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Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Pneumatics parts for robots

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  • Peter Balch
    ... It s so hard to get reliable figures. The answer always seems to be well it depends ... . According to wikipedia, a small outboard petrol engine is 0.27
    Message 1 of 27 , May 1, 2010
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      > The power/weight ratio is obviously a huge problem for humanoids,
      > regardless of the tech used.

      It's so hard to get reliable figures. The answer always seems to be "well it
      depends ...".

      According to wikipedia, a small outboard petrol engine is 0.27 kW/kg while a
      brushless DC motor is 3.78 kW/kg and a small pneumatic motor is 0.26 kW/kg.
      But the ranges they give for the three technologies are so big they all
      overlap. I can't find a figure for pneumatic cylinders but Shadow claim
      their air muscles are 25 times better than electric motors. It seems an
      unlikely claim. Pneumatics power/weight is going to be halved (???) because
      of the power/weight of the compressor.

      Maybe they're all pretty much the same and "it depends" on how well they're
      implemented but brushless DC motors might be 10 times better for hobby-sized
      applications.

      Energy density is a different matter. The energy density of gasoline is 230
      times higher than a NiMH battery. The efficiency of conversion to useful
      work is less for gasoline of course but it's always going to be way better
      than batteries. Asimo with its battery can perform for 30min while carrying
      no load. Gasoline-powered BigDog can go for for maybe 12 hours and for days
      if you replace its load with more gasoline.

      Peter
    • Peter Balch
      ... I ve absolutely no feel for what pneumatics is like in a closed loop at speed. With an electric motor it s easy (in theory) to calculate the momentum and
      Message 2 of 27 , May 4, 2010
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        > Mostly, I need cheap pressure gauges with digital output (not LCD
        > displays)
        > for to plug into a microcontroller.

        I've absolutely no feel for what pneumatics is like in a closed loop at
        speed. With an electric motor it's easy (in theory) to calculate the
        momentum and therefore calculate the PID parameters. But with pneumatics
        (i.e. a compressible fluid) there must be far larger problems of overshoot
        because of the delay between a valve changing and the pressure changing or
        the joint coming to rest.

        Do you need an second-derivative or second-integral or feedforward term or
        do you add the current pressure into the controller math somehow.

        Is that why you need lots of pressure gauges?

        Peter
      • Matthew Tedder
        Any neural model is going to depend heavily on rich, real-time feedback. My model is very good at temporal correlations--that is, it learns spatial/temporal
        Message 3 of 27 , May 4, 2010
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          Any neural model is going to depend heavily on rich, real-time feedback.  My model is very good at temporal correlations--that is, it learns spatial/temporal patterns and can judge whether or not the current experience is more or less normal from past experiences, in context.  Taking time to change pressure balances in a cylinder is probably a good thing because it leaves a larger temporal signature to correlate with whatever else might overlap or be near is time-proximity.  For example, how movement in one joint under a given context might change pressures in other joints and/or balance (via gyro).

          I don't hardwire gaits. Instead, I dynamically form inhibitory receptors between mutually exclusive neural pathways.  

          Matthew

          On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:47 AM, Peter Balch <peterbalch@...> wrote:
           

          > Mostly, I need cheap pressure gauges with digital output (not LCD
          > displays)
          > for to plug into a microcontroller.

          I've absolutely no feel for what pneumatics is like in a closed loop at
          speed. With an electric motor it's easy (in theory) to calculate the
          momentum and therefore calculate the PID parameters. But with pneumatics
          (i.e. a compressible fluid) there must be far larger problems of overshoot
          because of the delay between a valve changing and the pressure changing or
          the joint coming to rest.

          Do you need an second-derivative or second-integral or feedforward term or
          do you add the current pressure into the controller math somehow.

          Is that why you need lots of pressure gauges?

