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Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« on: July 10, 2015, 03:28:02 PM »
The Project Goal

I'm planning to build an advanced humanoid robot. Think Ex Machina, The Terminator, Data from Star Trek, etc. I decided to avoid teasing by NOT making it a girl. I'd never live that down. If it was a child, I'd be called a pedo. So that leaves male... So just like Data on Star Trek's creator created Data to look just like him, I'm making mine a mirror image of myself! I want the robot to ultimately move like a human, be able to walk, run, jump, do chores, dance, do sports, have conversations realistically, paint, do sculpture, etc. Hope you enjoy following me on my EPIC journey :)



Robot Features Planned

I plan to start out sculpting the left arm and hand, rigging them up with servo motors, connecting that up to a pc, and getting it to grasp. From there I will develop the torso, the skull, the legs, the feet, and the other arm. The bot will have silicone skin and look realistic and move realistic. It will have artificial lungs for cooling. It will have spandex ligaments and pulley systems to imitate muscles. It will have sensors to feel if it bumps into things and it will have webcam eyes. It will have a speaker in the mouth to speak with and the mouth will move to lipsync what it is saying. It will have facial expressions. It will have advanced artificial intelligence. It will run on battery and/or power cable depending on the situation.



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« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 01:59:12 PM by artbyrobot1 »

Offline mklrobo

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2015, 12:55:24 AM »
 8) Awesome!  8)
A cooler project, I can not imagine!
I will be following your progress!  Good Luck!!  ;D

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2015, 01:58:36 AM »
I really appreciate that mklrobo!  I saw your profile picture on several posts of the forum and figured you'd see my post and saw the irony that someone with a Data from Star Trek avatar will see my project that is partially inspired by Data!

Offline mklrobo

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2015, 12:32:01 PM »
It is definitely ironic!   ;)
I am glad to see someone else really committed to a project like this; it will take time, and is
not an overnight thing. You really have to love robotics, but also, robotic concepts in overall context.
No matter what you do, as long as your construction info is available, everyone can use something
out of your efforts; That alone, is well worth it.  ;D
       I was trying to start an open source type robot with the Axon II and Axon Mote boards, so anyone who
wanted a personal assistant robot, or related project, could have one, following instructions on the post.
Beginning from scratch, with every question answered, is quite a task. But, it is fun and an investment
in my own skills/career; so, I can justify the effort/money I put into it.  ???
      In relation to Star Trek, the next Generation, I sure hated to see Data destroyed at the end.  :'( He did
give his "life" for others, making the character more Christ like. I know they have to hipe up stories to
get more ratings($), BUT, a lot more could have been done with the character, which is a tribute to the
actor who played Data. (Brent Spiner) I think Data's death truly ended the Next Generation's
movie/serial potential.  :'(  See you around the Forum!   ;D     

Offline mklrobo

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2015, 01:11:11 PM »
 :) Hello!
    The only bad thing about the standalone robots, are the batteries! ALOT of power is demanded
from the servos and electronics. There is hope, though; they have developed (Glenn Beck reported) a
PEN battery, that you can jump your car off with!  :o I have not found such a thing on the internet,
so, it must be a hoax.  :'(  If this battery existed, these could be used to power standalone robots
for at least 8 hours, depending on the physical labor demanded. If you have heard of such
incredible batteries like this, please tell me.  ::)
     I would recommend using a wheelchair for your robot to begin with.(I had planned this myself)
the wheelchair holds the batteries and MCU, while the frame could hold any number of robotic
items you need. All government buildings (and some houses) are already wheelchair accessible.
Good luck!!!   :) :D ;D

Offline mklrobo

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2015, 02:24:09 PM »
 :) Hello!
In reference to your mechanical structure, I have found the following, thus far.  ???
The kimatic schematic, or mechanical support structure, will need addressing. I have been
working on a Free Body Diagram, to deal with weight distribution. Strengths of materials,
types of materials used, and work ergonomics fall into the design.
I had planned to use the an old Hero Jr. robot for the beginning. Simple programming would
suffice to build upon, as well as the servo and environmental needs( following the functions like
the robots used in
Silent Running). This would support the droid plan for 3 minions to
one supervisor.(home/garden automation, also somewhat personal assistants.(?)  8) )
The next advancement is a modification to the hero structure, a Super-Hero !
This phase would have arms, legs, wheels, built on the functions of the previous model.
Not a huminoid, by any stretch of the imagination, but gives functionality to the members added,
without sacrificing mechanical structure integrity. So, basically, I am using a standard body most
everybody is familiar with, and building upon that, to be an open source robot.
The body remains standard, with legs/arms that can be modified, then jacked into the main robot
where needed; with arm software upgrade.(need a new driver for the arm/leg)
Also, there will be a need for software member driver support, and the need for support of drivers for
sub - processor will be needed. This is why working together, like the Linux community, is important. A lot to think about, when building a robotic superstructure, don't you agree?    ;)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 04:53:34 PM by mklrobo »

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2015, 06:36:46 PM »
"as long as your construction info is available everyone can use something"

I agree!  I'm planning to go to great lengths to record all of my methods to share with others in an open source way.



