2013-05-29

55 Printers for InMoov

What a day!
Yes I was there and I saw all those Ultimakers printers running against the clock. Protospace and Ground3D had organized the Worldrecord of 3D printers in a pretty short time and I was surprised so many people came to participate and watch the event. It is very interesting to see a community of people working all together for one purpose. I got to meet a lot of people and I really enjoyed my afternoon. I have to tell you that at the end of the day, I couldn't talk anymore. My vocal chords had been pushed to the edge. There was a good band playing music in the printing space and you had to talk pretty loud to make yourself understand.

The robot didn't get built though, two hands and two heads were ready. Many parts of the torso were done but didn't get assembled because of lack of time. They were lacking of makers and tools.
Plus, it was a windy day and the printing space was open to the outside, and as you maybe know printers don't like fresh wind. So there has been many parts that didn't turn out correctly because of that. Then through confusion of reprinting, some parts have been printed more times than necessary and some others not at all.
But somehow it doesn't matter, at least it HAPPENED and it was fun, because people were having a good time.

A Dutch article about the event with an interview.

Here are some pictures of the event:
Pictures credit: Ground3D

The Event seen from the road


The installation


Before the opening


Protospace staff organizing the files during the afternoon.
You can see on the table the printed parts.


  Here I am discovering all of what had been done by the staff of Protospace.


People are studying  the printed parts from a new born 3D printer.


Bram trying to look like InMoov.




There was even a Rostock Ultimaker style 3D printer


This part is ruined by the wind coming from the open door.

As you can see InMoov was going to be very colorful.


WormGear being printed without support, I was surprised how well it turned out.


        


This has nothing to do with the event but I had to put it on the blog.
It was at the Makerfaire of Taiwan 2013. Credits for the video  to 3D Maker.
I just can't stop looking at the face of the kid when he realize it is the glove that controls the hand.
Great moment!

                         

2013-05-16

Ears for download

Okay here are the ears.
These ears are for the look, they actually don't really have a function. They were initially designed to act like a circus in which the microphone was inserted, but the servos are making a lot of noise and I haven't found a simple solution for to get these ears to listen well.

If one of you can put some microphones in there and get good results, let us know on the forum, it would be nice. I can always redesign something for it.




2013-05-15

One day

Just, one day!
Can you imagine fifty 3D printers working at the same time to produce InMoov in one day.
Builders actively organizing the files to be printed,
Hackers getting the parts ready and preparing the program in one day.
The result should be a World Record Event (according to Ground3D) which will take place on the 25 of may in Utrecht in the Nederlands.
This is an event organised by the Protospace Fablab in Holland.

If you can read dutch this is for you:  LINK.
If you can't read dutch, use the Google translator.


utrecht spectaculaire 3d print world record


This is very exciting!
I have been contacted by Ground3D which has been printing InMoov parts since a while.
When they first contacted me I wasn't abble to pick up the phone so my wife did. They must have been surprised to get someone who could converse with them in dutch. (She is from Holland)

So the plan is to dispatch all the files on 50 different printers, it is possible that some very long printing parts will be started the previous day. (Just in case) They seem to know a bunch of hackers, which will prepare and assemble the parts once they are printed. Some other hackers will organize all the wiring and programms. We still need to see if they plan on using MRL and Arduinos, but I really hope so because it is part of the force of InMoov.
I will let you know more when I get more info.
I will certainly try to attend this event although it isn't that close by. I wonder why this just doesn't happen here in Paris, it would be so much easier...



In France, there is a blob in Science & Vie junior in the 284 issue.

inmoov dans science et vie


Apparently, it leaded them to make a full article about robots in the next issue (285). She looks like InMoov's wife..




In the meantime during the nights, I keep on working.
It's been a while that I want to test a finger sensor. J Ha, an Australian InMoov builder, has been busy making some sensors for the hand, his last video is very interesting because he has done a mechanism where the whole servo moves according to the pressure. J Ha also has printed almost the whole robot, so according to him, he will soon let us know how he did this sensor mechanism.
 I had found on the Instructables a very simple and cheap way to create sensors, so cheap that I had to try it.
So I got myself some of that antistatic foam used to protect circuits from shorting.
A board of 40cm X 25cm X 0.5cm cost 3 euros.
I have cut two disks of copper in the diameter of the finger and another disk in the foam.
The copper I had it laying around my workshop, aluminium foil can be used as well.


I ran two very thin wires through the hinges up to the tip of the finger, soldered them to the copper disks, if you use aluminium foil you won't be able to solder it.
Then I sandwiched the foam between the copper disks. Using a two component epoxy glue on the outside of the disks, I managed to glue it all together preserving the spongious effect of the foam.

inmoov finger tester with sensor
Writing a script in the Arduino.exe took me a lot of time, that's why I got to bed only at 4 AM. All the scripts I would find on the net were about how to make a servo move when triggering a pressure sensor. But my goal was different, I want the servo to stop moving when the sensor gets a certain amount of pressure, plus I wanted to be able to visualize how reactif was my DIY sensor, to make the servo act in accordance.
Another problem I had with the script was to slow down the servo during it's movements to get relevants values out of the sensor. If the finger goes very fast and hits the objet strongly isn't the same factor is if it encounter the object softly.
The script is still not correct but I got to see what I wanted.
I also used the Oscope in MRL to see what curves it would produce and what was the minimum and maximum values.
The result of the Oscope, here, shows a min value of 0 and a max of 347 which seems pretty good to me.
This was obtained by pressing firmly and releasing the finger tip.
I had never used the Oscope of MRL and it is a fine piece of the software which can be very handy.
Bellow is a little video done at the request of Grog, because this way he can maybe integrate and adapt the script in the InMoov Service with Python.


