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Inexpensive way to control air-muscles.

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  • Russ LeMaster
    Hi all, I m playing with the idea of using air-muscles in a robotic hand (similiar to the shadow robotics hand only on a much much smaller budget :). The
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 29, 2005
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      Hi all,

      I'm playing with the idea of using air-muscles in a
      robotic hand (similiar to the shadow robotics hand only
      on a much much smaller budget :).

      The air-muscles are easy to make, but what I'm struggling
      with is controlling them. I know I can use 3-way solenoid
      valves like the Mead Isonic, Parker X-Valve, etc.. but these
      run for anywhere from $25 to $30 dollars a piece. This
      will take me way over my "hobby" based budget.

      I have experimented a bit with nitinol based valves.
      These would be easy to make, and fairly cheap but they
      have cycle times much to slow for my needs.

      Anyone have any ideas on how I can do pneumatic control
      like this without spending a fortune? I am willing to
      get industrious and make them if need be, so any ideas
      would be welcomed.

      Thanks,
      Russ LeMaster
    • Russ LeMaster
      Hi Kenneth, Thanks for the links. I am trying to emulate as much DOF in the hand as possible. At this point, it looks like I will need about 24 muscles or
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 30, 2005
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        Hi Kenneth,

        Thanks for the links. I am trying to emulate as much DOF in
        the hand as possible. At this point, it looks like I will
        need about 24 muscles or more. I was hoping to keep the cost
        of the muscle (which I can make for a couple of dollars) and
        the controlling valve(s) down around $10-15/per, thus keeping
        the overall project down around the $300 or so mark.

        Using 4 of the manifolds you mention below would get me there
        in as far as price goes. However, if I ever decide to
        go further with this (ie: arm, and/or more) these might get a
        bit bulky (both weight and size). They might do for a start
        though.

        Thanks for the info,
        Russ

        On Fri, 2005-09-30 at 01:12 -0700, Kenneth Maxon wrote:
        > Hey Russ & SRS,
        >
        > I don't know where your budget price point is, but if you're in the
        > prototyping phase you might look at an industrial ganged valve, off of the
        > surplus market. One that I've used in the injection mold machine project
        > has 7x ganged valves w/solenoid drivers and as a bonus, mufflers on the
        > output stages all mounted on a common manifold. Since the output ports for
        > each 1/2 of the valve are brought out, these can be configured for just
        > about any operation. I don't know if these are what you are looking for,
        > but I picked these up from C&H surplus a while back, but it seems they still
        > have some in stock ($59):
        >
        > Picture:
        > http://nikita.argia.net/kmaxon/valvage2.jpg
        >
        > Web site: You've got to enter the online store, go to the start shopping
        > section, search for air valves and scroll down to Stock #SV9502 (sorry, a
        > direct link won't access into the Database feature on their site).
        > http://www.aaaim.com/CandH/
        >
        >
        > -Kenneth
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Russ LeMaster" <rlemaste@...>
        > To: <SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:38 PM
        > Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Inexpensive way to control air-muscles.
        >
        >
        > > Hi all,
        > >
        > > I'm playing with the idea of using air-muscles in a
        > > robotic hand (similiar to the shadow robotics hand only
        > > on a much much smaller budget :).
        > >
        > > The air-muscles are easy to make, but what I'm struggling
        > > with is controlling them. I know I can use 3-way solenoid
        > > valves like the Mead Isonic, Parker X-Valve, etc.. but these
        > > run for anywhere from $25 to $30 dollars a piece. This
        > > will take me way over my "hobby" based budget.
        > >
        > > I have experimented a bit with nitinol based valves.
        > > These would be easy to make, and fairly cheap but they
        > > have cycle times much to slow for my needs.
        > >
        > > Anyone have any ideas on how I can do pneumatic control
        > > like this without spending a fortune? I am willing to
        > > get industrious and make them if need be, so any ideas
        > > would be welcomed.
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > > Russ LeMaster
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        --
        Russ LeMaster <rlemaste@...>
      • Kenneth Maxon
        Hey Russ & SRS, I don t know where your budget price point is, but if you re in the prototyping phase you might look at an industrial ganged valve, off of the
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 30, 2005
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          Hey Russ & SRS,

