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Parallax's 12V Modular Wheel and Motor Mounts - Feedback Requested!

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Comments

  • SRLMSRLM Posts: 5,045
    edited 2008-10-17 06:37
    Whit posted on the 5th. Just check his profile, and it tells you the last five posts.
  • WhitWhit Posts: 4,191
    edited 2008-10-18 22:00
    Tom C said...
    Hey Whit,

    Where are you?

    Have not seen any posts from you since early June and this thread has been dead until today.

    Have you made any progress with you design ideas?

    Regards,
    TCIII

    Hey TCIII,

    I am still alive! I have been very busy lately and haven't had too much play time. I also got myself a bit sidetracked on the Propeller! I am having fun and enjoy it very much, but with too much work - I am not progressing at a very good pace. Thanks for checking. I am really excited about having some superior brain power running the new motor and wheel set.



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    Whit+


    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    edited 2008-10-21 20:18
    Actually Tech Support currently has the robot. Perhaps you could shoot Dave an e-mail for the continuing story on this particular platform. I’m sure he would be happy to provide any updated information.

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    Chris Savage
    Parallax Engineering
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-10-21 22:46
    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the redirect. Much appreciated.

    Since I moved the family to TX from CA in late May, I have spent most of my time getting our new home in shape.

    But now I finally have time for my robotic rovers and I have just recently assembly the Wheel and Motor Mounts and the new caster wheel assembly.

    Like Whit, I plan to use the Propeller to provide guidance and·obstacle avoidance.

    I like Steve Norris's (Norris Labs) modular approach to robot control and have built a number of Propeller powered modules for motor control, thermal tracking, and obstacle avoidance.

    I think that the rest of this year and the coming new year will be very exciting in relation to the use of the Propeller and the Wheel and Motor·Mounts for robotic pursuits.

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!

    Post Edited (Tom C) : 10/21/2008 10:53:13 PM GMT
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,363
    edited 2008-10-22 00:30
    TCIII,

    I've spent the last couple of evenings making a wooden chassis for the motor mounts. I'm really happy with what I've created, so I'd like to post a picture or two tomorrow. If possible, check out this chassis before you go with the metal approach.

    Ken
  • WhitWhit Posts: 4,191
    edited 2008-10-22 00:36
    Ken Gracey (Parallax) said...
    TCIII,

    I've spent the last couple of evenings making a wooden chassis for the motor mounts. I'm really happy with what I've created, so I'd like to post a picture or two tomorrow. If possible, check out this chassis before you go with the metal approach.

    Ken
    Is this the mix of wood and aluminum parts scheme you spoke of previously? Can't wait to see it.

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    Whit+


    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-10-22 02:08
    Hi Ken,

    I was thinking along the lines of maybe making a wooden chassis too.

    It will be interesting to see what you have put together.

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,363
    edited 2008-10-22 02:13
    Tom, it is so simple you'll laugh, but it's highly effective. I've thought long and hard about this, and how to make it really simple so anybody with a jigsaw or saber could make one.

    I'll finish it up tonight and post photos tomorrow.

    - Ken
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,363
    edited 2008-10-22 19:07
    Whit, TCIII et. al,

    This is what I'm doing with the 12V Motor Mount and Wheel Kit·+ Caster Wheel Assembly. As you know, both of these products were designed so that you could mount them underneath a simple robot base for greatest clearance and ease of assembly. This works well if you cut out the area needed for the motors and mount the battery underneath. Suddenly a whole deck of opportunity opens up for your electronics. I chose to use 3/4" birch A/A plywood. I didn't draw this in CAD - I just laid out the parts next to eachother and·made some decisions about·how it would all fit together. Then I sketched it up on the plywood and begin cutting using a Dremel jigsaw. That's all there is to it.

    Total time to get to this stage is about·eight hours. That includes sawing, painting, thinking, drilling, and a trip to the hardware store. Of course, it·truly helps that I have access to Parallax inventory.

    I must say that I really like working with plywood. It's so much easier to cut, drill, etc. Prototype time was cut down so much; I had no idea what kind of time this would save compared to my usual "all metal" approach. I'm sold on wood right now!

