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Spyder
(@spyder)
Prominent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 751
2020-03-29 9:34 am  

While I'm waiting for parts to come in (which has obviously been temporarily delayed) I've started in on a project that I've been wanting to do for years, which is upgrading my OmniBot 2000

He had a broken shoulder joint, which I printed...

omnibot2008

(3 times before I got it right) The first print I always expect to fail, cuz it's mainly a test to see how far off my calculations are, the second print snapped in the same place as the original OEM part. (the smallest part at the tip) It failed due to it delaminating, which left me with only one choice, which was to print it sideways, and then do an absolute TON of sanding to remove the supports. And then of course, the finger gear ended up going missing (I swear there's a black hole under my work bench where all those things that hit the floor disappear into),

omnibot2003

and sadly, my 3D design skills aren't up to par to design and print a new one, so I replaced the gears and motor with a servo, which works, but, it's just not strong enough for my tastes, so I'm designing a new arm which will hopefully, almost kinda look like the original, but use all 20KG servos,

omgservo

which should amp up his strength considerably. And I'm also going to print a 2nd one for the left arm, which was nothing but a dummy originally. It should be functional now (after HOW many days of printing parts ???)

Now, originally, my plan was to put the "brain" in the base unit,

omnibot2001

right on top of the wheels, but, the only antenna cables I could find weren't long enough to reach from the base all the way up to the head, where I planned to attach the antennas, so I ended up trying to jam it into the head

omnibot2004

So I started hunting around, and of course I didn't have enough standoffs, so I decided that 3 would be enough, but (nothing is easy on this one) the standoffs were too big for the mounting holes in the carrier board of the Nano, so, after inspecting the board to make sure that I wouldn't be damaging anything, I just started drilling

omnibot2005

And finally got it mounted... sorta. It seemed like a good spot at the time, but, I just know I'm gonna have to move it before I'm done

omnibot2006

I tried to keep it out of the way of any future things I might have to plug in, who knows if I got it right. Then I wanted to take it upstairs out of the lab into my bedroom/office, so I could have it right next to me while I do the software installs, and setting it on the table next to my desk turned out not to be a thing, cuz, it's a bit cluttered, so I added some legs to it to get it up off the actual desk

omnibot11

Now, this new carrier board is pretty cool. It's got a set of pins that you can plug thingies into, so I plugged thingies into them. There's that green light in the middle that's an activity light that flashes when... things happen. There's a button you can add to turn it on instead of it turning on as soon as you apply power. And another button that, if you hold it, does a force shutdown, and another button labeled "Force Recovery" which is described as

"Connect Pin 9 and Pin 10 during power-on to put system in USB Force Recovery mode."

I have no idea what that means, but, the buttons I bought came in a pack of three, so I had an extra button, so I connected it, cuz, why not

So now I've got this thing sitting on my table...

omnibot10

Neat thing, the neck motor is still in there, and I connected it, and it works, so the head turns left and right, and I had to print new eye sockets for the camera and ultrasonic sensor

This new board has CSI inputs for 2 cameras, so I could have installed 2 and given him stereo vision, but I wanted that sensor in there. And the camera looks funny cuz the wide angle lens hasn't showed up in the mail yet. I do have wide angle lens' on 2 of my other bots that I could have removed, but, I just figured I'd wait, as, this thing wasn't about to go anywhere anytime soon, and the other 2 were happily racing about (Manually. Even with the GUI ROS is frustrating)

The downside is that the neck motor is a motor, not a servo, so, I'm gonna have to figure out the logistics of turning it left and right. There IS an endstop switch in there, so I guess I could use that, but, still, turning it just a little bit will, considering my skill level, be tricky. The endstop isn't really my concern, it's turning it only a little bit that I'm sure will be the challenge. But, maybe the ROS will figure that out for me

And then there's the conversation about access to his "brain". I'm thinking that if I carefully dremel out this square on the top of his head...

omnibot12

I could put a hinge on the straight part, and add some plastic stoppers on the inside, and it would make a nice access panel where I'm thinking would make a nice place for the buttons

