Society of Robots - Robot Forum

General Misc => Misc => Topic started by: InspiredByWestworld on May 01, 2018, 08:17:07 AM

Title: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: InspiredByWestworld on May 01, 2018, 08:17:07 AM
I watched the 1973 film Westworld and was somewhat fascinated by robots that looked like real people and animals and acted like real people and animals.

I play with a railroad PC simulator and can build virtual model train layouts and operate them with some degree of artificial intelligence. One interesting animation in this game is vehicles drawn by horses. What if it were possible to design scale-model horse-drawn carriages that looked and behaved like real horse-drawn carriages? We see all these physical model train layouts with a lot of static vehicle scenery. I envision in the future where this static scenery comes to life. Model cars, trucks, buses, helicopters, boats, trains and even animal-drawn vehicles that look and act like the real deal with full-autonomous capability. I envision a WESTWORLD in miniature, so to speak.  The helicopter would be somewhat of a technical challenge. The real challenge is how to make a scale-model horse move like a living one.

The horse or team of horses would pull a wagon, stagecoach, buggy or carriage. The vehicle has to steer left and right. It needs variable speed control. It could be radio-controlled. The vehicle could carry the lithium battery. The traces and reins could be leads which transmit power and signals to the horses. The horses legs and feet have to move smoothly like a living animal: this is called a gait. Cosmetically, the horse's body has to look realistic on the exterior. The horse could be designed to walk or trot or both, possibly. The horse has to move left, right, forward and reverse. The wagon's wheels could be powered and a servo could make the wagon's fifth wheel turn. The vehicle has to go forward and reverse. It has to climb a moderate grade as well. The horse's shoes could be a soft rubber or silicone for improved traction.  The horses head and tail don't have to move. Only the leg anatomy needs movement. The horse is a quadruped. No sophisticated gyros are needed for the balance of the standing animal model since it could supported in an upright position by its tack, harness and the wagon's tongue.

What do you think of the possibility of a realistic scale-model horse-drawn vehicle that moves like the real deal? Electronic sound effects could be added as well like the whinny, hoof pounding and carriage wheel noise as well as driver voice commands.

I dream of those static horse buggy models on scale-model worlds coming to life someday.
Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: rouncer on May 01, 2018, 02:19:31 PM
darpa's robo-beasts coming out now look like they could probably handle a rider if they made it that way,    a new way to get yourself around,  go back to the horse-cart days. :)

The easy thing about this is not much brain/ai power is involved so i guess it could come out soon just depends if someone does it.

Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: InspiredByWestworld on May 01, 2018, 10:45:28 PM
I envision something much cleverer than that piece of junk in G scale: 1/22.50 for the very SERIOUS hobbyist who wants cosmetic perfection as well as natural movement. I only can do this "operating horse wagon model" (sans training wheels) with computer animation in my train PC simulator: Trainz by N3V Games, Inc. for now.

It would take the surgical hands of a Swiss watch builder with a jeweler's eyepiece to build the kind of PHYSICAL miniature mechanical animal I dream of. God already created the perfect living things that move about on on legs that are actually alive. A "robotist" has to play God with science and technology to make his crafts.

I gather robotic R and D is not yet in full force for advancing the applied technology of the toy and hobby market. It is still much easier to design ACCURATE SCALE vehicles in miniature that move on rolling wheels than such tiny ACCURATE SCALE machinery that moves on legs.
Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: rouncer on May 02, 2018, 03:30:34 AM
I didnt mean to belittle your idea with that photo, sorry about that,  thats just a placeholder for the real robo horse that actually has a working gait of course i meant.  (get rid of the trainer wheels for the real thing.)

As I see it,  a robot is basicly just joints connecting rods together,  absolute positioning is required to control them. (it means you control them with a target, instead of just left and right.  like a 3d printer.) 
Then theres a brain (which animates it.) and a power source,  and thats it, for a concatenated design.  (which gets the job done.) 

Its the same no matter what the scale, life size or miniature, involves the same concept.

Simpler than the cars they make these days.
Ive put a lot of thought into them, and im working on my own projects.     Having a robot to get around on/in instead of a car sounds a good idea to me.

How advanced is your tech?  or are u only just beginning to think about it?
Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: InspiredByWestworld on May 02, 2018, 05:47:08 AM
I have no specialized training in robots. I have an AS/CIS degree in Microsoft Windows Networking Management. Yes, computer geek but not a software engineer by discipline. A Windows Server/IT infrastructure kind of man. This idea of autonomous scale-model vehicles including horse-drawn stagecoaches came to me from using my railroad simulator program for several years now. That is my hobby passion. I can make trains, helicopters and stagecoaches run in AI but only in the simulator. It is all graphics imagery for now. To be able to translate my railroad empire into a physical layout is a pipe dream. I am not interested in people figures that can move autonomously though some of my human scenery has limited animation. I would be happy if technology could someday make scale horse-drawn models behave somewhat like real ones. Model train people have tons of animal figures for scenery but they just stand static and do absolutely nothing. I figure cutting edge robotics might bring these beasts to life. The trick is to make the legs move naturally in a horse model that may only stand four inches, actual size, to the withers.

