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