Older blog entries for Kiryu (starting at number 9)

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.....

Finally finished one of the shoulder joints. The other is halfway finished, waiting for JB weld to dry. I am happy with the final results and I am moving on to designing the torso. The torso is not a mechanically difficult part, it only has to worry about one degree of freedom in each arm. It does have several pieces to compensate for holding the ball bearings and attaching a control surface for each arm. I have two designs working and I am not sure which to go with right now. One has the servo arms on the inside of the torso, the other on the outside. As far as design, the servo arm on the outside is easier, but less desireable. Time, and a lot of thought, will tell which design I go with. I still have to design the elbow and forearm. Class starts again soon on the 17th, which will slow progress quite a bit. I hope to have at least the arms done by then. Well, off to work I go.......

Ah, so I have learned the lesson of tolerances! I had to remove approximately .1mm of material from one of the shoulder pieces. I guess the .5mm tolerance that I had before was not small enough. I also have learned that I will need smaller bolts to attach the servo arm to the aluminum; the heads on the bolts were too big and ran into the shaft portion of the servo connector. This is okay, it just means another trip to the local hobby store, since there seems to be no other store around that carries a small enough bolt. The regular JB weld is working great. I let it sit overnight and it hardened as expected. I will probably only use the quick version in places that have large surface contact areas (as in the upper arm). Got to love this epoxy! I am impressed with the repeatability in which the mill is able to make parts. The parts that I machine are almost identical (by almost, I mean .01mm difference). That is one good machine! So my dead parts pile is getting larger. As a design is passed up for a new one or a part is machined incorrectly they get thrown there. This should make an interesting picture at the end of the skeleton building phase. I am off to machine the other shoulder now. There will most likely not be an update over the weekend, I will be off to work (like everyday it seems) and my spare time will be taken up by DJing on saturday and flying model airplanes with my stepdad (you have to do something to keep in touch after you move away) on sunday. Hope your projects are going well and if you hvae read this far I appreciate the interest!

7 Sep 2001 (updated 7 Sep 2001 at 03:49 UTC) »

I am building the shoulder interconnect today. Being a generational leap over the Gobo project, I actually have tollerances to workout :-) Luckly, the Sherline mill is here to help me. In this particular part, .2mm is the max deviation for some of the pieces. This resulted in some discarded pieces and an extra hour or so of work. I am still using JB Weld as the epoxy of choice, but I am attempting to use the quick version (5 min set opposed to 3 hour set). Although it worked on the porous plastic of the servos to bind together the upper arm, the well machined aluminum wasn't sticking very well. I scored it with a dremel in hopes to get it to set better. If that doesn't work, I will ge back to the 4 hour JB weld. I highly recommend JB weld to anyone using aluminum as a building material (less the building of a battlebot). It saves on space (fewer bolts) and money (fewer bolts :-) So that is the state of the humanoid robot. By the way, I received quite a few emails in regards to Gobo. I wish I had plans to give everyone, but I don't have them in any conventional format. Quite honestly, Gobo was the result of a LOT of labor on each individual part. Each part was cut to specifications with a dremel too (pre-Sherline Mill era), which was very laborous at times. Using the mill, I could probably get it built in 1/3 of the time. Depending on how may more requests I get, I may throw together a article on Gobo. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can see pictures of Gobo at the TRCY website www.trcy.org under the "My Quadraped" section. Until next time..... oh, and the JB Quick didn't work as well as I hoped so it is on to the regular (which was used on Gobo)

Things are getting underway with my new project, a humaniod torso. To give you a little history, I have designed a robot "dog" (actual mesurements were taken from a gorrilla) named "Gobo". Once I was finished with the frame, every toy company in the world came out with a robot dog. Just before I wrote a 3d motion file exporter for Milkshape 3D, I stopped the project. Pictures can be viewed in the TRCY robot club under the My Quadraped section. The new project is a humanoid torso at 1/10th scale of my body measurements. I am using micro Hitec servos for the actuators. The servo controller will be a custom design based on the Atmel 8535 (or mega 103), which will be an extension of the 2 that were used on Gobo. Controlling high level function will be a Rabbit 2000 core microcontroller, which will filter motion data down to the servo controller. The Rabbit will accept vision information from a Atmel Mega 103 and GB Camera vision system. Voice is also planned as an extension of this project. Currently, I have managed to alter some of the servos for my purpose and started design on the torso frame. Machining is being done with a Sherline mill. The first phase will be completion of the frame and installation of the servo controller. The second phase will be to get the servo controller and Rabbit 2000 playing nicely together :-) and for basic motion data to be transmitted. The Third phase will be the completion of a motion file exporter for Milkshape 3D and motion data handler for the Rabbit 2000. The fourth phase is the integration of the vision system and the ability to recognize simple objects (circles that are really bright etc). This will be an ongoing process as the needs for the vision system chages. Voice synthesis is planned to allow for the robot to say canned (stored) voice streams. Once this is complete, the true use for the system will begin :-) If you are interested in an aspect of this project or would like to make a suggestion you can email me at kiryu69@yahoo.com.

Nathan

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