I am just toying with the notion of making most of this train sim stuff happen in the physical scale-model world. These horse robot  models might be prohibitive expensive since I am contemplating trying to scale them way down to the size of toys. There has to be market for them too.
Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: rouncer on May 02, 2018, 06:33:02 AM
i get what you mean now.   

Have u heard of electromechanical games?  they are real miniatures put into action with a machine.

But its not robots, they are all sorta attached to the machine logic somewhere in the chain.
Of course if there was little men as robots running around inside the window it would be a huge seller! :)
Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: InspiredByWestworld on May 02, 2018, 04:42:06 PM
Sort of like a mechanical labyrinth.
Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: rouncer on May 02, 2018, 05:49:00 PM
Yes, indeed... im interested in all kinds of computers, especially mechanical ones, they date back to the days of Blaise Pascal.

Just a bit more chat ->

Lots of guys at this forum work from complete scratch as what ive seen, and they make their own bodies as well as the brain.
When it comes to the state of the art in robots,  you can buy bodies (like nao, and others) but u have to program them yourself if you want them to do anything interesting, I think there is a bit of a logical flaw in the fact that people think they are going to be able to gain easily some working robo-brain code, because it causes civil insecurity, people having powerful security cameras and also possibly dangerous robots, that not anyone is just allowed to have...  not just the danger too - it makes scams alot easier with automation,  and u can mass produce out of your home garage!!!  as well.   if u get a proper working ai.

But I spose, as humans we do actually find ourselves doing quite dangerous things alot of the time, like chemisty, owning farm machinery, and such like, let alone guns.    but I think properly working ai is dangerous as well, not for everyone to do at home.   Im actually a bit paranoid about a guy coming and knocking on my door and maybe being a little displeased with what im doing, because i feel a little nervous about possibly making something as intelligent as a dog....  but lots of guys are attempting it these days,  utter madness. :)

The usual way you can get a robot to move is dynamic animation, where the robot is told explicitly how to move its legs -  and one of the important methods is inverse kinematics,  where you just place the wrist point, and the elbow finds its place automatically.   which can help.

The other option is Reinforcement learning  (or just say RL,  its an important acronym.) for fully automatic,  just give the machine some legs on motors, and itll learn to adapt the body to movements, but you can spend a lifetime doing it, its continually improvable the results you get, if you want it to deal with terrain then its probably going to be lifes work.

U can definitely get rich if u end up with some more advanced than what other people have, but I recommend keeping it to yourself.  its not worth it IMO,  just giving it away.

Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: InspiredByWestworld on May 03, 2018, 01:44:52 AM
To me ROBOT means mechanical HUMAN or ANIMAL. Something of inorganic machinery that looks like a man or beast as well as behaves like a man or beast. It does not need a lot of intelligence to follow simple commands. A small-scale toy horse that trots like a live one is not going to be dangerous as it would have very limited physical force.

The genius is in the movement of its PHYSICAL extremities as in walking or running GRACEFULLY: not too plodding or mechanical like a stereotypical ROBOT, but in fluid natural motions.

The theoretical fancy toy horse does have to trot or walk at variable speed and in any direction, including reverse, on command as well as stop moving completely.

If you have ever seen a live horse pulling an Amish buggy you have a pretty good idea about what its scope of movement is. My toy horse doesn't need to turn its head, swoosh its tail or even blink its eyes. Its legs and hooves must move in some methodical fashion since it is a  working animal. it's brain power unit can be on board the wagon it's "pulling" or in a central computer on the model railroad network communicating command signals to it wirelessly.

The robotic horse toy must also perform singly or as a team of horses pulling a carriage whether two, four, six or eight. There are the lead horses, the swing horses and the wheel horses on a classic American stagecoach. My robotic horse-drawn toy vehicle would also have static people figures on board as the driver, the messenger shotgun man and passengers inside for a scale Wells Fargo & Company reproduction.

What I propose is strictly state-of-the art machinery for hobby or entertainment. I don't want to invent or patent anything for profit. I am throwing this idea out to inspire other people of this world. It's not about money but imagination coming to life.
Title: Re: Hello, from Boise, ID.: Will advanced robotics ever be applied to HOBBIES?
Post by: rouncer on May 03, 2018, 05:38:11 AM
Thats a healthy opinion about money,  dont need too much of it, waste of time im the same - what does it get you that u cant get other ways?

With rl, mostly your going to get the quadraped to move, the only way to get the robo horse to do anything "aesthetic" is by putting it in its goal system to do it,  in an artificial way.  Talking about aesthetics, I imagine if sickos ever make a sex droid it would all be a completely fake orgasm, no need for that.

I love the Amish buggy with the shotgun dude there, you never know if nearby villiages of savages might run off with the dudes wife, and a good quick clean off the shoulders approach does away with unneeded cruelty to animals.

Following commands I think would have to be supervised into it, if a robot ever communicated like a real dog, without faking it, im pretty sure 99% of the brain system would pretty much be known, it would only be a matter of time till the singularity happened - and then what's next, theres goes the planet?

I dont like to repeat myself from a last writing, but dangerous shit, what we are doing here...