          I don't know where your budget price point is, but if you're in the
          prototyping phase you might look at an industrial ganged valve, off of the
          surplus market. One that I've used in the injection mold machine project
          has 7x ganged valves w/solenoid drivers and as a bonus, mufflers on the
          output stages all mounted on a common manifold. Since the output ports for
          each 1/2 of the valve are brought out, these can be configured for just
          about any operation. I don't know if these are what you are looking for,
          but I picked these up from C&H surplus a while back, but it seems they still
          have some in stock ($59):

          Picture:
          http://nikita.argia.net/kmaxon/valvage2.jpg

          Web site: You've got to enter the online store, go to the start shopping
          section, search for air valves and scroll down to Stock #SV9502 (sorry, a
          direct link won't access into the Database feature on their site).
          http://www.aaaim.com/CandH/


          -Kenneth
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Russ LeMaster" <rlemaste@...>
          To: <SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:38 PM
          Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Inexpensive way to control air-muscles.


          > Hi all,
          >
          > I'm playing with the idea of using air-muscles in a
          > robotic hand (similiar to the shadow robotics hand only
          > on a much much smaller budget :).
          >
          > The air-muscles are easy to make, but what I'm struggling
          > with is controlling them. I know I can use 3-way solenoid
          > valves like the Mead Isonic, Parker X-Valve, etc.. but these
          > run for anywhere from $25 to $30 dollars a piece. This
          > will take me way over my "hobby" based budget.
          >
          > I have experimented a bit with nitinol based valves.
          > These would be easy to make, and fairly cheap but they
          > have cycle times much to slow for my needs.
          >
          > Anyone have any ideas on how I can do pneumatic control
          > like this without spending a fortune? I am willing to
          > get industrious and make them if need be, so any ideas
          > would be welcomed.
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Russ LeMaster
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • The Earl
          Large model airplanes use pneumatic valves for retractable landing gear. These are operated by a RC servo. They are pretty simple in design, and you may be
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 30, 2005
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            Large model airplanes use pneumatic valves for retractable landing gear.
            These are operated by a RC servo. They are pretty simple in design, and you
            may be able to make them yourself if you are pretty handy w/ a CNC & Lathe.
            If you need a few, you may be able to draw them up and get them made at a
            local CNC shop. These are just miniature spool valves. Look at full size
            valves to get an idea of how they are made.

            The only problems are that I think most of these are sold in kits, and cost
            ~$50. They also are not meant for continuous or even frequent use, so they
            may wear or leak.