"The only bad thing about the standalone robots, are the batteries!"

My plan is to have the robot run off of a power cable from wall outlets and when he needs to switch rooms he unplugs himself, staps on a backpack loaded with batteries, plugs that in, unplugs his power cable, walks to the next room, plugs his power cable back in and sets his battery backpack onto the ground till he needs it again to change rooms again.  So the batteries will be designed to not be built inside of him.  I got this idea from Asimo.



"I would recommend using a wheelchair for your robot to begin with."

Awesome idea!  Never considered that and I can see alot of advantages.  I'm so glad you are here giving me guidance!



"drivers/software plan"

I've planned the brains/software alot as well.  I'm going to have a laptop or powerful tablet or two in the chest of the robot running the main logic engines and am going to interface those with arduinos for lower level functionality and from the arduinos to servomotor controllers of course and from those into the servos.  Plus I'm going to have mostly likely over 100 sensors.

Offline mklrobo

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2015, 11:43:33 AM »
 8) Awesome!  8)
I appreciate your feedback. I have covered some of the items we have talked about in my posts
in the misc section in this forum, Analyzing the Axon: Coding, Construction, and Contraptions.
I wish you well on your building. I usually do my "best" work on Friday/Saturday nights, eating pizza and watching old Creature Feature movies, or a science fiction robotic based movie. Sometimes, I have friends
over to "work" on the robots/MCU/Linux while we watch the movies and have a nerd fest. Good times,
Good times.   ;D ;D ;D

Offline mklrobo

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 01:41:07 PM »
 :o OK! I found the Pen car starter!  :o
The size of a small handheld radio, brand name, Powerplus.
It is a 13600 MaH battery!  It says it has a 500 Ampere peak current output!
Unreal, if it is true.  ::) 5 of these in your robot, could possible give it enough power
to run a humanoid body!  ??? They are compact enough to fit into the body, with enough
power in parallel to run the servos and CPU for awhile. you may have to "stuff" batteries in the
legs, arms, or anywhere you can to squeeze out all the available power per area you can get.
So, the lesson to learn from this, is power available per area Vs. power used per area. that would
seem to be a good "rule of thumb" to use when calculating the body of the robot. To generalize,
computing the square footage of a house, to obtain the maximum living space, as cost per foot.
Just a thought. ;)

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2015, 12:01:33 PM »
Thanks for finding that battery suggestion!  I'm aiming to just run off a wall power outlet for many years to come and not worry about batteries.  I'm not going to design room for batteries inside the robot body as I already have a huge amount of space need for all the servos and sensors and wires and stuff.  Therefore, I'm going to put batteries into a backpack like Asimo does.  I won't even worry about that for many years well after the robot is finished will I worry about batteries in his backpack to make him mobile beyond where his power cord will reach.

Offline mklrobo

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2015, 04:17:33 PM »
 8) Hello!
I have been working on the battery problem, for some time, and finally found the solution!  ;D
I think I have stumbled onto a generalized power ratio solution, to use for all robots.
Take a persons square area that they displace, probably about 2 cubic feet. If a robot was to do the
same work a person could do, with the same displacement, the power for the robot maybe could be
boiled down to power in/power out, over a constant of 2 cubic feet displacement. (toys do not take
hardly any power, but they do not perform housework either, so they are disqualified,  :'( )
To calculate the total battery need, add up all the servo amperage draw, the CPU draw, sensors,
etc, as if they were working all the time for an hour. This will give the ampere/hour draw. The batteries
must meet that demand for at least one hour.(hopefully longer) Since the servos are not working
ALL the time, the batteries should last longer. If the power in/power out ratio is 1, then you have
1 hour for work. Any number greater than 1 is good, and could be considered more efficient!
Less than 1, is not efficient, and should be avoided. Therefore, this ratio could provide an engineering
goal, insofaras efficiency. This may be able to be applied, just looking at a robot!
The weight and area of the robot will demand power on that alone, so an estimation of the power
draw of a robot could be estimated. This technique could be used to make bodies, arms, legs, and
other members more efficient, simply from a visual point of view.(assuming weight and area of course)
There may be mechanical cheats, however, like wheels, which may prove more efficient for work.
I will play with this concept, and see if it pans out. Wish me luck!   ;) :) :D ;D

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2015, 11:42:10 AM »
Interesting stuff!  I think a great thing I have to look forward to is that in 5-7 years when I may start looking into the battery powered option instead of just direct wall outlet power, battery technology may have greatly improved and be cheaper to get my hands on...