          Peter


        • Kevin Ross
          Honestly, pneumatics will be the bane of your existence if you are planning for fine control. Air compresses like a spring. You will be forever making small
          Message 4 of 27 , May 4, 2010
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            Honestly, pneumatics will be the bane of your existence if you are planning for fine control. Air compresses like a spring. You will be forever making small adjustments, meaning your robot will be hissing and fidgeting the entire time. You will consume a massive amount of air and power.
             
            It could be an interesting experiment to attempt to use the fluctuations in cylinder pressures as a sensory feedback. I see potential with that.

            Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:34 PM
            Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Pneumatics parts for robots


            Any neural model is going to depend heavily on rich, real-time feedback.  My model is very good at temporal correlations--that is, it learns spatial/temporal patterns and can judge whether or not the current experience is more or less normal from past experiences, in context.  Taking time to change pressure balances in a cylinder is probably a good thing because it leaves a larger temporal signature to correlate with whatever else might overlap or be near is time-proximity.  For example, how movement in one joint under a given context might change pressures in other joints and/or balance (via gyro).

            I don't hardwire gaits. Instead, I dynamically form inhibitory receptors between mutually exclusive neural pathways.  

            Matthew

            On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:47 AM, Peter Balch <peterbalch@...> wrote:
             

            > Mostly, I need cheap pressure gauges with digital output (not LCD
            > displays)
            > for to plug into a microcontroller.

            I've absolutely no feel for what pneumatics is like in a closed loop at
            speed. With an electric motor it's easy (in theory) to calculate the
            momentum and therefore calculate the PID parameters. But with pneumatics
            (i.e. a compressible fluid) there must be far larger problems of overshoot
            because of the delay between a valve changing and the pressure changing or
            the joint coming to rest.

            Do you need an second-derivative or second-integral or feedforward term or
            do you add the current pressure into the controller math somehow.

            Is that why you need lots of pressure gauges?

            Peter


          • dcwjobs2004
            I agree. Air based pneumatics can be good for open-loop, on-off, push/pull applications at rates of up to 1 Hz and with work to maybe 5 Hz. This assumes a
            Message 5 of 27 , May 5, 2010
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              I agree.

              Air based pneumatics can be good for open-loop, on-off, push/pull applications at rates of up to 1 Hz and with work to maybe 5 Hz. This assumes a pressure of 30-100 psi. Pneumatics can be fun for making open loop Rube Goldberg machines, like mechanical merrygoround organs.

              Closed loop control of pmenumatics is tough. Bandwidths of 1/5 Hz are OK with a little work. You might just be able to get to 1 Hz with a *lot* of work and side-effects.

              All kinds of things come into play.

              1. Air propagates at ~1 msec/foot; electricity at 1 nsec/foot.
              2. Small tubing has lots of resistance to fast air flow.
              3. The air in the cylinder works like a capacitor.
              4. So at low velocities ("DC"), things look fine, but the response time to change is slow, even in open loop.

              5. The air "capacitor" size changes with the position of the piston, a dynamic, non-linear parameter change.

              6. The tubing between valve and cylinder also has "capacitance".

              Pneumatics means air. If we substitute oil or water for the air, we have hydraulics, which is much better for speed and power. A big part of this is that liquid does not compress much. You get little "capacitive" effect in the tubing and cylinders. Aircraft has used hydralics with bandwidths in the 100 Hz range using 1500-3000 psi.

              OTOH, hydraulics leak. And leaky hudralics are unpopular. Don't leak fluid on the living room rug. They are also much more expensive than pneumatics, partly because they are 15-30 times more powerful. I notice that aircraft is moving from hydralics to electric motors for moving things, both military and commercial.

              Pnuematics can be cheap and handy for certain things. Just do not try to use them to close loops, such as to balance a robot.