    I tend to build robots for one·particular reason. I made the Penguin to learn about CNC, and the hybrid robot to study the engine/alternator power system. The purpose of this robot is to learn the Propeller. In particular, I want it to navigate around the Parallax building using 4 GPS waypoints. I'd like to sit in my office and be able to watch the robot go by outside, yet receive all of the diagnostic information on video. I plan on making all of the subsystems work one piece at a time - I'm not jumping into the whole project at once. For example, I'll first get the packet radio communication to function properly. Then I'll drive it under R/C while data streams back over radio. Then I'll add GPS and transmit that data back to the base station, and finally I'll attempt to put it under autonomous mode in the parking lot. We'll see what I actually achieve. . .

    The electronics·presently include (nothing is wired in the photos):
    • Propeller Proto Board USB
    • (2) HB-25 Motor Controllers
    • 12V Motor Mount and Wheel Kit with Position Controller
    • Caster Wheel Assembly

    And I will add:
    • Yaesu VX-3 2-meter radios with Tigertronics RX-12 modem
    • Parallax GPS Module
    • (3) Ping Sensors on front

    If anybody has any suggestions about this project please share them. Of course, the original thread is about the motor mounts and my intent here is to show·how easy it is to make a simple base for this product.

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax, Inc.

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    Post Edited (Ken Gracey (Parallax)) : 10/22/2008 7:18:47 PM GMT
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  • SRLMSRLM Posts: 5,045
    edited 2008-10-22 20:25
    You should put in some down pointing IR to prevent the bot from falling off the curbs, and a second platform on top of the electronics so that it can pick up your mail for you.
  • ercoerco Posts: 20,139
    edited 2008-10-22 21:24
    Ken: Your robot building experience clearly shows in your construction and development strategy. Many times in these hallowed halls, builders prematurely announce grandiose plans and overcomplicate matters from the start, posting Solidworks files before building anything. In many cases, I think they set themselves up for great frustration. I love your bot's elegant simplicity and functionality. It looks well-thought out from the start, and your "trace around the parts on the plywood" layout technique is a good reminder to all that there's nothing wrong with old-fashioned real-world common sense design. The pickup handles are centered around the battery's CG, the form-fitting plywood chassis is a bumper and wheel protector, and clearly there is plenty of power and room for expansion. Your sound plan for phased expansion is also a great testimony to setting smaller achieveable goals in a timely fashion to avoid getting overwhelmed by the many complexities of such a sophisticated robot. I have no doubt that you will achieve every feature you mention, and I look forward to hearing updates on how you're progressing. Very nice work!
    erco

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    ·"If you build it, they will come."
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,363
    edited 2008-10-22 21:39
    Thanks for the compliments, Erco. Oh how I wish that were entirely true (the experience part; the more I build robots the less I know). But I truly believe in a few of those statements you made, such as "building the project one piece at a time". This is the cornerstone of people's learning difficulties with microcontrollers, as you see on these forums. Taking small steps brings great potential for success, and throwing it all in at once is a real fun-wrecker and sure recipe for disaster. It's so much easier one step at a time.

    I believe SolidWorks has its place, and it's often over-utilized. If I used SolidWorks to draw this chassis I would have wound up with tighter tolerances and lack of space - I just know it. I'd say "ah, a quarter-inch" and move things tighter and tighter. Heck, the slop in my jigsaw would have offset any gains through precision design.

    I think all of us are partially driven by forum feedback and recognition with our projects. In the form of encouragement it really helps us move to the next step with higher abilities and more success. And for that I thank you!

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax, Inc.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 23,297
    edited 2008-10-22 22:27
    Ken,

    You're either pulling our legs about not using CNC, or you're way handy with that jigsaw! smile.gif

    What's the signficance of the stripe colors, BTW? Up here in coastal country, we put red on the port side and green on the starboard side.

    -Phil
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-10-22 22:31
    Hi Ken,

    How about some dimensions on your neat creation?

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
  • WhitWhit Posts: 4,191
    edited 2008-10-23 19:23
    Hey Ken,

    It looks fantastic! I really like the two slots for the motors. The better ground clearance is good but I like the way it looks too! The tail wheel looks great also.

    Can the battery be charged without removal? Or should it be removed just for safety? Is the battery a 12v, 7.2 Ah? What kind of charger did you get? Will this power everything or will you use a seperate source for the Proto Board?