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2015, 11:51:14 PM »
Here are some recent cool progress shots of the hand coming together!

Offline cyberjeff

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2015, 08:38:20 AM »
Although I am all for your project, I don't see how you can make all this happen with servos and pulleys.

The robots you see that have any real strength are powered from a common power source and are run by hydraulic actuators which have the advantage of being linear motors. That is an enormous expense.

So, let's digress. Muscles work by contraction, hydraulics don't. You will need hundreds of actuators and they will need to be small and relatively inexpensive.

Let me propose a very old method of mechanical energy controlling various devices, the same  method used in player pianos and those circus orchestras with all the doo dads. They work on a vacuum. Pistons would not need to be metal, they could be neoprene tubes that collapse. There are various possibilities. And some leakage would not be fatal.

At least that is what I have come up with for an "art/music" project I have waiting in the wings.

Offline mklrobo

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2015, 02:58:44 PM »
 ;D Hello!
CyberJeff has some info;
Let me propose a very old method of mechanical energy controlling various devices, the same  method used in player pianos and those circus orchestras with all the doo dads. They work on a vacuum. Pistons would not need to be metal, they could be neoprene tubes that collapse. There are various possibilities. And some leakage would not be fatal.
That reminded me of some metal cords, called Nitrinol. These metal "strings" shrink when electricity is applied. Each thickness has a certain amperage draw, and pull of torque accordingly.

Offline cyberjeff

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2015, 05:42:46 PM »
I saw this earlier today:

http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_357641_-1

PDF: http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/Products/ProdDS/357641.pdf

Haven't got the hang of  this forum yet.

 
;D Hello!
CyberJeff has some info;
Let me propose a very old method of mechanical energy controlling various devices, the same  method used in player pianos and those circus orchestras with all the doo dads. They work on a vacuum. Pistons would not need to be metal, they could be neoprene tubes that collapse. There are various possibilities. And some leakage would not be fatal.
That reminded me of some metal cords, called Nitrinol. These metal "strings" shrink when electricity is applied. Each thickness has a certain amperage draw, and pull of torque accordingly.

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2015, 09:25:51 PM »
I think both of those suggestions have HUGE merit and are very exciting possibilities.  I thank you both for bringing them up!  This vacuum neoprene idea and the Nitrinol wire idea have my attention.  Maybe one of them can be a plan b?  I'm already all in with my existing servomotor and pulley system plan having already bought a lot of what I need, already tested and done proof of concept, etc.  If you brought this up a year ago I might try it, however, I have to at least give the way I have been planning for over a year a try before trying anything else ya know?  I don't see why the way I am planning wont work.  Also, I agree it will be WEAK.  I can upgrade to more powerful higher voltage motors later though if I get more $.

One of my concerns with Nitrinol which I have looked into in the past is I haven't seen many projects using it and it isn't widely available from what I've seen.  It is very experimental and expensive and could have a lot of complications in terms of heat and electrocution possibilities... hmmm...

Offline cyberjeff

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2015, 07:41:14 AM »
I think both of those suggestions have HUGE merit and are very exciting possibilities.  I thank you both for bringing them up!  This vacuum neoprene idea and the Nitrinol wire idea have my attention.  Maybe one of them can be a plan b?  I'm already all in with my existing servomotor and pulley system plan having already bought a lot of what I need, already tested and done proof of concept, etc.  If you brought this up a year ago I might try it, however, I have to at least give the way I have been planning for over a year a try before trying anything else ya know?  I don't see why the way I am planning wont work.  Also, I agree it will be WEAK.  I can upgrade to more powerful higher voltage motors later though if I get more $.

One of my concerns with Nitrinol which I have looked into in the past is I haven't seen many projects using it and it isn't widely available from what I've seen.  It is very experimental and expensive and could have a lot of complications in terms of heat and electrocution possibilities... hmmm...

If you have proof of concept then you should run with it. The muscle wire is expensive and I think may be too slow and energy inefficient. The vacuum idea would require building things that are not off the shelf that have never been done. The advantage that air, or vacuum has is that it has energy storage, you can get a huge jolt of power and then wait for recovery. In my mind this is similar to the way most people use muscles.

I have given some thought to your idea of bands and servos, not that I wish to copy your project, but rather use it for a flexible spine. The bands would run through the spine and then outside where they would be tugged on by servos. Assuming the spine returns to a straight position, the curve of the spine with one servo could be modeled on a quadratic bezier. I would need 3 servos.