              --- In SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Ross" <kevinro@...> wrote:
              >
              > Honestly, pneumatics will be the bane of your existence if you are planning for fine control. Air compresses like a spring. You will be forever making small adjustments, meaning your robot will be hissing and fidgeting the entire time. You will consume a massive amount of air and power.
              >
              > It could be an interesting experiment to attempt to use the fluctuations in cylinder pressures as a sensory feedback. I see potential with that.
              >
              >
              > From: Matthew Tedder
              > Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:34 PM
              > To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Pneumatics parts for robots
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Any neural model is going to depend heavily on rich, real-time feedback. My model is very good at temporal correlations--that is, it learns spatial/temporal patterns and can judge whether or not the current experience is more or less normal from past experiences, in context. Taking time to change pressure balances in a cylinder is probably a good thing because it leaves a larger temporal signature to correlate with whatever else might overlap or be near is time-proximity. For example, how movement in one joint under a given context might change pressures in other joints and/or balance (via gyro).
              >
              >
              > I don't hardwire gaits. Instead, I dynamically form inhibitory receptors between mutually exclusive neural pathways.
              >
              >
              > Matthew
              >
              >
              > On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:47 AM, Peter Balch <peterbalch@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > > Mostly, I need cheap pressure gauges with digital output (not LCD
              > > displays)
              > > for to plug into a microcontroller.
              >
              >
              > I've absolutely no feel for what pneumatics is like in a closed loop at
              > speed. With an electric motor it's easy (in theory) to calculate the
              > momentum and therefore calculate the PID parameters. But with pneumatics
              > (i.e. a compressible fluid) there must be far larger problems of overshoot
              > because of the delay between a valve changing and the pressure changing or
              > the joint coming to rest.
              >
              > Do you need an second-derivative or second-integral or feedforward term or
              > do you add the current pressure into the controller math somehow.
              >
              > Is that why you need lots of pressure gauges?
              >
              > Peter
              >
            • David Buckley
              ... Sort of like animal life ... From: Kevin Ross To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 7:30 AM Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re:
              Message 6 of 27 , May 5, 2010
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                > your robot will be hissing and fidgeting the entire time
                Sort of like animal life
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 7:30 AM
                Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Pneumatics parts for robots

                 

                Honestly, pneumatics will be the bane of your existence if you are planning for fine control. Air compresses like a spring. You will be forever making small adjustments, meaning your robot will be hissing and fidgeting the entire time. You will consume a massive amount of air and power.
                 
                It could be an interesting experiment to attempt to use the fluctuations in cylinder pressures as a sensory feedback. I see potential with that.

                Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:34 PM
                Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Pneumatics parts for robots


                Any neural model is going to depend heavily on rich, real-time feedback.  My model is very good at temporal correlations- -that is, it learns spatial/temporal patterns and can judge whether or not the current experience is more or less normal from past experiences, in context.  Taking time to change pressure balances in a cylinder is probably a good thing because it leaves a larger temporal signature to correlate with whatever else might overlap or be near is time-proximity.  For example, how movement in one joint under a given context might change pressures in other joints and/or balance (via gyro).

                I don't hardwire gaits. Instead, I dynamically form inhibitory receptors between mutually exclusive neural pathways.  

                Matthew

                On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:47 AM, Peter Balch <peterbalch@btintern et.com> wrote:
                 

                > Mostly, I need cheap pressure gauges with digital output (not LCD
                > displays)
                > for to plug into a microcontroller.

                I've absolutely no feel for what pneumatics is like in a closed loop at
                speed. With an electric motor it's easy (in theory) to calculate the
                momentum and therefore calculate the PID parameters. But with pneumatics
                (i.e. a compressible fluid) there must be far larger problems of overshoot
                because of the delay between a valve changing and the pressure changing or
                the joint coming to rest.

                Do you need an second-derivative or second-integral or feedforward term or
                do you add the current pressure into the controller math somehow.

                Is that why you need lots of pressure gauges?

