SapoBot

SapoBot is a robot that wonders through spaces avoiding obstacles detects holes on the ground, follow walls and follow lines, to change between behaviors you only need to press the shell, and when he detects a collision gives a frog sound. This project was comissioned by Sapo, means frog in portuguese.

This bots were made with a Farrusco chassis and Motoruino and once again with the great IDMind hardware and electronics skills, all the credits for the eyes mechanics and all the rest of the hardware upgrade goes to them.


The shell was made by Fernando and Margarida Antunes, don’t forget to check their amazing art work at http://margaridantunes.weebly.com.


This is a Farrusco on steroids!! Only the pins 0 and 1 for serial communication are free, all the other pins are taken for a considerable amount of sensors and actuators: 3 infrared sensors to measure distances on the front, 3 infra red sensors facing the ground, a speaker, 1 RGB LED, 1 servo motor, 2 dc motors and 2 bumper micro-switches to detect collisions.


The eyes are meant to give some human expression to the bot, they turn organically to both sides according the direction that the robot takes.


We coded an application in Processing to check all the sensors and actuators, allowing to save settings on the microcontroller EEPROM. This code will be available on Artica’s github soon.


Time to drink some juice :]


And the result is a happy family!

ICU2

I SEE YOU TOO, is the 2nd version of the original ICU

This version gained an upgrade in both hardware and software.

The hardware is mostly based on servocity.com pan and tilt systems.

This is a work in progress, until now what is implemented is Face Detect with the openCV library for Processing.
Next stage is to implement a more robust face and emotions detection and this will run on top of an inverse kinematics algorithm. What we want the most is ICU2 to be a living organism, with a complex behavior tree system.

Magabot

Magabot is an open hardware and software robotics platform designed to stimulate creative minds.

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Any robot with a computer is a very powerfull robot, and because all laptops have a camera, a screen, speakers, microphone, batteries and usb interfaces, your robotics experience will be empowered with Magabot.

This project is being developed in a partnership with IDMind, Artica and with the participation of Francisco Dias.

The Software:

Many applications are being developed right now, follow colors, wall follower, face detection, among many others.

We will provide interfaces for VisualStudio, .NET, c#, c++, openFrameWorks, Processing, Arduino, Flash, Unity3D, MAXMSP, PD and if you feel like you want to develop your own interface you will be welcome too, we give full credits on everything.

You will be able to download apps for the Magabot, to develop your own apps, and if you feel they deserve money, you will be able to sell them too.

The hardware:

The hardware is made with rigid PVC and a differential drive chassis with highly precise encoders on both motors at the commands of an Arduino and a customized shield. You’re completely invited to change and adapt it to your needs.

The basic setup integrates:
– PVC chassis with DC motors with encoders;
– Three Infrared-sensors on the bottom to detect stairs or lines;
– Two bumpers on the front to detect collisions;
– Three RGB leds if you are in the mood for some tuning;
– A battery sensor to know how if it is in the need for some juice;
– I2C bus on top to connect any I2C devices;
– A 7.2v battery and a charger.

Add-ons built at the moment:
– Pack of 5 Maxbotix sonar sensors with PVC supports to connect to the upper I2C BUS;
– Other add-ons are beeing developet at the moment.

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We lauched the magabot.cc site today, this website will be a repository for informatiom, source code, apps, hacks, support forum, and a place to buy Magabots.

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Magabot is a protoproduct, we are commercializing our open source and open hardware best prototype at a low cost:

If you buy one you will automatically enter on our beta test program, we invite you to share your experiences and to post your results, we will also provide you with support for you to be able to use it, change it, and play with it.

The current price for the platform wthout the sonar kit is 250€ plus VAT.

The current price for the sonars kit is 100€ plus VAT.

If you need more information please contact us: info [at] magabot [dot] cc

Artica @ TEDxEdges

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This TEDxEdges was a huge event, and Artica marked its presence on stage with the Einstein VideoPlayer adapted to play the videos between the talks, and with a video mapping system to display the data captured by biometric PLUX sensors.

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There were 4 gloves on the room, and each person wearing a glove would be able to send its emotions to the assigned ‘TEDx’ letter.

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I went to stage with André to briefly present Artica’s presence on the event, they mentioned the Farruscos playing sumo, the Magabot in telepresence mode being driven by Francisco Dias and finally what was behind the ‘TEDx’ letters.

In the foyer there were an arsenal of 5 Magabots all available to be remotelly controlled in Telepresence. This system is made with Skype and simple interface running on the robot side. So all you need is a Skype account and nothing more.

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Gareth, Voodoobot, Birdmun and Ro-Bot-X from LetsMakeRobots were very present on the site, some of them even went outdoors and had a couple of adventures!! :)

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This video shows an Avatar to Avatar encounter!!! Its me and Gareth giving a kiss.. lol

This is another view of the Foyer:

Then there were a troop of 10 Farruscos, Francisco Dias coded two of them to play sumo, and they are really fun to watch!!

Farruscos did made the day of kids! They were completly stunned with the little bots!

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Artica’s team having lunch, the bests!! :) Fernando Gomes, André Almeida, Francisco Dias, Gonçalo Lopes and Guilherme Martins.

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Artica’s founders, Guilherme Martins and André Almeida:

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ICU . 1.01

ICU has been sleeping for a while but was awaken suddenly because I was invited to an exhibition at Flausina, a new born association in Lisbon.

