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Code Name: "Lovelace"

Started by hitshermark, Mar 22, 2010, 08:32 pm

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quigonj

Apr 04, 2010, 04:14 pm #15 Last Edit: Apr 04, 2010, 04:24 pm by quigonj
So what are these electronics packages, and how do they work?

My week has been fairly productive. I bought the first part of my dog, the METRIK drawer handles from IKEA. :)

Spoke with the folks at rolling robots, and they say I don't want their products. What we are doing is more a combo remote control car, plane and boat. (I suspect you know this, but I am just letting you know I'm getting a little more up to speed.) They have recommended
- four motors
- motor speed controllers
- a Spektrum DX6 radio controller
- a 5 or 6 volt sound system
- The Optima Red Top 6V battery was recommended to me as the battery. It weighs a ton (18.6 pounds), but would allow for a full day of use. Might be overkill, but at least I am looking, mainly to start getting a sense of the weight of the final product.

My relative has been working on the drawings, and she is making them 1:1 as traceable to simply make the dog. I have sent her reference pics from here and http://rustymetaldog.com/GALLERY1.html as to the ears and the version of them I want.

k9_ears.jpg

quigonj

Apr 11, 2010, 01:53 am #16 Last Edit: Apr 11, 2010, 02:22 am by quigonj
My relative is supposed to have plans and dimensions ready in a day or so.

This week I found out I can get the pieces routered in Sintra material, which is a durable PVC product that costs $35 a sheet. Combined with the pepakura software, it can be molded by scoring segments halfway and folding like it was paper. It can be sealed with adhesives or by heat. I was told it would make a very durable dog.

For the ears, I found a template on the WhoProps board (thanks Crispin!) and I modified it a bit. The dimensions on the ears are 7cm wide by 4.5cm tall, or so the template makes me think. I worked it to allow for two possible variants, a pure oval and a slightly less rounded one. Which one would be better?

K9_Ear_Template.jpg

[eta: okay, so I am slow. It finally dawned on me to look closely at the adafruit.com site, and now I understand much more than I did. I will be ordering parts from them this week. Did I mention I am slow? =) ]

preble1

Thank You For the Rusty Metal Dog Link Terrific information!

quigonj

You're welcome!

I also found youtube user Splundo thanks to the WhoProps forum.

He has a bunch of videos on how to make the mechanics work:
ears: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwExGpXU1tw
tail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoKrSvSW3xA
gun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTYfzvoyqTI
head movement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pLx2hihhAM


hitshermark

Sorry it's been a while.  Work and taxes get in my way.  :D

So the electronics packages are various parts of Lovelace's brain, specifically the motor cortex and his "voice".

To quote Marcus's post to the build journal...

QuoteLovelace will have a small wireless router acting as both a way to communicate with outside world and as a central computer (CPU) to talk to various subsystems that will control his moving parts. Initially, these subsystems will consist of two Arduino micro-computers, each equipped with a "shield" that will specialize them to interact with the real world in some way. The first will have a "wave shield" to allow him to talk and make other noises. The second will have a "motor shield" that will allow him to turn motors and servos to make bits of him move.


I only purchased one Arduino for Phase 1 because Marcus has an Arduino of his own he's not currently using.  So Lovelace is "barrowing" that one for now, to keep cost down in the beginning, until I purchase a 2nd Arduino to be swapped out.
(http://silverspoonandpaperplate.com/scarf/scarfimg.php?&showpercent=y&season=16&percent=35&spoof=scarf.png)
Scarf-O-Matic Progress Bar

mkanoap

Quote from: quigonj on Apr 04, 2010, 04:14 pm
So what are these electronics packages, and how do they work?


These are addons for the arduino micro-controller/computer.  There are a few more details at the build journal and elsewhere in this thread, but the short answer is:

The wave shield will play pre-recorded sounds and the motor shield will turn servos and motors to wiggle his ears and the like.  Each of them are plugged into their own arduino, which is a little computer that will listen on a serial port for commands like "wiggle ear" or "speak the value of pi to 500 digits".

mordrogyn

(http://i50.tinypic.com/20kan9v.jpg)

quigonj

Apr 26, 2010, 04:14 pm #22 Last Edit: Apr 26, 2010, 04:29 pm by quigonj
Just saw your Wavesheild build video... very nice! Lovelace will be a far smarter dog than mine.

Had a very interesting conversation with the R2 builders guild at the Anaheim Comic-Con a week ago. They told me that for a first build, my electronics skills are probably nowhere near ready for building Arduinos. Your time lapse videos pretty much confirm they are correct. I did use breadboards in college, and my grandfather was a genius with electronics, but it's been 20 years and more since I last played with any of that stuff. I have picked up a starter electronic learning kit so I can start getting at least the skills and knowledge needed to at least hook up motors and servos.

Their recommendation for controlling the mutt, and I am following their advice, involves using a Spektrum DX6i wireless controller, and the BR6000 bot receiver chip. It's a 6 channel chip, and the six channels will be something like movement, head movement/gun movement, ears, tail, probe, and sound.  The reason for a "bot receiver", which you'll be able to program in, I would think, is so that if the dog loses the controller signal (due to batteries getting weak or interference), the motor movement will stop rather than send the dog careening into the nearest convention display or child in the way. There are liability issues for owning a robot, that's something they made clear to me. And they were nice folks.