                Peter


              • David Buckley
                If you are going to use cylinders then you really need to use glass cylinders and pistons with no seals as sarcos originaly did. ... From: dcwjobs2004 To:
                Message 7 of 27 , May 5, 2010
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                  If you are going to use cylinders then you really need to use glass cylinders and pistons with no seals as sarcos originaly did.
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 7:31 PM
                  Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Pneumatics parts for robots

                   



                  I agree.

                  Air based pneumatics can be good for open-loop, on-off, push/pull applications at rates of up to 1 Hz and with work to maybe 5 Hz. This assumes a pressure of 30-100 psi. Pneumatics can be fun for making open loop Rube Goldberg machines, like mechanical merrygoround organs.

                  Closed loop control of pmenumatics is tough. Bandwidths of 1/5 Hz are OK with a little work. You might just be able to get to 1 Hz with a *lot* of work and side-effects.

                  All kinds of things come into play.

                  1. Air propagates at ~1 msec/foot; electricity at 1 nsec/foot.
                  2. Small tubing has lots of resistance to fast air flow.
                  3. The air in the cylinder works like a capacitor.
                  4. So at low velocities ("DC"), things look fine, but the response time to change is slow, even in open loop.

                  5. The air "capacitor" size changes with the position of the piston, a dynamic, non-linear parameter change.

                  6. The tubing between valve and cylinder also has "capacitance" .

                  Pneumatics means air. If we substitute oil or water for the air, we have hydraulics, which is much better for speed and power. A big part of this is that liquid does not compress much. You get little "capacitive" effect in the tubing and cylinders. Aircraft has used hydralics with bandwidths in the 100 Hz range using 1500-3000 psi.

                  OTOH, hydraulics leak. And leaky hudralics are unpopular. Don't leak fluid on the living room rug. They are also much more expensive than pneumatics, partly because they are 15-30 times more powerful. I notice that aircraft is moving from hydralics to electric motors for moving things, both military and commercial.

                  Pnuematics can be cheap and handy for certain things. Just do not try to use them to close loops, such as to balance a robot.

                  --- In SeattleRobotics@ yahoogroups. com, "Kevin Ross" <kevinro@... > wrote:
                  >
                  > Honestly, pneumatics will be the bane of your existence if you are planning for fine control. Air compresses like a spring. You will be forever making small adjustments, meaning your robot will be hissing and fidgeting the entire time. You will consume a massive amount of air and power.
                  >
                  > It could be an interesting experiment to attempt to use the fluctuations in cylinder pressures as a sensory feedback. I see potential with that.
                  >
                  >
                  > From: Matthew Tedder
                  > Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:34 PM
                  > To: SeattleRobotics@ yahoogroups. com
                  > Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Pneumatics parts for robots
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Any neural model is going to depend heavily on rich, real-time feedback. My model is very good at temporal correlations- -that is, it learns spatial/temporal patterns and can judge whether or not the current experience is more or less normal from past experiences, in context. Taking time to change pressure balances in a cylinder is probably a good thing because it leaves a larger temporal signature to correlate with whatever else might overlap or be near is time-proximity. For example, how movement in one joint under a given context might change pressures in other joints and/or balance (via gyro).
                  >
                  >
                  > I don't hardwire gaits. Instead, I dynamically form inhibitory receptors between mutually exclusive neural pathways.
                  >
                  >
                  > Matthew
                  >
                  >
                  > On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:47 AM, Peter Balch <peterbalch@ ...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > > Mostly, I need cheap pressure gauges with digital output (not LCD
                  > > displays)
                  > > for to plug into a microcontroller.
                  >
                  >
                  > I've absolutely no feel for what pneumatics is like in a closed loop at
                  > speed. With an electric motor it's easy (in theory) to calculate the
                  > momentum and therefore calculate the PID parameters. But with pneumatics
                  > (i.e. a compressible fluid) there must be far larger problems of overshoot
                  > because of the delay between a valve changing and the pressure changing or
                  > the joint coming to rest.
                  >
                  > Do you need an second-derivative or second-integral or feedforward term or
                  > do you add the current pressure into the controller math somehow.
                  >
                  > Is that why you need lots of pressure gauges?
                  >
                  > Peter
                  >