            http://www.motorsandrotors.com/Product_Pages/up_valves.htm

            http://www.sierragiant.com/prod02.html


            On 9/30/05, Russ LeMaster
            rlemaste-at-midsouth.rr.com<http://rlemaste-at-midsouth.rr.com>|6812-the|<
            ...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Kenneth,
            >
            > Thanks for the links. I am trying to emulate as much DOF in
            > the hand as possible. At this point, it looks like I will
            > need about 24 muscles or more. I was hoping to keep the cost
            > of the muscle (which I can make for a couple of dollars) and
            > the controlling valve(s) down around $10-15/per, thus keeping
            > the overall project down around the $300 or so mark.
            >
            > Using 4 of the manifolds you mention below would get me there
            > in as far as price goes. However, if I ever decide to
            > go further with this (ie: arm, and/or more) these might get a
            > bit bulky (both weight and size). They might do for a start
            > though.
            >
            > Thanks for the info,
            > Russ
            >
            > On Fri, 2005-09-30 at 01:12 -0700, Kenneth Maxon wrote:
            > > Hey Russ & SRS,
            > >
            > > I don't know where your budget price point is, but if you're in the
            > > prototyping phase you might look at an industrial ganged valve, off of
            > the
            > > surplus market. One that I've used in the injection mold machine project
            > > has 7x ganged valves w/solenoid drivers and as a bonus, mufflers on the
            > > output stages all mounted on a common manifold. Since the output ports
            > for
            > > each 1/2 of the valve are brought out, these can be configured for just
            > > about any operation. I don't know if these are what you are looking for,
            > > but I picked these up from C&H surplus a while back, but it seems they
            > still
            > > have some in stock ($59):
            > >
            > > Picture:
            > > http://nikita.argia.net/kmaxon/valvage2.jpg
            > >
            > > Web site: You've got to enter the online store, go to the start shopping
            > > section, search for air valves and scroll down to Stock #SV9502 (sorry,
            > a
            > > direct link won't access into the Database feature on their site).
            > > http://www.aaaim.com/CandH/
            > >
            > >
            > > -Kenneth
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > From: "Russ LeMaster" <rlemaste@...>
            > > To: <SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com>
            > > Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:38 PM
            > > Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Inexpensive way to control air-muscles.
            > >
            > >
            > > > Hi all,
            > > >
            > > > I'm playing with the idea of using air-muscles in a
            > > > robotic hand (similiar to the shadow robotics hand only
            > > > on a much much smaller budget :).
            > > >
            > > > The air-muscles are easy to make, but what I'm struggling
            > > > with is controlling them. I know I can use 3-way solenoid
            > > > valves like the Mead Isonic, Parker X-Valve, etc.. but these
            > > > run for anywhere from $25 to $30 dollars a piece. This
            > > > will take me way over my "hobby" based budget.
            > > >
            > > > I have experimented a bit with nitinol based valves.
            > > > These would be easy to make, and fairly cheap but they
            > > > have cycle times much to slow for my needs.
            > > >
            > > > Anyone have any ideas on how I can do pneumatic control
            > > > like this without spending a fortune? I am willing to
            > > > get industrious and make them if need be, so any ideas
            > > > would be welcomed.
            > > >
            > > > Thanks,
            > > > Russ LeMaster
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
            > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > --
            > Russ LeMaster <rlemaste@...>
            >
            >
            >
            > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • LJGeib@aol.com
            One of the ways you can keep the cost down is to hit the surplus stores. There are some pretty fantastic bargains to be had. Here are a couple of examples.
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 30, 2005
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              One of the ways you can keep the cost down is to hit the surplus stores.
              There are some pretty fantastic bargains to be had. Here are a couple of
              examples.

              _www.surplusgizmos.com_ (http://www.surplusgizmos.com) It's in the
              Portland OR area (Hillsboro, really) email mike and ask about what you are
              interested in. I picked up an assenbly there that had 20 Dynamco 24v. valves
              with headers ( I think they list for $60-$80 each ) and paid $40 for the lot.
              Now, I'm not saying you'll get that over the net. I rooted through a bunch of
              junk to find this stuff. If the owner has to do the work, expect to pay maybe
              $5 per. plus shipping. Maybe more if he has to disassemble something to get
              what you want. Lots of assemblies have a dozen or more valves on them. If
              you buy a bunch, it'll be cheaper and you'll get the headers as a bonus. Ask.

              I had to oil and cycle the valves a few time to free some up, but they all
              work fine.


              There is a similar place in the Santa Clara/ San Jose area called Triangle
              Machinery. I stop in there every time I'm in the area. No web site, but I'm
              sure it is in the Phone book.

              There's lots of places that are like these, particularly in places that have
              chip plants and such. Places like Intel and Fujitsu are always upgrading to
              stay competetive, and they excess stuff at pennies on the dollar. Seattle
              HAS to have a place like these.

              Shop!

