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Mechanics and Construction / Looking for elbow joint for arm
« Last post by dmehling on Today at 05:42:21 PM »
I'm having trouble finding a more general diy forum to ask this question, but it sort of fits in this section on mechanics.  Basically I want to build my own articulating arm, using a couple of carbon fiber tubes, connected by elbow joints.  I could try to find one to buy, but probably not to my exact specifications.  I have already seen carbon fiber tubes I can buy, but I have no idea where to find just an elbow joint that can flex and rotate, like those on an articulating camera arm.  Any suggestions on where to look or another forum that would be more appropriate?
Robot Videos / Bluethood control of a toy car
« Last post by Niko on Yesterday at 09:29:40 AM »

This is my last project. It shows how to control a toy car with bluetooth device using computer and SCADa software.

The toy car is equiped with many sensors, so the user can see on the computer's display the orientation of the car on the land and the distance between a car and objects in front and behind. For all the orientation sensors is used a mobile phone with AltonaRemoteSensors android application, which sends the sensor's information per one sec via TCP/IP to the host computer. The car's DC motors are controled with bluetooth board. I use the analong inputs of the same board and SHARP GP2Y0A21 distance sensors to measure the distance between car and front and behind objects.

The SCADA diagram has two modes - manual and automatic. In manual mode, the user can control the car through keyboard in front, front-lef, front-right, back, back-left and back-right directions. In automatic mode, the car start to move in front direction, until the front object is fixed from the distance sensor. Then the car stops, the SCADA application remembers the current azimut angle of the car and the car starts back-left moving. The back-left moving continues until one of the both events appear - the difference between current and remembered azimuth angles of the car becomes 90 degrees or if this event not happens, then if the elapsed time in back-left moving is 10 seconds.

YouTube project:

Mechanics and Construction / Re: Alysha Talking Head "Open Source" Project
« Last post by Robo_Pi on November 24, 2015, 11:02:44 PM »
I'm not very impressed by the automated face for $20,000.  And the reason I'm not impressed is because of the price.  It would seem to me that a manufacturer should be able to do better than that for 20 grand.   The one I'm working on could sell for more like $2,000.  Especially if it were being mass produced by a competent factory.

One difference I have noted however, is that they do claim that there face has stereoscopic vision through the eyeballs using micro cameras.   That's a feature that I'm not sure I could emulate in a $2000 product.  The idea I currently have for the eyeball cameras is to use a flexible fiber optic cable the size of the pupil that actually runs from the pupil to a small camera.  The cost could be kept down considerably using this method, but I'm not sure how well it would work either.  I don't know how well a fiber optic cable would work for this purpose.  And there's also the problem that it might not be cosmetically pretty at the eyeball end.

In any case, unlike a factory, I don't have long work days to devote to just developing this head.  Nor do I have a team of technicians working under me to do the grunt work.  Lately I've been working on preparing my house for the winter instead of working on the robot head.

I've also been learning how to use the Microsoft.Speech Namespace in C#.   Microsoft offers some truly fantastic speech code to play with.  They have an entire Grammar System called SRGS (Speech Recognition Grammar Specification).  It's really cool.   It allows you to organize subjects, objects, verb, adjectives, and even has a neat way to deal with prepositions.   It also has a PromptBuilder which is related to the GrammarBuilder but is used for speech synthesis instead of speech recognition.  And they even have an entire semantic system so the works can actually be recognized in semantic context.  It's pretty amazing.

In any case, I haven't done much of anything toward actually starting to build the mechanical head yet.  Ironically I wasn't all that impressed with the Party City Mask I'm thinking of using, but after looking at the $20,000 head the Party City Mask actually looks quite sufficient.

Unfortunately I'm not sure if I'll even be able to do this at all.  My health is failing and I'm no spring chicken anymore.  I have some good ideas, but not sure if I'll ever be able to actually bring them into physical reality.
Misc / Pololu's 2015 Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale starts tonight!
« Last post by bens on November 24, 2015, 06:06:02 PM »

Hi, everyone.

We at Pololu Robotics and Electronics are maintaining our Thanksgiving tradition with another Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale! It will start in about 8 hours on Wednesday, November 25, at midnight PST (08:00 UTC).

As usual, we'll have some great doorbuster deals on items like our Zumo robots and A-Star microcontroller boards, and plenty of other discounts on motor drivers, voltage regulators, mechanical parts, etc. This year, we're also giving away free bonus items with orders over $100. You can even get the next quantity price break on products not specifically discounted for the sale, letting you save a little bit on practically anything you want to buy from us.

The sale runs through November 30, and we hope you'll take advantage of it to pick up some discounted robotics and electronics parts for your projects! (If so, let us know what you build!)

- Ben
Mechanics and Construction / Re: Alysha Talking Head "Open Source" Project
« Last post by mklrobo on November 24, 2015, 05:18:35 PM »
 ;) Hello!
I found a product on, that sell a automated face for
approx. $20,000!!! It has a lot of features, very impressive, and beautiful. Looks like a face out of
I ROBOT, the movie in which Will Smith was in.
I like the face and product, but pardon me if I do not buy it.
I think RoboPi is doing great work with his  face project, and giving robot hobbyists great opportunity
to have an awesome robot that is affordable. I understand money has to be made to continue technology
to even have robots, but there has to be a "sweet spot" that we all can enjoy. This is the true heart of robots, I think, and I appreciate people like RoboPi who are doing work that they love, and share it freely. Good JOB Robo Pi!!  ;D ;D ;D
Misc / Re: forum upgrade in progress
« Last post by hexadec on November 24, 2015, 11:06:07 AM »
I wouldn't waste much time on it... ;)

'tis weird though, must be me bringing bad luck  :)
Misc / Re: forum upgrade in progress
« Last post by Admin on November 24, 2015, 09:27:14 AM »
Funny thing, as soon as I made that post, I got the error...

So testing again with another post.

edit: Looks like the error happens for me now only when I post something... I'll do my best to look into this...
Misc / Re: forum upgrade in progress
« Last post by Admin on November 24, 2015, 09:26:27 AM »
I'm still not sure what causes it.

Whenever I upgrade my firefox version, and/or I think the forum version (if I remember right), I'd again get that message.

But once I click 'ok' the first time it just goes away and I won't see it again for 6+ months. Makes it really hard to debug...

It happens in both Chrome and Firefox, too....
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