Sunday, December 27, 2015

Passion for Robotics. Greetings from my dear robots

With this post my robots and I would like to wish you all the best for 2016. I have worked on them during these last 15 years and it would be a pleasure for me to introduce you them.

Paul Inmoov (2015-2016)

This is based on the open source humanoid robot Inmoov designed by Gael Langevin. I am building it using a 3D printer, some motors and electronic devices. It is programed in Python over MyRobotLab framework. Very interesting robot indeed.
The purpose of building this robot is to test different humane-machine algorithms. The robot have a load of degrees of freedom. Just each arm has 10 servomotors and the head has 5 servomotors. The robot could talk while moving it's mouth, 2 cameras in it's eyes, that could be moved in any direction and the fingers of each arm could be moved independently.  

Mr. Drone (2015)

It’s an hexarotor drone I built using an open source PixHawk autopilot. The goal of building this drone was just to have a testing platform for different elements: gimbals, batteries, cameras, communications, software,...

CruiserBot® (2012-14)

CruiserBot is a modular robot for inspection, cleaning and disinfection of air ducts. We produced it in Quark Robotics by a team of three high qualified engineers under my direction.
It has a control console, a robot unit and accessories.
This robot was one of the three best robots, for this purpose, in the world. It’s microcontrollers were programmed in C 

RetroBot® (2011)

This was a robot I made for fun with my nephew. The purpose was to build a robot with products from early 80’s. For that we got a computer from the 80´s (Sinclair ZX-81) and other components from eBay.
The robot was able to move around, reproduce some sings from that age and dance while shaking maracas with his left arm. It also had a right arm with a grip.
View video

Sam (2008-2010)

Sam is a protocol humanoid robot designed to interact with people mainly in trade fairs. He is 1,5 meters tall, able to talk and show information at the interactive screen located on his chest. Therefore, he could inform people about the questions they want to, both speaking and through his screen. The robot moves around avoiding obstacles with his sensors, moves his head and arms and could shake hands with the people. He has an artificial vision system that allows Sam to recognize color objects. He has expression on his mouth, so could show the emotional status. Could be programmed to do any actions the customer desire. The robot was built by a team of three high qualified engineers, including myself, under my direction. 

Neptuno (2007)

This robot was a multipurpose base platform remotely controlled and used in an inspection project with thermal cameras.
It was designed and built by a couple of people, including myself.
The robot had two thermografic cameras covering 180 degree. It could support a weight of 150kg and move around during hours, as it has 8 batteries inside. The video signal was sent to a console unit with a monitor.
This robot concept was used for the development of the motion unit of Sam robot described above.
More information (In Spanish only)

Econobot (2007)

This was a project I developed with the aim of demonstrating that it was possible to make an educational robot with no money at all, by using recycled components from unused appliances and open source programming interpreter of LOGO language.
The robot had components from watches, DVDs, printers,... and was able not only to move, but to avoid obstacles with a double bumper

Melanie-III® (2004)

I made Melanie-III, an hexapod of 3 DOF/Leg, as an evolution of Melanie-II, described below. With the feedback from its 30 sensors for measuring physical values like joint positions, leg contact and current draw and its algorithms for rough terrain avoidance; the robot is able to walk over non-regular terrain maintaining a constant speed.

Melanie-II (2004)

Hexapod of 3 DOF/Leg I made in 2004. Was an evolution of Melanie-I, described below. It had some interesting capacities, like the direct programming (move legs manually and record it), the generation of movements by algorithms of waves displacement combined with inverse kinematics, or the capacity to walk on rough terrain. It was the winner of the National Robotics Contest Hispabot 2004 (Spain).

Melanie-I (2004)

Hexapod robot of 3 DOF/Leg I made in 2004.
The novel design of its legs allowed the robot to transport several kilograms on its body without excessive power overload.
This robot was originally tethered to a computer that was executing all the walking algorithms.

Brutus® (2004)

Brutus was born from the idea of building a modular robot, able to grow in capacity, to prove new experimental modules and navigation algorithms. The first version I made had wireless remote control of navigation, as well as a simple program for autonomous navigation, including some basic mapping of the obstacles surrounding the robot, by the use or a specific ultrasonic range analyser.

ST-Alexandrus (2002)
ST-Alexandrus was an hexapod of one degree of freedom by leg I made based on the structure of Stiquito. The locomotion system was based on muscle wires of Nitinol, a kind of shape memory metal alloy, used instead of motors.  Its mission consisted on moving avoiding obstacles with its antennas (bumpers).

Monty-Tuning (2002)

Monty-Tuning  was the "tuned/maked" version of the original robot Monty. I made and programmed it in Assembler, a language rarely used nowadays.
Monty was a commercial robot kit that allowed some configuration. It's electronics were very accessible, so some kind of electronics tuning was possible.
I have to recognize that this kit helped me to learn a lot on low level programming. The microcontroler used (PIC16F84) was a quite basic one and didn't have much memory. Because of that it was programmed in assembler, the closest language to Machine Code.

Reck® (1977)

The special thing of this robot is that I made it with 12 years old. Reck was a "robot" (to say something) very simple, it had a rear-wheels drive allowing only back and forward movements, a set of blinking lights at the eyes and sound electronic devices located at the mouth, capable of generating estrange sounds. The system was governed manually from a remote control box via cable, with switches and potentiometers.
Some years before, I started my first steps in the electronics world  with some educational games that I could apply in the simple pure analog design of Reck.
It was all of an experience, in a year (1977) were no Internet or personal computers were available to the general public yet. 
More information

Written by: Alejandro Alonso-Puig. HISPAROB Robotics Platform Vicepresident, IXION Industry & Aerospace MR Systems Manager and Quark Robotics Partner.