I also have this thing...

omnibot13

Which I was originally saving for the Tool(toolbox)Bot, but, it doesn't look as if I'll have access to it for at least a few weeks, and I wanna keep busy, so, I'm gonna stick it right on top of his head (I think)

I haven't brought the head of the ToolBot to work yet, so I can still do work on that

k9head1

All I wanna do for that piece is make it run lights, and maybe install SNIPS or Matrix or maybe even Mycroft on it. (I just got an email from Mycroft with a download link to a Beta thing they just came out with, and I wanna try it. Although, I've used it before, and the voice is... disappointing. But, who knows, maybe this new version will have improved it)

I have a string of ws2812B LED's so I gotta figure out how to make those light up in some kind of... interesting fashion. (maybe some touch sensors for when you pet it on the head would be cool) The plan for that piece is to have it be a standalone part that I can just plug into the 4 inch PVC socket, and then pull it out when I want to. If there's any connection (which I'm planning on making) it will probably be TCP or I2C connected via an RJ45 plug (8 wires gives me power, and either I2c, TCP, or TX/RX. I've got lots of options. Even with power and TCP I'd still have 2 (one pair) wires left over)

So that's where I am. I'm still installing OpenCV and stuff on this thing, which I expect to take a few days, and the parts for the arms will take at least that long

Oh, and I'm also printing a riser on the other printer, to make him taller. Not sure how tall I wanna make it yet. I need 4 pieces for one complete height section, which is only about 3 inches tall, and I want at least 2 complete sets for a total of 6 inches. 12 or 18 would be nicer tho, but at 19 hours per 1/4, it's gonna be DAYS, and I'll probably run out of filament, and have to switch colors, which means I'll have to paint them

This never ends

ihateprogramming

But I'm not bored ! ! 🙃 

 


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 1744
2020-03-29 11:40 pm  

Pretty impressive project Spyder. 👍 

I've been anxious to do some work on my robots too, but instead I've been setting up various software packages for several different projects I'm working on.   Probably too many!  But hopefully after I get everything finally organized I should be able to get some serious work done.  

I got tired of having to continually re-install the same software packages over and over again, so I decided to back up, and create some very well-organized system disks for both the Jetson Nanos and the Rapberry Pies.

I'm trying to create 16GB system disks, which is really cutting things close as they are almost filled to the brim.  But these are just so I can make easy copies onto larger SD cards where I'll do the actual projects.  So far it looks like I might get by with 16GB system disks, but I might need to move up to 32GB disks.  I like to have the base systems on smaller cards.  That way I'm guaranteed to be able to clone them over to larger cards.

Actually the Raspberry Pi system doesn't take up much room.  I have almost everything I want on it and still have over 8GB left.  But on the Jetson Nanos I already only have 4 GB left and I haven't yet installed everything I want to use.  It's not a big problem.  Like I say, if I need more space I can just clone over to the 32GB card and move forward from there without having to start over again from scratch.

None the less, this is taking me quite some time to re-organize everything.  But I think it will pay off big time when it's all said and done.   From that point forward I can just clone a new system card anytime I want and the bulk of the software I need will already be installed and configured.   So that's well worth the effort.

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 423
2020-03-30 12:38 am  

@spyder
The omnibot 2000 looks like what I imagine a home robot should look like.
https://synthiam.com/Community/Robots/Omnibot-2000-219

 


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Spyder
(@spyder)
Prominent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 751
2020-03-30 9:33 pm  

@robo-pi

Since the printing of each piece takes so long, it's easy for me to do both building and programming at the same time. Since I'm still not very good with the ROS, I don't know if I can really call it programming, but, it's me sitting at the computer, watching it compile. That's sorta programming

I did run into a problem tho in backing up the Jetsons. The Pi's are easy, but, for some reason, the pc won't recognize the Jetson's disks as good disks, and it asks me to reformat them, and when I try to use linux to do it with the DD command, it asks for a formatted disk, then doesn't like the formatting cuz the jetson (for some unknown reason) creates something like 14 partitions

