Jon's Place

Friday, September 21, 2007

Printed Chest

So, we decided to try printing a new chest compartment for the next BrainBot*. It came out really nicely, and the parts fit perfectly. The main reason for printing the chest is to save a lot of manual labour. Even with the CNC mill, it takes 15-20 hours to build a BrainBot chest from Delrin. With a 3D printer, we can print a lightweight, very strong one-piece chest with all the holes pre-drilled, with virtually no labour from me past building the initial model.

We also printed a new camera mount for some lighter-weight Swann Blackhawk wireless cameras. Having two of those cameras versus two of the green cameras saves about 400 grams from the head, which is significant when trying to make a walking robot. Plus, since the mount is custom made for the specific camera, it is much more rigid, and thus more useful for doing stereo vision.

This chest also has the new wifi board mounted on the gumstix, which needed to get relocated sideways somewhat to fit the longer board with an ethernet plug on the end.

*The BrainBot project is directed and funded by the Brain Engineering Lab and Neukom Institute at Dartmouth

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tracked Base

So, after an incredibly busy weekend, I finished up the tracked base on Sunday night, and shipped it down to the Brain Engineering Lab. It worked out pretty well, all in all. The tracks are controlled with one of my Bioloid bus I/O boards, using a Dimension Engineering Sabertooth 2x10 motor driver. I'm actually driving the robot using a virtual joystick on a simple GUI in Squeak.

Here's a movie of it, testing the waist rotate and tilt functionality:



And here's a movie of it moving around:



*The BrainBot project is directed and funded by the Brain Engineering Lab and Neukom Institute at Dartmouth