Since you have no flesh your robot could be relatively light, reducing forces needed. I think you may need to compromise between speed and servo size or by setting your pulleys as a force multiplier, probably you have already done that.

What are you casting with? How is  the weight?

I'm making my simple little toy out of cypress and find the skeleton weighs a small fraction of the total. I suspect you may have substantial weight.

Good luck to you and we await to see your progress!


Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2015, 04:33:51 PM »
@cyberjeff  Thanks for the feedback and thoughts I enjoyed the read!  I too will have a flexible spine modeled after the human spine.  Also, I WILL have realistic silicone skin.  The bones are being made via clay sculpt and then a cast pulled from that made of composite material construction.  The total weight of the bones will be in the 2-3lb range I believe they are extremely lightweight and hollow.  I show in depth how I'm making the bones on my youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/artbyrobot1  I hope you enjoy the project as it unfolds!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 01:58:07 PM by artbyrobot1 »

Offline cyberjeff

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2015, 08:55:38 PM »
@cyberjeff  Thanks for the feedback and thoughts I enjoyed the read!  I too will have a flexible spine modeled after the human spine.  Also, I WILL have realistic silicone skin.  The bones are being made via clay sculpt and then a cast pulled from that made of composite material construction.  The total weight of the bones will be in the 2-3lb range I believe they are extremely lightweight and hollow.  I show in depth how I'm making the bones on my youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/artbyrobot1.  I hope you enjoy the project as it unfolds!

Sorry, link comes up 404.

3 lbs is pretty good.

As far as the realistic skin, I watched a documentary on Ray Harryhausen last night, it is phenominal what he did with latex and armatures:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Harryhausen

What fascinated me was how he got the motion right.

I don't understand why, if you are covering all this up with skin, why the bones have to be so true to form. It seems to me that the details are pushing the complexity and time frame way up.

I've been thinking a bit about twisted string actuators:

http://www.dexmart.eu/fileadmin/dexmart/public_website/downloads/presentations/USAAR-Workshop-A3.pdf

I think for the amount of micro detail and control you need those may be useful to you as they take up little room. For my purposes, it could pull a spine into a curve. I'm saving that for later, i just got a bunch of servos and  the Arduino Due so it is time for me to see if any of my ideas work!

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2015, 02:10:20 PM »
@cyberjeff - I fixed the link it 404'd because of the period at the end!  https://www.youtube.com/c/artbyrobot1

@cyberjeff - the realistic bones are done because the body's bone shapes have a distinct purpose.  They are designed amazingly for strength reasons and are superior to hinge joints.  They are curved in all directions and as we all know, a curve is the strongest shape in nature.  This makes them strong despite their light weight.  The design of the joints of the bones is amazing and powerful as well.  I'm staying as true to human body design as I can because the human body design is amazing and excellent.

As far as latex vs silicone, the verdict is silicone is superior in durability and quality.  It also has translucency like real skin.

About the twisted string muscles, I'm feeling there are some issues and complications with that such as control, feedback, the lack of documentation and support tutorials and articles, etc etc.  Servos are tried and true so they are my preference.


Flexible Mesh Exoskeleton Progress

Offline cyberjeff

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2015, 06:32:20 PM »
My knowledge of physiology is weak.  The muscle structure of the human body is complex, it seems to me that there are for some joints so many degrees of motion possible and that some compromises will of necessity have to be made.

With that said, you seem to be moving along and more power to you.

I have done some casting with silicone, it is superior to latex in many ways and I assume that whatever has been done in latex, and that is extensive would also be doable in silicone. I meant that as encouragement...

As far as servos, my little project which has limited degrees of motion is up to 12 servos for the arms and legs, yours is considerably more involved. I await to see how all those servos will fit in!

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2015, 11:59:22 AM »


Exoskeleton mesh building on arm!


Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2016, 11:41:47 AM »
Here's a little update on the project.  Finally got the hand bones joined and ready to rig!



Also, here's a link to the hand video where I demonstrate its range of motion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRTtyT2cWaI

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2016, 04:31:42 PM »
Here's the clay sculpt of the rib cage for the robot.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rWq-70iBVs

Offline artbyrobot1Topic starter

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2016, 04:26:42 AM »

Here is my latest progress on the bot.  It is a mesh capture of my face and neck to be used to aid in sculpting the robot's skull and defining the mass of its neck.

Offline Murdoch

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Re: My Advanced Realistic Humanoid Robot Project
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2016, 06:10:49 AM »
This is great stuff. Learning quite a bit from this thread. Are you getting your casting products from Smoothcast? Thanks again...George
I'm building it, in a cave from a box of scrap.
What more do you want?

 


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