                • Matthew Tedder
                  I think the tendencies of air compression will be of benefit to my neural mechanism. The time overlaps and bouncing between movements within and between
                  Message 8 of 27 , May 7, 2010
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                    I think the tendencies of air compression will be of benefit to my neural mechanism.  The time overlaps and bouncing between movements within and between joints should help signature particular movement interaction types for abstraction.  I can see the issues with conventional neural nets, particularly all those that send individual analog values between neurons, instead of digital bits with frequency determining receptor contribution to the soma.  I calculate for short-term potentiation behind each receptor.  I also calculate for long-term potentiation (an equivalent of multiple receptors from the same axon).  And, I form and destroy both excitatory and inhibitory interconnections dynamically.  The more two pathways tend to excite in a mutually exclusive manner, the more they will inhibit each other.   It's exceptionally good at molding the spatial/temporal interaction patterns of experience.  The more normal the current experience is, as compared with all past experience (very richly considered), the stronger the representative pathway will excite.

                    The other part of this, re-implementing my logic (currently in C++) to VHDL, has been very difficult for me.  My only effective work has been in the GNU VHDL compiler because the learning curve on Xilinx's tools.  I wish an electrical engineer handy.  I have no formal training beyond basic electronics and your typical computer architecture course in this sort of thing.

                    There doesn't seem to be any alternative to Xilinx for actually programming my (or any) FPGA board... at least not that I know of.  I'd like something simpler.  Just downloading the Xilinx webkit took a very long time, installing even longer (due to downloading updates).  Did I choose all the right options in this process? I am really unsure of that.  I really very much wish I could just program my VHDL code into the FPGA over its USB connection and start playing with I/O pins.

                    To think, I thought Visual Studio was huge, sluggish and buggy.

                    Matthew

                    On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 1:30 AM, Kevin Ross <kevinro@...> wrote:
                     

                    Honestly, pneumatics will be the bane of your existence if you are planning for fine control. Air compresses like a spring. You will be forever making small adjustments, meaning your robot will be hissing and fidgeting the entire time. You will consume a massive amount of air and power.
                     
                    It could be an interesting experiment to attempt to use the fluctuations in cylinder pressures as a sensory feedback. I see potential with that.

                    Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:34 PM
                    Subject: Re: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Pneumatics parts for robots


                    Any neural model is going to depend heavily on rich, real-time feedback.  My model is very good at temporal correlations--that is, it learns spatial/temporal patterns and can judge whether or not the current experience is more or less normal from past experiences, in context.  Taking time to change pressure balances in a cylinder is probably a good thing because it leaves a larger temporal signature to correlate with whatever else might overlap or be near is time-proximity.  For example, how movement in one joint under a given context might change pressures in other joints and/or balance (via gyro).

                    I don't hardwire gaits. Instead, I dynamically form inhibitory receptors between mutually exclusive neural pathways.  

                    Matthew

                    On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:47 AM, Peter Balch <peterbalch@...> wrote:
                     

                    > Mostly, I need cheap pressure gauges with digital output (not LCD
                    > displays)
                    > for to plug into a microcontroller.

                    I've absolutely no feel for what pneumatics is like in a closed loop at
                    speed. With an electric motor it's easy (in theory) to calculate the
                    momentum and therefore calculate the PID parameters. But with pneumatics
                    (i.e. a compressible fluid) there must be far larger problems of overshoot
                    because of the delay between a valve changing and the pressure changing or
                    the joint coming to rest.

                    Do you need an second-derivative or second-integral or feedforward term or
                    do you add the current pressure into the controller math somehow.

                    Is that why you need lots of pressure gauges?

                    Peter



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