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    Whit+


    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney

    Post Edited (Whit) : 10/23/2008 7:36:56 PM GMT
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,363
    edited 2008-10-23 20:42
    @Whit+ It's a 12V 7.2Ah battery, sealed gel cell. It can be charged in place and I'm simply using an Agilent power supply to do that job at 13.8VDC according to the Power-Sonic datasheet.

    @TCIII: you bet! I'll make a DXF/DWG this weekend.

    @Phil: all of the PCBs on the product are blue or green, hence the colors. Didn't you know that on robots green is standard for port and blue for starboard?

    Thanks guys!

    Ken
  • WhitWhit Posts: 4,191
    edited 2008-10-24 01:42
    Ken Gracey (Parallax) said...
    @Whit+ It's a 12V 7.2Ah battery, sealed gel cell. It can be charged in place and I'm simply using an Agilent power supply to do that job at 13.8VDC according to the Power-Sonic datasheet.

    @TCIII: you bet! I'll make a DXF/DWG this weekend.

    @Phil: all of the PCBs on the product are blue or green, hence the colors. Didn't you know that on robots green is standard for port and blue for starboard?

    Thanks guys!

    Ken
    Thanks Ken!

    As far as the color scheme - what a cool idea. I don't know if you are kidding about the starboard and port thing - but it really is a pretty good idea. With a tail light of another color and green light·for port and blue light·for starboard you could also easlily tell foward and reverse movement just by at a glance even on a round platform (even in low light conditions). This could be used for easy reference on GUI's also.

    There are a lot of innovative and elegant ideas on this bot already.



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    Whit+


    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney

    Post Edited (Whit) : 10/24/2008 1:50:21 AM GMT
  • P!-RoP!-Ro Posts: 1,189
    edited 2008-10-26 06:47
    @erco- You wouldn't happen to be talking about me, now would you?

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    Pi Guy
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-10-26 21:27
    Whit,

    Nice to hear from you!

    I went to Lowe's and was able to buy a precut 2'X2' piece of good quality 3/4" birch plywood for around $10 if you are interested in making a wooden base like Ken's.

    Chris,

    I sent an email to Dave at Parallax tech support concerning the Modular Wheel and Motor Mounts robot project, but have yet to hear back!

    Also, did you ever complete the Lynxbot project?

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
  • P!-RoP!-Ro Posts: 1,189
    edited 2008-10-27 22:34
    erco said...
    Ken: Your robot building experience clearly shows in your construction and development strategy. Many times in these hallowed halls, builders prematurely announce grandiose plans and overcomplicate matters from the start, posting Solidworks files before building anything. In many cases, I think they set themselves up for great frustration. I love your bot's elegant simplicity and functionality. It looks well-thought out from the start, and your "trace around the parts on the plywood" layout technique is a good reminder to all that there's nothing wrong with old-fashioned real-world common sense design. The pickup handles are centered around the battery's CG, the form-fitting plywood chassis is a bumper and wheel protector, and clearly there is plenty of power and room for expansion. Your sound plan for phased expansion is also a great testimony to setting smaller achieveable goals in a timely fashion to avoid getting overwhelmed by the many complexities of such a sophisticated robot. I have no doubt that you will achieve every feature you mention, and I look forward to hearing updates on how you're progressing. Very nice work!
    erco

    I must say I have to agree, I guess. Seems most beginners (like me) make the mistake of attempting projects too hard and disapointing people when nothing gets done. I guess I'm a little different from that though, in the way of meaning what I say.

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    Pi Guy
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    edited 2008-10-28 14:34
    Tom C said...(trimmed)
    Chris,
    I sent an email to Dave at Parallax tech support concerning the Modular Wheel and Motor Mounts robot project, but have yet to hear back!
    Also, did you ever complete the Lynxbot project?
    Tom,

    ·· I have confirmation that Dave replied on 10-22-2008 @ 1:50PM.· SPAM filter?· As for the Lynxmotion platform, it was being used to test a design that size and using similarly sized motors.· I am happy to say that the project took off so quickly that the Lynx platform became obsolete before it was finished.· What we have now is a custom·all aluminum chassis with a custom Propeller-based control board on it.· It is much faster than the Lynx bot and more maneuverable as well.

