Friday Update: Where has the time gone?

Hello and welcome to another Burf update! I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last post and it’s nearly Christmas. I think quite a lot has happened over the last month, but who knows until I list it?

Wheelchair Hacking
So in my last post, I wrote about trying to hack the wheelchair. I decided to take a different direction in this by designing and 3D printing a device that would control it for me. This taught me some useful skills including using Fusion 360.


DevCon
Compsoft Creative hosted another DevCon which was great! I showed people 3D printing, VR and then moved on to continue my work with Wheelchair Hacking. I focused on programming the remote for the wheelchair using Arduino IDE.

I plan to continue on this today as I have the day off. The aim is to be able to control it via an infrared Remote Control using an Arduino Mega and some servos.

Update: IT worked!



Trigger TGB Mk1

I also bought a new vehicle, a 50CC moped trike that is known as GoCar’s in the US and used in Tourism. My dad and I have had some good fun with it already. We have some big plans for it. I technically saved it from rotting in a shop’s back garden ūüôā

The Loft

I also did some DIY!!! I know, shut the front door! Randomly I had a day off work and my dad and I boarded the loft. That was a long day!

Math

So I am still plowing through this, I have been jumping forward a little so that I can get to learning Algebra sooner. Writing this post reminds me to do more

The Complete Self-Driving Car Course – Applied Deep Learning

So this was one of the courses I wanted to do this year, and I have now started it. I should have probably started the Coursera one first but hey ho!

Project Lancelot lives
I have taken ownership of the crazy Lancelot project my dad and I built last year and spent a bit of time getting it back up and running

Vevor CNC machine
I got this great little machine from my dad for Christmas last year and thought I would give it a go one evening. It sadly didn’t go to plan due to a malformed chuck however with a bit of brute force I managed to fire it up. I am not sure how much I will use it, I feel I need to master designing stuff for 3D printing first however it was still interesting. Again you can use Fusion 360 to design and plan your milling.


Review

So in my next blog post, I hope to review what I have done this year, the good the bad, and the failures! I also want to start to think about next year’s goals and really focus on some harder targets, ones that are less playing and more life-changing.

The Wednesday Update: More Inmoov work

Welcome to another Wednesday update, as you can guess by the title, this afternoon was purely spent building the second arm/hand for the Inmoov robot. Many fingers broke in this process, they really are quite fragile.

I was making quite good progress up until the last finger broke and I ran out of fishing line which is used to control the fingers.

Once the arm is finished I hope to focus on the electronics and the programming side.

The Wednesday Update: 3D Printing Edition

Welcome to another Wednesday update, by now I am thinking of calling this the Friday update! This week was a little slower than normal as had a lot of family matters to deal with.

Inmoov Robot

So I have got back to building the right arm and hand for the Inmoov robot. On Wednesday both of my large printers were busy for the whole day.

I have started assembling the fingers etc and rebuilding the inside of the forearm as the old one is pretty badly build

Electronics course

I have made a proper start to this (one of the courses on the main list) and am 25% through it already ūüôā It’s covered so far:

  • AC and DC (current, volts, etc)
  • Ohm’s law and power
  • Multimeters
  • Resisters / Variable Resisters and calculating resistance
  • Capacitors, making one and calculating capacitance
  • Diode and LED’s

I did find it super interesting as you learn how the components actually work. I knew what they did but not how they worked.


The Wednesday Update: The Wellness Edition

Welcome to another Wednesday update, due to Compsoft having a Wellness day (bloody epic if you ask me) I have had the whole day to do stuff…..

Gwiz update

So the new 100AH deep cycle Hankook DC31 batteries turned up and I would class it as a success, instead of being able to do about 2 miles on my second-hand batteries, I managed 10 miles without any issues or slowdowns. Everything seemed to work well, got up to 40mph (quite scary in a paper-thin car). I have also wired the car chargers into the original charging port of the car. Next really is to focus on making it drive itself.

Inmoov Robot update

So one of the main things I wanted to do today was fit the arms to my Inmoov humanoid. It still needs a lot of work, repairs, and some restoration however I would see this as a big step forward. One of the hardest bits to get right is setting up the biceps as they have a habit of going crazy and ripping the arm apart (I have 2 3D printers currently on printing replacement parts). I did manage to fit the left arm and part of the right arm however the right arm did break some parts. I hope to do a video soon.

Before I fired up the right arm
After I fired up the right arm

Misc

I am currently trying to work out how to control my electric wheelchair remotely, as mentioned this would be a great platform for an outdoors robot. I have also managed to fire up a 36v mobility scooter motor which could be quite good fun.

The Wednesday Update: The Sunny Edition

Welcome to another Wednesday update and boy has the weather been great the last 5 days. Compared to the usual rain we had for a good few weeks, the weather has been epic!