I've got a CD with a bunch of disk copy tools that I haven't used in years that I just this second remembered. Maybe I'll try that if you don't have a better idea

@casey I agree. I bought this little guy when he first came out in the 80's, and I've held onto him ever since. He holds so many possibilities. And yes, I've seen the website you posted, but, it just seemed somehow "wrong" for me to use anything but a real computer to actually "robotize" him. That site sells proprietary parts, and I'm fundamentally opposed to that type of hardware (and business) structure. It's why I refuse to buy any Apple products

On the other hand, it would make this project easier, but, I've already got all these parts accumulated and allocated just for this particular project. It seems a shame to start over


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 1744
2020-03-30 10:13 pm  
Posted by: @spyder

I've got a CD with a bunch of disk copy tools that I haven't used in years that I just this second remembered. Maybe I'll try that if you don't have a better idea

I'll have to tell you the sad story on this one.  Well, it's gonna be sad for you, but it was actually quite pleasant for me. 😉 

To begin with I already had a two station drive bay which also serves as a cloning station.   I think I paid about $30 to $40 for that?  I've had that for quite some time and I use it as my personal "Cloud" storage as I typically keep to drives it in to store all my data on.

In any case I bought two of these so that I can clone SD cards.

These work perfect for cloning SD cards.   You just plug them into the cloning station, plug in the SD cards and press the button.  In a very reasonable amount of time you'll have a perfect clone.

The happy part for me is that when I bought these they were only $11 each.  So I was able to get 2 of them for $22.  Not too bad.   However, the sad part is that they are now listed at about $40 a piece.  So to buy to of them now would cost $80!  So I was lucky to find them when I did.   It wasn't all that long ago either.  It hard to believe the prices when up by that much. 

You might be able to find these somewhere else cheaper.   But these babies solve all my SD card cloning problems.  And since I clone a LOT of SD cards this was well worth it for me.

I clone cards for Raspberry Pi Raspbian systems that I use on my "low-level" pies.  (i.e. anything prior to the Pi 4).   I clone Raspberry Pi Ubuntu systems for my pi 4's.  I have two pi 4's now!  And I might buy some more as they are working out really well so far.   And of course, I also clone the Jetson Nano SD card systems too.  So lots of SD card cloning going on here. 😊 

As many SD cards as I clone it would probably be worth the $80 for these SD-to-SATA PC cards.  I guess I was really lucky to get them for $11 a piece.   I almost bought 4 of them just to have back up cards.  If I would  have known they were going to jump up to $40 a piece I would have!  As it is I just have the two, but so far they've been working great.

Of course you need to have a cloning station too.   But I already had that.

But yeah, the cloning station beats trying to duplicate cards using software.  It's really slick.

I currently have (2) Jetson Nano, (2) Raspberry Pi 4's, and (8) Lower-level Pies.    So being able to clone system SD cards is a must for me.   In fact, I'm even thinking of getting some more JN's and Rpi4's and part of what makes that so inviting is because of being able to clone previously set up system cards and just plug and go!   That's a really nice feature about these SBCs

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Spyder
(@spyder)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 751
2020-03-30 11:31 pm  

I found an SD to SATAn card (yes. I call it SATAn. When they first came out you had to load the drivers with a floppy disk, and new computers don't have floppy drives ! It was really annoying) adapter for $16 on Amazon. There were a few there, but none that looked like yours, and there are a few cloning stations so I picked one of those. I don't have Prime, so who knows when they'll get here

My collection has 2 Jetsons, 2 Pi4s, an Atomic Pi, a 3B+, and 9 3B's (that I can count. I'm sure there are more of them floating around that I've forgotten about) I only bought the one B+ because when they first came out it gave me no end of trouble with the OS. I suppose that's probably taken care of by now with the release of Buster, so it's probably safe to buy them again, but, it really turned me off that item


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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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Posts: 423
2020-03-31 4:26 am  
Posted by: @spyder

That site sells proprietary parts, and I'm fundamentally opposed to that type of hardware (and business) structure. It's why I refuse to buy any Apple products

Ok. I was just googling to see what the Omnibot 2000 was. I concur with your views on proprietary hardware and software that locks you into their systems. One reason in the early days I wanted to use Linux but for practical reasons at the time I had to use M$ Windows.