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    Chris Savage
    Parallax Engineering
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-10-29 00:05
    Chris,

    Thanks for checking.

    Message must have gotten lost or misplaced by me.confused.gif

    No SPAM filter issues.

    Could Dave possibly resend it?

    Regards,

    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-10-29 00:07
    Ken,

    What happened to the dimensioned drawing of your new creation?

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-11-02 00:51
    Whit/Ken,

    I have started working on my Modular Wheel and Motor Mounts robot. I guess that this is the forum to continue the Modular Wheel and Motor Mounts saga unless the moderator thinks that a new thread should be started for robot designs incorporating the Modular Wheel and Motor Mounts.

    I cut the 24" X 24" piece of Birch Plywood, that I·purchased at Lowe's, down to 16" x22" and put a gentle radius on the front and back similar to Ken's front end design.

    I am presently preparing to make the cut outs for the Motor Mounts and attach the Caster Wheel.

    I have purchased a BS2p40 and a BS2p/p40 adapter to act as the overall MCU. I plan to use a Propeller to control the motors ala Steve Norris' RoboStool design. I will modify the MoMoCtrl.spin object to run on its own and accept motor direction commands on a serial TTL line from the BS2p40.

    I plan to have the BS2p40 also handle object avoidance and in-house navigation using a compass and known distance traveled.

    I will post some pictures tomorrow after I have the Motor Mounts and Caster Wheel attached to the chassis.

    Ok, here are pictures of the top and the bottom. None of the attachment hardware is permanent at the moment.

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!

    Post Edited (Tom C) : 11/3/2008 1:04:28 AM GMT
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  • Joe FishbackJoe Fishback Posts: 99
    edited 2008-11-04 01:53
    Hi,
    I just received my Wheel Mount and Drive kit. I am well pleased with the quality. Something I would like to see Parallax come out with is new Education Kit. It would be
    like the other kits such as the "IR Remote for the Boe-Bot Parts Kit" , "SumoBot Competition Kit" and etc. This educational kit would on "Naviagation" using the Parallax GPS, Compass, the encoders on the new Wheel Mount and Drive kit , Location Beacons and the likes. At lease please write up something on what is being done at Parallax by different people using the Wheel kit.

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    ······ Joe Fishback

    -Robots are my friends-
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-11-04 03:20
    Joe,

    I hear what you are saying and keep checking the Modular Wheel and Motor Mounts product page to see if Parallax has come up with a compass/GPS navigation program.confused.gif

    The attached BS2p code uses a Parallax compass and GPS to naviagate a rover around a predetermined course. It does not have much in the way of obstacle avoidance, but does demonstrate how to integrate a compass and a GPS. I did not write the code.

    Just a thought.

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!

    Post Edited (Tom C) : 11/4/2008 3:25:58 AM GMT
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 7,363
    edited 2008-11-04 03:49
    Tom,

    You got it! I haven't replied because I still haven't produced a drawing, but I can see that you've leap-frogged that problem anyway. Nice work, good chassis, and you're now caught up with me.

    Carry on!

    Ken Gracey
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-11-04 17:49
    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for the compliment. Much appreciated.

    The dimension of my robot chassis virtually correspond to the old Hero 2000 robot.

    I just received a 12vdc 7AHr battery for the robot and am trying to decide how to mount it. From my investigation of battery dimensions versus Amp-Hr, it looks like most have the same length and width, but the height increases with capacity. I thought that I might mount the battery on the top of the chassis and build a superstructure around it to accomodate the electronics and sensors.

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
  • WhitWhit Posts: 4,191
    edited 2008-11-04 19:18
    TCIII,

    Looks great! You and Ken and getting me wound up.

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    Whit+


    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2008-11-04 23:48
    Hi Whit,

    Thanks for the nice words, much appreciated.

    Still a long ways to go. I want to get the motor control down first and then move on to navigation and sensors.

    You might want to take a look at the spin code that Steve Norris used to control his Robostool project which use the HB-25s and the Motor Mount Position Controllers. He makes use of the MoMoctrl spin object. I plan to convert his Base.spin code to interface with the Position Controllers, instead of directly with the HB-25s, and accept direction/speed/distance to travel commands on a serial TTL input line.

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
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