              Larry




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Kenneth Maxon
              Question, do all 24 air muscles only retract in one direction, or are they mounted in pairs such that one pulls a joint in one direction, while a matched one
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 30, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                Question, do all 24 air muscles only retract in one direction, or are they
                mounted in pairs such that one pulls a joint in one direction, while a
                matched one pulls the same joint in the other direction? If that is the
                case, then using double acting valves, like these you only need 1/2 as many
                of these valves as the number of air bladders you want to control since each
                one will control 2x bladders... To control the proportions between the two
                you simply drive them with very low frequency PWM. We're talking 32Hz
                possibly lower... That is so slow, even simple little processors can run
                that in software without hardware assist, or in interrupt routines without
                significant processing impact. Again, not knowing the mechanical
                configuration of your planned implementation, I don't know if this helps.
                Hope so...

                -Kenneth
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Russ LeMaster" <rlemaste@...>
                To: <SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, September 30, 2005 12:24 AM
                Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Inexpensive way to control air-muscles.


                > Hi Kenneth,
                >
                > Thanks for the links. I am trying to emulate as much DOF in
                > the hand as possible. At this point, it looks like I will
                > need about 24 muscles or more. I was hoping to keep the cost
                > of the muscle (which I can make for a couple of dollars) and
                > the controlling valve(s) down around $10-15/per, thus keeping
                > the overall project down around the $300 or so mark.
                >
                > Using 4 of the manifolds you mention below would get me there
                > in as far as price goes. However, if I ever decide to
                > go further with this (ie: arm, and/or more) these might get a
                > bit bulky (both weight and size). They might do for a start
                > though.
                >
                > Thanks for the info,
                > Russ
                >
                > On Fri, 2005-09-30 at 01:12 -0700, Kenneth Maxon wrote:
                > > Hey Russ & SRS,
                > >
                > > I don't know where your budget price point is, but if you're in the
                > > prototyping phase you might look at an industrial ganged valve, off of
                the
                > > surplus market. One that I've used in the injection mold machine
                project
                > > has 7x ganged valves w/solenoid drivers and as a bonus, mufflers on the
                > > output stages all mounted on a common manifold. Since the output ports
                for
                > > each 1/2 of the valve are brought out, these can be configured for just
                > > about any operation. I don't know if these are what you are looking
                for,
                > > but I picked these up from C&H surplus a while back, but it seems they
                still
                > > have some in stock ($59):
                > >
                > > Picture:
                > > http://nikita.argia.net/kmaxon/valvage2.jpg
                > >
                > > Web site: You've got to enter the online store, go to the start shopping
                > > section, search for air valves and scroll down to Stock #SV9502 (sorry,
                a
                > > direct link won't access into the Database feature on their site).
                > > http://www.aaaim.com/CandH/
                > >
                > >
                > > -Kenneth
                > > ----- Original Message -----
                > > From: "Russ LeMaster" <rlemaste@...>
                > > To: <SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com>
                > > Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:38 PM
                > > Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Inexpensive way to control air-muscles.
                > >
                > >
                > > > Hi all,
                > > >
                > > > I'm playing with the idea of using air-muscles in a
                > > > robotic hand (similiar to the shadow robotics hand only
                > > > on a much much smaller budget :).
                > > >
                > > > The air-muscles are easy to make, but what I'm struggling
                > > > with is controlling them. I know I can use 3-way solenoid
                > > > valves like the Mead Isonic, Parker X-Valve, etc.. but these
                > > > run for anywhere from $25 to $30 dollars a piece. This
                > > > will take me way over my "hobby" based budget.
                > > >
                > > > I have experimented a bit with nitinol based valves.
                > > > These would be easy to make, and fairly cheap but they
                > > > have cycle times much to slow for my needs.
                > > >
                > > > Anyone have any ideas on how I can do pneumatic control
                > > > like this without spending a fortune? I am willing to
                > > > get industrious and make them if need be, so any ideas
                > > > would be welcomed.
                > > >
                > > > Thanks,
                > > > Russ LeMaster
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
                > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > --
                > Russ LeMaster <rlemaste@...>
                >
                >
                >
                > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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