms made and just need to update the linkages in the elbows. That is about the extent of the project at the moment. I am having fun with physics and I found out I have possibly the worst instructor for calculus 2. I just put in my application for the Foresite Institute's Nanotechnology conference in Santa Clara. It is November 8-11, so if you are interested in Nanotech that is the place to be! I opted out of the lunch because I figure at an average of 50 dollars a day I can get a good lunch elsewhere. Rooms are a group rate of 120 per night, but I did notice on the web they were selling at 89 if you have AAA. I am looking forward to this event in the hopes to make contacts in the industry, or coming industry as it may be. Not doing much research in the field until next summer (when I hope to do some for NASA's Dryden research facility) so I doubt I will have much insight for others to be impressed by, but I have a few ideas :-) That is about it.... if you had thought of going to this conference drop me a email and we can meet there. That is about it......

I am still working on my project. Now it feels a little wierd to be working on. With all the talks of war and being a veteran myself, I wish I could do something more meaningful for those that will fight this campaign. But, I guess for the country I should continue my life as normal, which is what they asked of us. So, I am still plugging away, I have a slight problem with the linkages for the elbow joint that I will try to work out over the next few days. Other than that, no homework this weekend :-) but I do have to work :-( Hopefully, I will have a more up-beat diary entry soon....

Alright, school is in it's second day and hasn't gotten too busy yet. My physics instructor is stuck in Paris, which everyone seems to think is the best thing in the world, but personnaly I would rather be stuck in Germany or some other European country (Paris is a dirty town in my opinion). Work continues on the humaniod robot. On the issue of scale, I realize that I may have not given this before, the robot will be from the waist up an approximate 1/10 scale of me. Yep, I took my own measurements, scaled them down and converted them to metric. The latest is that I have machined (1) lower arm and it is one of the easiest pieces to date. All I really had to do was cut to length, remove 2cm of one side of the angle (for mounting) and bore a hole for the brass tube that fits into the ball berring. It is currently drying (JB Weld again) along with the other elbow. That leaves (1) more lower arm and both arms will be complete (less any hands I may decide to add). Then I will place the ball berrings for the upper torso and mount the torso servos. The next step is to attach the arms to the torso with more brass tube and then I will have a working chest/arm assemble. Incidentally, there are a few more photos on the TRCY Robot club on yahoo in the photo section under "Nathan's Projects". I still do not have a more convenient place to put these photos, but I will figure one out soon. I know that joining a yahoo club just to check out some pics would suck. Actually, the TRCY group is really active, with chats every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Sunday is hit and miss sometimes, but Tuesday is designed for beginners and Wednesday for general chat. I will have pictures of the completed arm up on the TRCY website over the next few days....

Well, I guess the initial shock of these events has worn off for me. I still feel for those involved, but I will not bend to these terrorists' wishes. I have moved ahead full steam today with my project. I have fabricated a elbow joint (the most difficult piece yet) that has 3 pieces, 2 of which are highly machined with grooves and the like. The shoulder to elbow bend length is a little longer than I originally wanted it to be, but it will have to be acceptable. I will change the length of the forearm to match accordingly. Still deciding of the setup of the upper torso; I hope to have the design down by the end of the week. Cal state is opening on monday, so I will definately not have as much time to dedicate to the intense amount of thought needed for figuring out how each of these pieces should be fabricated. I hope to have a picture or two of the current state of things up somewhere that I can link from here. Having them on the TRCY website is not good since I think you have to be a member to view them. I am pretty sure that I get some webspace with my internet provider, I just haven't looked throught the paperwork. It would be good just to throw together a web page with basic info and pictures. I still am using the paper and pencil method of design, but I hope to put the results into some computer format. It will probably happen after the fact, but it may help others somehow. That is about it for now... I have to go assemble the pieces that I was able to make today. I hope everyone else is able to continue without forgetting what has happened (like that would be possible)....

My thoughts and feelings go out to everyone connected in anyway with the recent trageties in the country. It is sad as a human race that we do this to eachother, all of that misguided effort could have been used for good.... but, that will never happen. We have some kind of built in destructiveness that forces us to hurt eachother. 5 years in the military opened my eyes to these concerns. On a lighter note, both shoulder joints on my robot are finished and I will move on to designing the elbow joint. I still need more time to determine the best design for the upper torso. That is all for now.....

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