Recent Posts

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Misc / whatever happened to admin?
« Last post by Admin on October 10, 2016, 03:42:24 PM »
As some of the veterans know, I've rarely been active on the forum for the last few years. It's one of those things when as you get older life decides that you must have other priorities.

What have I been up to? I haven't done much robot building as a hobby at home for about 4 years now, although my day job keeps me at it. The last 2.5 years I spent designing the control systems for an advanced fuel cell used for Navy drones. Really cool stuff.

For the last three years I've been involved in quantitative finance, involving quite a lot of engineering and programming skills.

Anyway, while I rarely post, I'm still working on the back end ... making sure the database isn't crashing, fighting off spammers (a never ending job), upgrading software to fix the latest security flaws, paying the monthly server bill, etc. :P

ps - I apologize for being very bad at answering emails... I do read them I just don't have the time I used to when I was younger....
For Sale / Re: Sales/swap/exchange section in the forum??
« Last post by Admin on October 10, 2016, 03:25:17 PM »
Alright everyone, after years of thinking about it I finally decided to create a separate section for buying and selling your robot parts....
For Sale / Re: [for sale] Aoyue Solder Pot
« Last post by Admin on October 10, 2016, 02:59:42 PM »
I just remembered I still have this...

I'm now selling it for $160 + shipping.
Electronics / Humanoid robot is helping parents to take care of kids
« Last post by carloliu on October 08, 2016, 02:24:13 AM »
umanoid robots received great attention at this year’s Robot Business, the annual exhibition in San Jose, Canifornia, that pegs itself as “the most important robotics event in the world”.

Making your robot look and sound too much like human beings, explained by Jaegerson of Savioke, is the “expectations of intelligence go up”.

One of the most typical example is the Cookid, a child-size robot designed to take on distinctly adult responsibilities.

The 40cm tall cookid has wide eyes, working fingers and a touch screen tablet on its chest. It can sing, dance, and play Kung Fu. It can talk with children, answer questions like “Why is the sun hot?” or “How can water turn into ice”, and provide surveillance/video chat for absent parents.

“It’s a robot for children,” said Cookid Technology founder Zhigang Sun “It’s mainly for companionship.”  The cookid, he boasted, could keep children aged three to eight occupied for “a couple of hours” without adult supervision. It is perfect for the time when children arrive home from school a few hours before their parents get off work, he said.

The cookid takes the debate over the automation of human jobs to the next level. The ethics of how robots should interact with children is necessarily more fraught than the ethics of robots in the workforce. Childcare has rarely, if ever, been a particularly well-remunerated or respected job, but it is essential.

Noel Sharkey, a professor emeritus of robotics and artificial intelligence at the University of Sheffield, has been raising concerns about robotic nannies since 2008.

“Robots are a great educational tool for children. It inspires them to learn about science and engineering,” Sharkey told the Guardian in March. “It can help children be aware of the technology and by 3D visual programming, kids will develop creativity at an early age.
Robot Videos / Re: AUTONOMOUS - Award-winning Sci-Fi Short Film
« Last post by Spacefarer on October 06, 2016, 11:38:04 AM »
Thank you, and I'm really glad you liked AUTONOMOUS. I'm the filmmaker indeed. I wrote, produced and directed it :)
Robot Videos / Re: AUTONOMOUS - Award-winning Sci-Fi Short Film
« Last post by gtabasso on October 06, 2016, 09:27:20 AM »
Love indie films. Are you the filmmaker? If not, did you see it? If so, what were your thoughts?
And how would I put it together?Most robots I see use wheels, so I'I assuming somebody knows.
Software / Re: ER-1 Robot - recycling
« Last post by algtrader on October 05, 2016, 04:35:26 PM »
Got the ER-1 robot working again!

Does anyone know what language the ER-1 Robot Control Center is written in?

I would like to drive the robot using that language or a more modern programming tool. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated.
Robot Videos / AUTONOMOUS - Award-winning Sci-Fi Short Film
« Last post by Spacefarer on October 05, 2016, 09:25:14 AM »
AUTONOMOUS is an award-winning Sci-Fi short film that unofficially premièred at the 35th SGAI International Conference on Artificial Intelligence at the University of Cambridge.

It recently won the Silver Award at The Box Film Festival 2016 (UK), and is an official selection in ten more film festivals around the world.

Premise: When a mistrustful rogue, who earns a living by sending “obsolete” humanoid robots to the scrap heap, has a change of heart and decides it's time to call it quits, he stumbles upon a conspiracy that will reveal his life's darkest secret.

Electronics / Choosing the right equipment
« Last post by BS235 on October 04, 2016, 05:28:25 PM »
Hello!  I am new to robot building/automation but have some experience.  I have purchased a motor from Maxon Motors and I am currently trying to use their EPOS2 70/10 positioning controller for this project.  I have been advised to use a PLC as the controller does not possess the capability to do what we need.

The project is very basic but it seems difficult to find a controller with a simple way to integrate this. 
The project:
A small car is captured with wheels on a track.  A motor is at one end of the track, and an idle pulley is at the opposite end.  A rubber timing belt makes a loop.. it starts at one end of the car, passes around the motor pulley, back under the car (unattached), around the idle pulley, and then attaches back to the car. This way, when the motor spins left or right, the car travels left or right on the track.  The motor is driven left or right with a joystick. The user will be able to control the speed  and direction with a slider knob and from pressure on the joystick.  The controller should set software limits to keep the car from traveling off either end of the track.  This needs to be done from encoder positions, not from any external sensors.

So.. this is all relatively simple.  The difficult part is this.. Getting the car to stop at the end of the track at the same position, regardless of the speed it is traveling.  This is simple in controllers when commanding a position to travel to, but I cannot find a controller that will allow you to accept a joystick signal (+/- 10v, pwm etc) and still have speed sensitive end limits. 

The answer I was commonly given is to use a microcontroller to develop a lookup table that would constantly monitor the position and trigger a deceleration at the appropriate encoder count.  This would require a lot of R&D and change drastically dependent on payload on the car.  I know that there must be a simple way of doing it and some expert out there knows it. 

The only other challenge is it must incorporate a dual encoder feedback loop.. but the EOPS2 controller already has that integrated. 

If anyone has some solution to drive this system, I would really appreciate the advice!  Thanks!
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