Actually I was only referring to the "look" of the robot not the product itself. In a domestic situation I would imagine more acceptance if the robot was clearly a robot and not a fake human. I wanted to build one that looked something like the Omnibot robot but maybe four times as big with the cleaning ability of a Roomba to justify the cost to the wife 🙂


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Spyder
(@spyder)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 751
2020-04-07 7:22 pm  

I'm currently working on the fingers and arms. The left arm came stock as nothing but a "dummy" arm, meaning there were no motors in it. It moved, but only if you personally moved it. So I printed (the best I could) a new forearm for each (left and right) and created new fingers (well, the first set anyway. Haven't started on the second set)

omnibot14

Yea, 20KG servos. I only 3D printed the fingers themselves, the main bracket is steel, and the brackets that came with the servos are aluminium, but I doubt they'll ever be taxed enough to matter. The fingers are carbon fiber, and I embedded nails into the prints to re-enforce them

Now the arms were a bit tricky. I either had to completely destroy everything inside the arm cases and rip out both motors and all those complicated gears, or just print new forearms, so I went with printing new ones

After meticulous measurements, I managed to make almost perfect functional copies that fit exactly into place on the upper arms...

omnibot15

So, I could have tried to adapt the original fingers in order to keep it looking stock, but, I just couldn't resist the overkill of those 20KG servos. All I need to do now is cut out a bit of the foream where the "wrist" should be, and I can mount the fingers...

omnibot16

Then I'll need to start considering possibilities for the shoulder. My first thought is to somehow use more of those 20KG servos. I'm leaning very heavily in that direction

Then, of course, communication with the controllers is a question. I'm using (for now anyway) a Jetson Nano for the brain, and even tho it copied the GPIO pins of a Pi, they're sorta backwards, which means that I'd have to mount any hats facing out rather than over the top of the module, and there just isn't room inside the head for that, so, everything else is gonna have to go inside the chest somewhere, which means I2C (I think)

My multiplexer module came in, but I haven't started playing with it yet. I'm hoping I won't need it, but it's there if I do. So far, from the little research I've done, it seems to work by changing "channels" before sending out the signals to a board with a competing address. I saw Bill's video on the TCA9548A, but, until I actually try it, it won't completely register with my rapidly failing brain. I bought the same one, so, at least I'll have a starting point

I'm gonna have to rip out the tape player and the other stuff that's just taking up space inside the bots chest to make room for it all. I had originally intended to somehow have the nano send signals to the original main board, but, since I'm adding so much actual function, I think this is a better way to go even tho it means that I've completely ruined a favorite antique toy that I've owned for 40 years

On the other hand, if I can get it working, the coolness factor should overcome that

@robo-pi the 2 SataN to SD converters arrived, not the same ones you have, but, they were only $15 each. The cloning box thingy still hasn't arrived yet tho


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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Joined: 12 months ago
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2020-04-07 11:19 pm  
Posted by: @spyder

@robo-pi the 2 SataN to SD converters arrived, not the same ones you have, but, they were only $15 each. The cloning box thingy still hasn't arrived yet tho

Where did  you find some for $15 a piece?  That's not bad. 

By the way.  Nice job on the Robot Limbs. 👍 

 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Spyder
(@spyder)
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Posts: 751
2020-04-08 12:39 am  

@robo-pi

Meh, I was working from memory... they were $16.75 each

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0078PVL8U/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 1744
2020-04-08 1:47 am  
Posted by: @spyder

Meh, I was working from memory... they were $16.75 each

I see they want $4.25 shipping too.  I put two in my cart and I see that they still only charge the $4.25 shipping only once.  That's nice.  The two of them come to about $40 with tax.  But that's what Walmart is now asking for just one.  So that's still half off. 