In other research (mainly the WhoProps board, the sister board to this one), I found that the drive train of the original K9 was a wheelchair motor, and the MII and MIII dogs are powered by a pair of windshield wiper motors. I'll be working with the folks at the local hobby store (Gizmo's in Burbank) to see what would be a good fit for the dogs we are making.

For K9's collar, the 1" Buchanan collar was the one worn during the Key to Time season. I picked up one from http://www.caninecollars.com/perky_plaids_cheeky_checks.htm , and the actual collar is fairly dark and rather nice. The neck itself is a tractor part, which again, thanks to the WhoProps board, I will order with spares at the end of the week.

I ordered the back panel buttons (E-Switch PB1973) from a local electronics shop in colors and numbers that match the Mark III dog as seen in the new series for both our dogs. Dunno the price yet on those, but I will let you know.

On sound, it's been recommended to me that a 20-30w amp will be required to have a dog that can be heard on loud places, just so you know.

My relative is still working on those plans, and I am getting her all these oddball parts like the buttons and gaskets as a thank you and incentive to make it easier for her to make one if she chooses to do so. So, there's my current update. :)

hitshermark

Quote from: quigonj on Apr 26, 2010, 04:14 pm
Just saw your Wavesheild build video... very nice! Lovelace will be a far smarter dog than mine.

Had a very interesting conversation with the R2 builders guild at the Anaheim Comic-Con a week ago.


Oh I wish I could have gone to the Anaheim Comic-Con, I just had too much work to do that weekend.  Also would have been a good opportunity for us to meet.

I do have an extra free pass to the Ren Faire that's good for either day this coming weekend.  If you like, let me know which day you can come on down and I'll leave it at Will Call for you.

QuoteThe reason for a "bot receiver", which you'll be able to program in, I would think, is so that if the dog loses the controller signal (due to batteries getting weak or interference), the motor movement will stop rather than send the dog careening into the nearest convention display or child in the way. There are liability issues for owning a robot, that's something they made clear to me. And they were nice folks.


I believe we've already taken that into account for Lovelace, but I'll double check with Marcus.  Thanks for reminding me.

QuoteFor K9's collar, the 1" Buchanan collar was the one worn during the Key to Time season. I picked up one from http://www.caninecollars.com/perky_plaids_cheeky_checks.htm , and the actual collar is fairly dark and rather nice. The neck itself is a tractor part, which again, thanks to the WhoProps board, I will order with spares at the end of the week.

I ordered the back panel buttons (E-Switch PB1973) from a local electronics shop in colors and numbers that match the Mark III dog as seen in the new series for both our dogs. Dunno the price yet on those, but I will let you know.


I was thinking of knitting a tiny Tom Baker scarf and slipping it over a normal collar for Lovelace, but the Buchanan collar is very nice.  Hmmmm...

I'm very interested in going in with you on the tractor part for the neck, but for the buttons we're currently planning to go with some squishy silicone buttons from SparkFun .  Because I really love the way the LEDs light them up.  So Lovelace might end up having 16 buttons on the same sized back panel that normally has 12, but we may end up attaching actual functions to them, so more buttons is better IMO.

Quote
On sound, it's been recommended to me that a 20-30w amp will be required to have a dog that can be heard on loud places, just so you know.


Good to know, thanks!  Did the Astrodroid builders happen to mention any other events they're going to be at in the near future?

QuoteMy relative is still working on those plans, and I am getting her all these oddball parts like the buttons and gaskets as a thank you and incentive to make it easier for her to make one if she chooses to do so. So, there's my current update. :)


I might be convinced to knit her a Season 14 Tom Baker scarf if it will help the process go faster.  :)

[/quote]
(http://silverspoonandpaperplate.com/scarf/scarfimg.php?&showpercent=y&season=16&percent=35&spoof=scarf.png)
Scarf-O-Matic Progress Bar

quigonj

Ren Faire would be fun... so yeah, please add me. I'll bring my camera. I'll send my full name via e-mail.

I know the club will be at the San Diego Comic Con, which sold out last November. I will check their forum tonight to see if they have other events scheduled.

On the buttons, no worries. I don't think they are expensive, and I'm sure someone on the WhoProps board will take them off my hands if nothing else. That I was willing to order more than one set.. I think that was a good idea in terms of getting someone to special order them for me.

I will mention the scarf offer. :)

quigonj

Got the tail gaskets this week.

Also found the Jedi Controller kit via the Astromech forums. It will take waggles from an RC Controller and convert them to sound inputs and control an unlimited number of servos. It will save me from figuring out the low level part of programming, so that's a good thing.

It will cost about $225 total, but that includes the sound system, a DC converter, and a Parallax display that will display things like signal controller strength and battery power. The last part is cool, because I have gotten it into my head to make those red panels in the back act as analog meters. It would just take a digital to analog conversion from the Parallax unit. Here's the concept:

4567640727_f3f540fb3b.jpg4568275690_094d7ff5a2.jpg

Now just to make the electronics work, that's gonna be the tricky part.