Gwiz update
Stuff has happened, the big thing being that I have now ordered brand new (yes actually new) batteries for it. I have gone with some 100AH deep cycle Hankook DC31. I will be running around 65 volts which does make the Gwiz shift a bit! They should arrive ready for the weekend ūüôā

Inmoov Robotic Head update

Well, this has started to look pretty cool now that I have tidied up the internals. I have mounted the amplifier, sound level PCB, and other things. I need to reprint the top part of the skull

I think I have got this to a great place. I do want to add a camera to it but to mount that onto the Pi will be a massive challenge. I also need to fix the Burf.co chat API as it’s dying badly. I would also like the Python script to autostart when the head is turned for all of the speech, TTS and API services.

Burf.co : Goodbye server!

So do not run random Linux scripts on a live server from the internet lol. I completely removed SUDO permissions from my box, 1.2 terabytes of data lost! It was a bad day, I was multitasking badly and paid the price. I managed to rebuild the server rather quickly (2 hours) however the main index data will take ages to get back. I like to see this huge mess up as an opportunity to do something different so watch this space!

Review

Let’s see how I am actually doing against the plan, I had a few lost sessions due to house improvements and covid, but how am I doing against the list

List from February

  • Math : Learn Algebra and kinematic (Little progress made)
  • Finish¬†Introducing Robotics¬† (Done)
  • Start and Finish¬†Robotic Vision: Principles of Vision¬†(Scrapped as very old)
  • Finish¬†Artificial Intelligence for Robotics¬†: This is the self driving course I really want to do but needs maths. (Not started yet)
  • Give a good shot to¬†Machine Learning¬†by Andrew NG : A very famous ML course (Not started yet)
  • Get Robotic head talking and listenering (Done, will go further)
  • Do something useful with Gwiz (Progressing)
  • Finish¬†Electronics course (Not started yet)
  • Start and finish¬†Self driving course using deep learning (Not started yet)
  • Build/use already built little robot to do maze solving work (Little progress made)
  • Finish Robotic Diploma (Missed off list but was important) (Done)
  • Finish Inmoov Robot (Missed off list but is very important) (Progressing)

I find it very odd how I missed the Robotics Diploma and finishing the Inmoov Robot (full size) off the main list as these are actually more important than most of the other things.

So 3 things done, 1 scrapped (it was mentioned in a previous post why), 2 processing well, and 5 academic courses to start. Seeing as it’s 3 months in, I think that is actually good progress.

The Wednesday Update: Bicep Edition!

So welcome to another Wednesday update, this one is rather special as I have actually managed to publish it on a Wednesday!

Robots Everywhere

I saw a video online of a Ukrainian kid who was learning robotics and had made a cool robot called Markobot. In the background of the video was an Inmoov robot, it wasn’t complete but it reminded me that I had one upstairs that I hadn’t finished yet and though I had been learning cool stuff and building epic things the last few months, nothing really compares to the Inmoov robot. For anyone interested in humanoid 3D printed robots, nothing comes near to the Inmmov Robot

Link to the article https://spectrum.ieee.org/video-friday-markobot

Inmoov Robot Progress Update

So I decided that the majority of today I should get back into fixing up this robot. One of the main bits that had not been assembled were the biceps, these are quite hard to configure and usually end up with broken parts. However, I had a rather successful day

I also had time to test out the hand

Wheelchair Fun

In other news, I managed to also get a broken wheelchair to kick back into life! I believe a great base for a mobile robot that needs to be used outside is an old wheelchair. I paid ¬£50 for this and it’s fantastic (I really enjoyed driving it around the garden). I plan to wire in a Raspberry Pi to allow me to remote control it! Then add some sensors, Lidar etc, and see if I can make it drive itself!

Misc

I am now on module 6 of my Robotics diploma! It’s getting pretty hard now (Inverse Kinematics was this module’s topic) but I hope to finish it!

Book Review : Hacking Your Lego Mindstorms EV3 Kit by John Baichtal

ShowCover

I have known John for a few years now due to him¬†doing a¬†write up on my LEGO Wheelchair for Make, back then he was working on a book that covered using LEGO and Arduino’s together, called¬†Make: Lego and Arduino Projects: Projects for extending MINDSTORMS NXT with open-source electronics. ¬†It’s a fantastic book!

His new book, Hacking Your Lego Mindstorms EV3 is on a similar theme but of course for the EV3, not the NXT.  It also covers making your own parts via 3D Printing and Laser cutting which I found very useful.

The book features nice colourful based instructions to build 5 projects and then how to hack each one (e.g change the EV3 for a Arduino or Pi).  Like the previous book, this book uses products from Wayne and Layne e.g the Bricktronic Shield however also includes hacks / projects using the Raspberry Pi. I would of liked to have seen the introduction to Electronics chapter added to this book which exists in the previous book.  I believe this book is more designed for beginners than the previous book.

If you own a EV3 and want to take it to the next step by using another controller, this book is a very good introduction for you.