Jon's Place

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

BrainBot is Hardware-Complete

Wow, talk about reaching milestones. All the bits and pieces are now together, at least for the level I need for doing the demo on Friday.

For the next two days, I will be concentrating on software. The gripper software needs a small update to deal with the wrist sensor, and the overall package needs a little more integration and cleanup. My friend and colleague Julian has been taking care of the Smalltalk side of things, and yesterday we got wifi control of the robot integrated with SYNC_WRITE and SYNC_READ, which allows us to update the position/speed of each actuator in one instruction, and read sensor information from each device on the bus with a second instruction.

Things are coming down to the wire, but I think this thing is going to work really well...

*The BrainBot project is directed and funded by the Brain Engineering Lab and Neukom Institute


  • SYNC_READ??? Details please.

    By Blogger Unknown, At June 1, 2007 at 11:53 PM  

  • "Smalltalk" programming?


    PS - I hope your having a good robotic time over there!

    By Blogger srobot, At June 3, 2007 at 12:51 PM  

  • i noticed you were using Nimh cells as power source, any particular reason for not going with lithium ?
    you could shave some significant weight off, with say, A123 batteries from DeWalt powertool packs, plus you get a fast recharge capability.

    By Blogger telex, At June 11, 2007 at 6:06 AM  

  • A number of reasons for not going with lithium initially - NiMh are much cheaper, much more reliable, and a whole lot less dangerous. I've certainly kept up with A123 systems since they started, but right now the only stuff they sell in small packs is for the R/C cars, and honestly their specs don't look much better than NiMh, at lease as far as energy/size is concerned.

    By Blogger Unknown, At June 11, 2007 at 9:08 AM  

  • well, they are selling in DeWalt cordless tool packs for pretty cheap on ebay. they have couple things going for them: extremely long cycle life with no memory effect, capability to charge in 10 mins or less, and also high discharge rates ( i.e. you can pull much more amps )
    look around forums, especially "batteries and chargers" subforum for more info.

    oh, and A123 are inherently safe. they have no thermal runaway issues ( they are lithium phosphate, not lithium cobalt ones that have burst into flames ) People have done nail puncture tests with them, and no problems.

    Lots of people on rcgroups are buying dewalt packs off ebay and are assembling their own battery packs.

    By Blogger telex, At June 11, 2007 at 12:13 PM  

  • I am very interested to see more on the vision side of things. You have not said much about the cameras you are using or any experiment results, range and the like.

    Can you give us some more info?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 9, 2007 at 12:31 PM  

  • I'm not doing any of the vision software for BrainBot - the Brain Engineering Lab is doing all the high level software, including writing their own vision software.

    By Blogger Unknown, At October 9, 2007 at 12:48 PM  

  • Yeah, care to expound on the SYNC_READ? I'm playing with the AX-12's using a USB interface directly to the bus, and can't find any reference to this command in the AX-12 manual.

    Googling a bit to another post, it looks like you're using a CM-5 command that is broken down into a series of individual reads on the actual bus, so the AX-12s themselves don't actually know anything about SYNC_READ....?

    Even so, I don't remember seeing SYNC_READ in the default CM-5 firmware, but maybe I missed it?

    By Blogger ejtttje, At December 5, 2007 at 3:14 PM  

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