Now, I have ordered some QTC pills sensors which are ridiculously cheap and will modify the finger tip to improve the pressure impact direction. Users will be able to just remove the finger tips already printed and add that modified finger tip to simply benefit of a pretty effective sensor.

The other night I was for the second time testing the recently rebuilt tracking service in MRL and somehow I got to burn my second Hitec HS805BB. According to Grog I shouldn't test it anymore until something is fixed in the service. I guess I will listen to his advise.
The servo goes beyond it's range for some reason. Expensive tests...30 euros to the trash.
Replacing the RotHead  servo in the head gave an odd and creepy feeling in the worshop the other night...

inmoov burned head servo
inmoov burned head servo close





2013-05-09

Eye mechanism to download

Working with the InMoov tracking service in MRL showed some limits. The movements of the head up and down limits the range view of the robot. Since the cameras I used aren't wide angle lens and if I would add another lens, the tracking would get confused because of distortionned images. That's what I understood from different posts on the forum, so I did'nt buy a wide angle lens to try. Now the option was to build a mechanism for the eyes. In earlier post I had discribed it, but couldn't upload it on Thingiverse because of servo failure which resumed my test to a few minutes of movements.
Since then I was waiting for some other servos, some DS929HV from HobbyKing, which finally arrived. After a few test the mechanism had to be reviewed again. Somehow the eyes would get stuck upwards, the skull had a thickness that had to be modified before it's release.
Now the mechanism seems to fonction properly. It isn't very strong and not really easy to hook up in the head, but since I want to go on with the legs, I will release it, as is. Hopefully some of you will make more performant derivatives on Thingiverse.
The tracking service integrated in InMoov is under work by Grog on MRL at the moment, so I can't really make more test with that. Plus, I have bought two Adafruit 16 chanel boards for to extend the servo number capacities of my  two Arduino.
I did some simple test with the Adafruit boards using the Arduino library and it works. Now Grog needs to add on his working list, the implementation of this two boards in the service... I don't know when he is going to find time for that.
The goal is to create a tracking service which will benefit of four actuators, two for the head movement and two for the eyes. It's like adding a pan/tilt mechanism in another pan/tilt...According to Grog and Alessandruino (A friendly participant of MRL which is of great advise) it is faisible.
Below is a video of the tracking recorded through the camera of InMoov. the video is slow and corrupt because the codec encoder I choosed in MRL OpenCV wasn't the right one. So I can't cut uninteresting parts and also can't speed it up. If you really have time to loose, you will see the InMoov's hand showing the teddy bear to the tracking, after that I give voice commands (which aren't recorded), the tracking head moves accordingly to the tracking set point. When the hand reaches the bottom of the screen, this is the limit of the head  movement. I did try a few times with the same voice commands "one", "two", etc like seen in previous videos without succes. Of course I could modify the gestures to stay in the view range of the tracking but it is too limited. Now adding the movements of the eyes to this, hopefully I will gain in view range.

Again nothing much happens in this video, so if you really have time to loose, go ahead
video


Okay you will find the eye mechanism Here.
I have done pictures of the assembly and need to make the tuto. The connections to the Adafruit board still needs to be done, so no details about that.

Concerning the ears. I haven't solved the noise problem coming from the servos interfering with voice command, so instead of loosing time on that, I got myself a Bluetooth head set with microphone which let me give the commands pretty safely. This is what I got: Logiteck 981-000382 Wireless Headset..
So at the moment the ears are just for the look, I will upload them as well. If you find a way to use microphone in there, please let us know on the forum.

The foot and ankle still needs improvements, but all together the principle of double contrary rotational system that I imagined seems to work. The ankle can take any human positions at rather fast speed. How to control it, so it adapts itself to an uneven floor still remains a question though... I need to reinforce someparts because they wouldn't last long with the full robot standing on them.
I designed the foot with a look halfway between a foot and a shoe. The big toe doesn't look anymore like on these photos, it is now, more integrated to the other toes. Also the toes fold more to a 45 degree angle now.
Here are some pics.







                                                                    

 Beside the foot which needs to be improved, that meens somehow redesigning  some parts, I decided to make myself happy and to enhance the look of InMoov.
The Torso was initially designed to receive a shell for to create a chest and a back. I only worked on the chest for now and reserved a space for to insert the kinect Xbox360. The space reserved should allow other users to insert other brands of Kinect. On the pictures below it doesn't show how it is inserted because it will come right under the printed chest. I still need to print those parts to make sure it all fits together.
Of course I couldn't resist to put the InMoov logo on his chest... These new parts gives him a pretty sturdy figure, I'm happy with the look. That's where my sculptor feelings are the best exhorted.



inmoov with chest close up

inmoov with chest complete

inmoov with chest complete close up


And this is what I think is pretty cool at the moment. Playing with InMoov seems slow but when I see how difficult programming is, I think they did a fantastic job. Their goal is to present it at the MakerFaire in Taiwan.
Paper Scissor video: