Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Last Day In Korea

Well Happy St. Patrick day for starters and Departure date from Korea! I leaving Korea around 11am to be back in the States 14 hours later...I'm going to miss Korea!!! :(

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Manufacturing - Robogames 2009

"Double Knee" Final Design Robogames 2009

This is the Final CAD lay out of our Robot for the 2009 Robogames Competition. I decided to go with the Double Knee configuration , for the proposed running attribute. The Chassis Specification are 1.7 lbs machined parts, 51cm tall, 24 DOF. Incorporated in the feet are also custom XYZ Force Torque sensor for foot landing data collection. The colors are the proposed Anodizing scheme, but that will come later. I know what you want to see the real thing right? Wait for the next post...the Manufacturing!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Prototype "Bent Knee"

This is the "Bent Knee" approach I prototyped. Notice the distinct feature of the the knee motor is set a 45 degree angle normal to the ground. This I believed allows the robot to lift its leg to take a step with out it needing to swing the lower half of the knee out as far in order to progress forward. Also the ankle pitch does not need to rotate to maintain keeping the foot parallel to the ground. The design uses what I defined as stacked axes , which is the pitch and roll are offset from each other in height. Thou being a clever set up of the motors, that was the down fall why we did not go with this design. As a team we decided we wanted all pitch and roll to be fall on the same plane for the hip and ankle motor orientations. Below is closer look into what I described as the Gate motion of this prototype. I guess it is shelved for now but I may want to revamp it for a future candidate.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last few Weekends in Korea - Pool Hall

This weekend I decided to go out on Friday with one of my good friends from Uzbekistan. We went to a local pool hall to shoot around. I had a good night I won 4 of the 6 games we played. Here is an action shot from last night!

The Dynamixel

To build a mini robot you need to have small motors to drive the articulation of each joint. In Hubo's case It uses a complex set of multiple motors and drive belts in combination with Harmonic Drive systems to produce movements and have holding torque to stand and move. This method work wonders for Hubo but is not a good system for a small system for reasons that it is bulky and very expensive. On top of the mechanical complexity it needs to have custom motor controllers to drive the motor train as well. Small Humanoids can use a off the self package that includes a motor, gear set, encoder, and controller. These servos are far more cost effective, light weight, and have far less overhead to program the included controller. The servo package we chose for this project is the Robotis Dynamixel. Robotis is actually a Korean based Company that sells robot kits such as the Bioliod Humanoid. They sell many other accessories and servos for people interested in building custom Humanoids like ourselves. We deiced to go with the RX-28 that supplies 28N.m of torque for leg servos and RX-10 (10N.m) for the upper body.

Robot Inspiration

I spent many hours searching internet based videos to see what types of designs existed for small Humanoids. Granted I know the design of Hubo inside and out but yet this robot could not be as complex. So I needed to "switch gears" to start thinking in the perspective of small robots. I found two robots that I liked that were featured in the ROBO- ONE, a Japanese competition. The first robot that gained my interest was the Kondo KHR-2HV.
I liked the legs where the knee joint is set on an angle to the perpendicular part of lower leg and foot. This allowed the robot to have a very fluid motion during walking. I also felt it did not have to Throw its leading and trailing leg as far to achieve locomotion.

The second design that also took my interest was a small robot also from ROBO - ONE. This robot is called OmniZero.
The video shows the unique construction of the robot, notice that this robot has two motors at the knee joint. The double knee is much different than most Humanoid robots competing. Most robot have a single motor actuating at the knee, but in using two motors in the knee allows each motor to rotate half the distance. This allows of for faster actuation at the knee and I believe that this is a potential design for a more capable running robot.

RoboGames - Introduction

Robogames is a organization that hosts many robotics competitions such as Soccer, Combat and Humanoid. Each year an event is held in San Fransisco where many robots from all over the world come to compete. This year in June DASL will be making their daybiew into the Mini Humanoid competition. Dr. Paul Oh has formed a team consisting of four of his undergraduate and Two graduate researchers. This powerhouse team has been challenged to design, build, and program a bipedal walking robot in less than 6 months. I was brought on board for my mechanical skill set with CAD and Manufacturing. I have challenged myself to come up with a unique and fresh design to be featured in this robot. The past month I have been busy pushing many CAD designs and just lately have seen the fruits of my labor. In the next few post I would like to share my designs and my process I took to reach my Final Product. The following is the schedule that I have been following to keep myself of track for the last few weeks of my Co-op in South Korea.

Feb. 9th - 11th Finalize Robogames CAD of Legs/ Feet
Feb. 12th - 14th Produce CAM with MasterCam of the Legs/Feet
Feb. 16th - 17th CNC parts at Hubo lab
Feb. 17th - 21st Torso/ Arms Finalize CAD
Feb. 21st - 28th Produce CAM for Torso/ Arms
Mar. 1st - 7th (Overflow) CNC of Torso/Arms
Mar. 1st - 7th Start MasterCam Documentation for tutorials completion April 1st.
Mar. 7th - 13th Rap up loose ends with Hubo 2 CAD and Documentation

