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my Autonomous carpetWalkingBot

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  • robotMaker
    Aficionados: I uploaded about a dozen more pics to Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/96504930@N02) of my Autonomous Carpet WalkingBot that I ve mentioned in
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 27 4:33 PM
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      Aficionados:
      I uploaded about a dozen more pics to Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/96504930@N02) of my Autonomous Carpet WalkingBot that I've mentioned in previous posts, as the bot stands now, it's almost complete. Maybe one or two members on the list might be interested.

      The Chassis:
      The bot chassis is not the final objective, the final objective of course is the control software. I made the chassis from PVC and hardware that's available at any local hardware store and I used everyday common hand tools to build it. The only power tool, was a Dremmel tool, to drill the small screw holes. Also some of the mechanical parts are available from local Hobby stores. To move the chassis I'm using a Tamiya 72001 Planetary Gearbox Kit and for steering, a Tamiya(TAM70167) gearbox. To change the direction of the leg I'm using an 1/8" twist drill bit as a lead screw, as seen in one of the uploaded pictures. Why a twist drill bit? Because it works and because I say that anyone can use a twist drill bit as a lead screw.

      The Electronics:
      The pieces of the control (Logic) hardware for the bot are all from www.pololu.com. BT serial model, dual motor controller and babyUrangutan microController (with dual motor controller built in). Also the Tamiya and Solarbotics GM9 Gear Motor are from Pololu. The bot has four dc motors, one for locomotion, the second for direction, and the two "Solarbotics GM9 Gear Motor" for panning (360 degrees) and tilting the cell phone. All the motors are near the bottom, away from the Android cell phone so as not to interfere with the cell phone compass. The bot does not use any servos.

      The Software:
      To control the bot, I will be using an "Event driven Deterministic Finite State Automaton" (FSA), since I will be using more than one, it's ".... Automata". It's a formal name for a Finite State Machine or FSM. FSMs have been around since the 1950s, and work just as good today as they did then. FSMs have many applications, one of them of course, is for making Artificial Intelligence research easier.
      I will be implementing my FSM using a Basic Interpreter Android App found on www.googleplay.com. There are two Basic Android Apps that I can use, either the RFOBasic or MintorisBasic. I could implement the FSM in Java, C, C++ or any other high level language, but it would be an unnecessary effort, Basic will do and in the end, the FSM will perform the same. By using Basic there would no need to cross compile, connect and download for every little change in software. An FSM can be implemented in several ways, one of them is using a "switch(){...}" statement. RFOBasic has such a 'command', Mintoris Basic does not. Another way is to use a "State Transition Table". In this case this will be the best fit. Since I will be able to update the State Transition Table remotely, using another Android phone, Android Tablet or my HPlaptopTablet via a Bluetooth connection. Because the Android Device has all the hardware needed to implement an FSM, and since Basic can perform "text to speech" conversion, the FSM may appear to be intelligent, but as lower life forms on this planet, the FSM can only see as far as its current state, and cannot consider any future states.
      I could have used an Arduino, and would have had to buy the peripherals separately, touch color screen display, accelerometer, compass, BT module, audio output, audio input, wifi, gps and camera. All these peripherals are included in the used Android Cell Phone for less than $30. The used cell phones can be found on eBay or craigsList or maybe even friends. To use them for the bot, there is no need for a service contract, they're like tiny Android Tablets. Also there is no physical connection between the Android Cell Phone and the bot control logic, the only connection is the Andriod BT connection to the rs232-ttl-transceiver-module on the bot as in one of the uploaded pictures. Both the Android Basic Apps have commands to connect via BT.

      As of now I've already accepted the challenge to slightly change (improve) the bot mechanically, when near finished, so that it can walk up and down a set of stairs. I should add that I will be using the Android Phone Camera for navigation, and have no plans to write image software so the bot can read signs or the "Wall Street Journal". In the end I expect that the bot will have the intelligence of an Autistic Chicken, that can speak with a pleasant friendly attitude, or more like "Foghorn Leghorn".

      ====================================================

      For anyone that might interested, here are the links:

      The carpetWalkingBot pictures are here:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/96504930@N02

      I'm actually using a Deal Extreme BT serial transceiver, but other BT modules will do too:
      http://dx.com/p/wireless-bluetooth-rs232-ttl-transceiver-module-80711
      https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10253
      http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1613

      This website has a simple demo write up (with pictures) how to use a BT serial converter:
      http://www.circuitsathome.com/diy-2/testing-rn-42-bluetooth-module-using-android-phone

      The MintorisBasic and RFOBasic Android Basic Interpreter Apps (try RFOBasic, it's free with 35 sample progs):
      http://www.mintoris.com/
      http://laughton.com/basic/


      If I can do this, anyone can do it ....

      Cesar

    • Will Smith
      Cesar, Thank you for very much for sharing! That is a really interesting project and a lot of neat hardware hacks that you ve implemented! I m a big fan of
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 3, 2014
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        Cesar,
          Thank you for very much for sharing! That is a really interesting project and a lot of neat hardware "hacks" that you've implemented! I'm a big fan of hardware store parts for robotics, and you have some great mechanisms devised on this robot.

        -Will
      • robotMaker
        Thanx Will: I ve always said, anything can potentially be a robot part . I ve found that it s cheaper to use something that s all ready made. Mass produced
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 4, 2014
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          Thanx Will:

          I've always said, "anything can potentially be a robot part". I've found that it's cheaper to use something that's all ready made. Mass produced products are incredible very precise and cheap. I'm always on the lookout for such products. Such as knitting needles, they're metric and very precise, and strong. They can be used as shafts, when metric shafts are needed. I often use 5mm, to couple stepper motor shafts.

          Cesar



          From: Will Smith <coinbird@...>
          To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, March 3, 2014 3:25 PM
          Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Re: my Autonomous carpetWalkingBot



          Cesar,
            Thank you for very much for sharing! That is a really interesting project and a lot of neat hardware "hacks" that you've implemented! I'm a big fan of hardware store parts for robotics, and you have some great mechanisms devised on this robot.

          -Will




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