ICU v1.01

Complexity is always a welcome thing around here and the bot was presented with two more servo motors and all the software has been re-written. And because I needed to simulate its movements I coded an application in Processing in a way that I could test all the non-dangerous angles. Inverse kinematics is way to advanced for my taste and I think I can call this a “forward kinematics simulator”. This simulator gives also the possibility to generate individual sine waves for each motor, minimum and maximum range of motion, an interpolator for smoothness and frequency for speed.

ICU v1.01

Unfortunately I don’t have any decent video of photos of the Flausina exhibition, I leave you with a video of the bot in the office with the processing application.

TODO list:

– capability to save presets
– timeline with keyframes, play and stop buttons
– upgrade this servos to more powerful and digital servos
– upgrade all the structure to enhance weight distribution
– create a mask in silicon/rubber and give this bot a crazy new look
– everytime a face is detected it will say something on Twitter and upload the picture in an online gallery

Source code can be downloaded here.

All for now.. Roger, over and out.

ICU v1.01

Photo at Flausina.

Driving Farrusco @ CoworkLX @ LX Factory ‘open day’

Since the first SWARS experience, I knew this could go A LOT further, but having Farrusco on a remote terrace where you could only have access by climbing an outside ladder.. I must confess, I never thought of such a thing, until… my friend Fernando Mendes (Cowork_LX) came to me with this crazy idea!

Driving Farrusco

I loved the challenge, and wanted since the first moment to create a cool and easy to use physical interface and it came out a nice piece IMHO.

Driving Farrusco

Then Farrusco with the wireless cam already built in for the first “Driving Farrusco” experience, I used two packs of batteries to enhance the play time (one battery pack is missing in the photo). This small wireless camera needs a lot of juice, and a little 9v batteries doesn’t feed it for to long, besides that it gives a very weak transmission with lots of interference, but with this 9.6v racing pack, it worked out really good!

Driving Farrusco

And finally the video:

Some bits around the controller:

At the beginning I wanted to have four joysticks, one for each motor, one for pan and the other for tilt the camera.

Driving Farrusco

Driving Farrusco

Driving Farrusco

Driving Farrusco\

Driving Farrusco

It ended a bit complicated to operate and a learning curve was needed to get used to it, because this was going to manipulated by many people it needed to be simple and fast to learn.

Driving Farrusco

[ FOTO MISSING showing the end result with two joysticks, a motoruino only with the necessary components and the xbee mount ]

Driving Farrusco

Driving Farrusco

F4WD + ball link

Four wheel drive vehicles have always excited my imagination, and this time I joined two Farrusco’s chassis in front to front as you can see in the picture below:

F4WD

This way both chassis are fixed on each other (is this correct to say in english??) and I thought it would be cool to have them articulated in some way, so I started to design a ball link and this is the first output (oh, did I mention I have a 3D printer in the office? :D

F4WD

F4WD

It still need a bit of work because the link needs some kind of lock to prevent the vehicle to bend itself and touch the ground (gosh!! what a crappy english!!)

F4WD

F4WD

I used OpenSCAD to design the piece, it is a great tool to use because everything is made with simple commands and you can design pretty much everything!! You can download the OpenSCAD files in Thingiverse.

Screen shot 2011-05-05 at 11.07.32 PM

Screen shot 2011-05-05 at 11.05.23 PM

In the next chapter, the redesign!

Complexifying BOTtle

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I didn’t feel so happy with this minimalistic chassis design so I felt the need to add some complexity to it. And because I am a 3D lover and because I have some spare time I decided to do what I never use to do: “think before act”. Oh, and the other thing that makes me want to do this is the fact that we have a CNC machine at Artica’s office. So althouth I love to build robots without thinking to much on how is it going to be, when there is a cutting machine evolved there is always the need of planning and design wich is a lot of fun as well!

This creature will be able to go in both directions, and for each direction it will have a diferent sensorial setup. On one front there will be an infra-red distance sensor mounted on a servo and two touch sensors to detect colisions. On the other front there will be a sonar distance sensor between two low-range infra-red sensors. This setup will need to use different programming methods for movement and for sensorial perception and will be fun to program.

BOTtle
BOTtle
BOTtle

The design is ready, now let the machine do its job.

BOTtle

BOTtle is a robot like many others but with a particularity, the wheels are made of plastic bottles as you can see in this video:





The components I will be using:
BOTle


The servos are already attached to one another with double side-tape, I will show you how to attach the wheels to the servo horns
BOTle


Start by adding wood self-tapping screws to the servo horn just a little in a way they won’t fall
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Repeat this process 4 times
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Open small holes in the exact place where the screws will be tight. I used a soldering iron.
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Tight both screws to the wheels
BOTle
BOTle


Now I am placing the bumpers on the front of the bot on a PVC sheet (in this post you can see what I have done for a Sharp sensor)
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And now the caster wheel, those screws tips are going to be cutted out
BOTle


The screw tips are gone and added a bit of super glue because the PVC melted when cutting the screws
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To attach the pvc base to the servos I am using double side rubber tape
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And this is what I have done so far, more will be added soon (I hope)
BOTle


BOTle

Farrusco, Your First Robot

Farrusco, Your First Robot

Farrusco is a small robot based on the Arduino platform, in this case, is using a Motoruino wich is inspired on the Arduino but with a couple of enhancements – dc motor dual controller, servo and sensor plugs.

With Farrusco you will be able to make it avoid obstacles, follow walls, enter in free space mode, and in the future more add-ons will be available, just to name a few: line follower, speakers and light sensors, RGB leds, and so on.

This robot is intended to:
– enthusiasts wishing to enter in the creative computing and robotics fields but don’t know where to start;
– engineering and physical computing students who need a development platform;
– digital artists and designers;
– students of all grades;
– be a simple toy.



More information @ guibot.pt/farrusco