Friday, February 13, 2009

Trip to Beijing China

During my first few months living in South Korea I had an opportunity to collaborate with the design and manufacturing company that created the Shells that encase Hubo. The owner of the company (http://www.designeers.net/) is expanding his business to China in the next few months and is going to establish offices in the Japan and the US in the next two years. He asked me to join him for a business trip to lay the ground work for the company in Beijing. The 4 days we stayed I joined him in business meetings, site seeing, and evening activities. I visited Beijing Industrial Design Center and I met the Director of the company. He invited us to dinner at the very famous restaurant Quanjude where the main dish is severing Duck. So a little background history on this place it was established in 1864 during the Tongzhi, Qing Dynasty. Apparently Ronald Reagan ate there when he visited China too! So since the the opening they have kept a tally on how many ducks they have served to the public and I my stomach became the proud owner of number 435055! I said that I ate duck... I ate basically the whole duck. The list you would like to know? Heart, Liver, Feet, Brain, Skin, and regular old body meat! Did I like it? Heart was actually pretty good, but Brain...too mushy , odd tasting at best! Above is the picture of the Head of the duck,I had to search for the Brain...It was very samll! But every thing went down smoothly with some Chinese alcohol... 52 % by volume... WOW! During the my remaining stay I ate many tasty cuisines and also saw many location around the City. I visited the place where the 2008 Beijing Olympics was held and I also visited the CCTV building. Both of which I only dreamed of seeing after I saw the Discovery Channel special! I also visited Tineman Square and browsed many small trinket shops. In the evenings we went out and enjoyed the social life visiting many bars. The first night we visited a North Korean Style Bar. Now this was a very interesting experience... I was told that I was the First American to ever come to this bar.... and it was weird for the waitresses at first because I could speak a little Korean. Very Hospitable people, I saw a traditional North Korean dance and drank North Korean Style alcohol. I actually had a really great time there! I also got to visit a very famous Club called Cargo. There I met one of the Directors that produced a part of the Beijing Opening Ceremonies, a TV producer, and a Chinese actress. I was a crowd favorite on the dance floor, even thou I could not speak any Chinese... We expressed are self through dance! Through my meeting with one of the Directors he gave our party free entry into a traditional Chinese theater! Overall I am glad I went to China, I would like to return and visit more places like The great wall and other Cities!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles in Korea

Philadelphia Eagles ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!
Bryan and I watched our first Eagles Football game in Santa Claus Bar on Monday after work. We knew the final score...but we still had allot of fun!
Sorry for the quality of the picture but here is the proof that we watched the Eagles beat New York Giants!!! WOOOOOO Next Game here we come!!!

Hubo a Super Star?

On Monday the 12th Jeong Hoon Kim, famous Pop Singer visited the Hubo lab for a photo shoot with the stylish Hubo. Dr. Jun Oh built the singer a 7 degrees of freedom motion platform stage that was used in his concert performances. I had the the opportunity to be the Stutman/Testing personnel when Mr. Kim was producing his Choreography at KAIST with this platform featured below. In my good spirit I dressed up in full body pads and gave the group some smiles and laughs for the late evening/morning. Mr. Kim invited us to his concert but we could not make it! But he did recognize me and made an effort to come over and talk with me! Such a nice Guy!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Model Completed

At the end of December I finished The complete CAD model of HUBO 2. By completion I mean, I worked out all the bugs that I knew of and assembled the frame components with its respective shells. This complete model will now allow the PIRE team to in essence have their own Hubo 2, just in CAD form. Sorry I can't give you a peak inside...but enjoy this picture!

Designeer Company Vist

After my successful completion of work with Korean company Designeer, the owner invited me to visit his office and facility located in Southern Seoul. I was welcomed to stay for a weekend in the beginning of December. Before visiting the company he toured me ppersonally through Seoul. I have been to Seoul before, but I discovered some much more that the city has to offer. I visited the COEX building and Express Bus Terminal among many others. The COEX houses underground mall and 4,500 tons of water under ground Aquarium. The Express Bus Terminal other than being a bus station is connected to a 3 story mall. In the basement is a grocery store and the largest selection dessert vendors that you can find in Seoul (I would recommended the Chocolate covered waffles!). Another place visited was the Hooters Bar. You have to experience a Korean one, I'm a guy come on! Ok well to the Bussness, Mr. lee featured in the picture is the only person in South Korea to have possession of HOAP-2. This was very surprising to me that he had one of these. He allowed me to take a look at it, it gave me a lot of great ideas for our future submission to Robogames. We also talked over many authentic dinners about our cultures and experiences. I tried coagulated pigs blood, it was actually pretty good! I gained not only a business contact, but also a friend level contact. We also discussed a possibility of future involvement of myself with a few of company projects that do not related to HUBO lab. He is also is expanding his business to the US in the next year so, I believe I could be a valuable contact due to dealing with his company originally in Korea.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Working with Korean Industry

When Dr. Jun Oh tasked me to make a complete model of Hubo 2, I was under the impression it was only for use by the PIRE team. Undisclosed to me the original intent was to be used to facilitate the manufacturing of a "life size" physical Model of Hubo 2. Since November of 2008 I have been working closely with a manufacturing company based in Seoul. The company is called "Designeers" it merges Design and functionality with Engineering, hence the name http://www.designeers.net/) The company is notable for designing the PIRO robotic show case at Postech University in Pohang, South Korea. (shown above) They are also the company that designed the shells that encase Hubo 2. The company used my complete CAD model to generate tool paths for their manufacturing needs. This is unlike previous "mock" models of Hubo, where the inside of the robot was just plastic studs to hold the robot in a posed position. This model has the same detail as the functional Hubo 2 frame and components, but all pieces are made from plastic. The model is currently being showcased in the KAIST research Show Room next to the Book Store. It will eventually be permanently displayed to the public at Daejeon National Science Museum.
It is a true achievement to show chase my skills permanently even after I leave and it truly shows that my CAD is accurate for all the pieces did fit together seamlessly. I also learned many valuable skills with working with secondary companies that I did not expect to learn from my PIRE experience.