I'm not going to buy them right now though.  But it's nice to know that they can still be found for a somewhat reasonable cost.   I really don't need more than  two.  I just know that in the future when thinks break down I can never find them cheap anymore. So I tend to buy twice what I need while I can still find them at a reasonable cost. 🤣 

At 70 years old I need to stop thinking like that.   The future is getting shorter and shorter!  So buying ahead is probably just wasting money at this point. 😊 

I did buy a second Rpi 4 though.  The first one worked out pretty well so I picked up a second one.  I have Ubuntu on one and Raspbian on the other.  I'm finding that I like Ubuntu a lot better than Raspbian.   Of course the OS is just a matter of swapping out the SD card so no biggy there.  But I'm having fun learning the differences between Raspbian and Ubuntu.  So it's nice having them both up side-by-side to compare.

I'm going to need to buy some FOOD pretty soon.  I buy too many pies and still have nothing to EAT! 😮 

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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2020-04-08 1:57 am  
Posted by: @robo-pi

At 70 years old I need to stop thinking like that.   The future is getting shorter and shorter!  So buying ahead is probably just wasting money at this point. 😊 

I'm going to need to buy some FOOD pretty soon.  I buy too many pies and still have nothing to EAT! 😮 

My father in law is nearly 90 and still has all his marbles although walks a bit slower these days.  Good food and activity are the best medicine and in your case having fun buying lots of hardware 🙂  Have you taken steps to prevent that pesky cousin of yours turning up?  Over time the chances he will be carrying the Corona virus just increases exponentially!!  My family members over 60+ are all in lock down and their children deliver them meals at the front door.  My brother lives on a yacht by himself but has sailing friends to keep him safe as possible. 

This post was modified 2 months ago by robotBuilder

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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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2020-04-08 2:04 am  

@spyder

Seems you could have just  3D  printed the whole body?  Are the driver motors in good shape?

 


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Robo Pi
(@robo-pi)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 1744
2020-04-08 2:20 am  
Posted by: @casey

Have you taken steps to prevent that pesky cousin of yours turning up?

He seems to have wised up quite a bit.  He's now taking the social isolation pretty seriously.  He even keeps disinfectant in his truck now and wipes his hand down every time he touches anything public.  So he's changed his tune quite significantly since this has all started.

He has only stopped by once thus far.  I order a carburetor rebuild kit for his tractor and he stopped over to pick that up.   He gave me the respect to keep a good social distance from me.  Well, we did get close enough that I handed him the package and he handed me the cash.   Then he backed off to actually talk with me a bit, not long as we were both busy.  But he kept a good 8 feet from me.  So that was nice.   He's far more likely to pick it up than I am.  I don't leave my property.   He has no choice but to interact with some other people.   So he's far more likely to pick it up than I am.   But thankfully he doesn't come around unless he actually needs something.  So that's good. 😊 

Posted by: @casey

My family members over 60+ are all in lock down and their children deliver them meals at the front door.  My brother lives on a yacht by himself but has sailing friends to keep him safe as possible.

Yes, these are serious times.  Especially for the elderly and medically vulnerable.  I already have COPD and so my breathing is already compromised.  I'm thinking the coronavirus would basically be a death certificate for me from what I'm hearing.   Although there are reports of some seemingly fragile elderly people who have contracted the virus and survived it.  One lady is 90 years old.  She attributes her recovery to the potato soup her daughter made for her.

I'm shopping for potato soup online as we speak. 🤣  Sounds like it might be the magic cure.  Maybe the coronavirus doesn't get along well with potatoes?

DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer
James


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Spyder
(@spyder)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 751
2020-04-08 11:53 am  
Posted by: @casey

Are the driver motors in good shape?

Yea, perfectly. In fact, the only non functional part on the whole thing (before I took it apart) was the gear for opening and closing the right fingers. It would open, but not close. Sadly, my abilities with CAD are not such that I could recreate the gear in order to print it ☹  That's basically how this project started. I was able to recreate a broken shoulder joint, which gave me hope of keeping him "stock", but that gear was beyond me, so I started modifying, and I got carried away

I'm gonna use the original base as is (except for 2 of the treads, which suffered from dry-rot, so I had to fabricate replacements)


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