Archive for the ‘body’ Category

R2 is now standing on his own feet

April 9, 2009

I finally was able to get R2 to stand on his own 3 feet and as an added bonus all 3 feet have the wheels and motors in them. It should be very soon that I have him rolling around under his own power!


Sound control, iPhone speaking

December 8, 2008

This weekend I was able to get the iPhone to control the R2 sounds using a vmusic2 module from Mouser, speakers from Fry’s electronics and a mini amplifier from David Navone engineering. Like the servo control, using the iPhone, this method uses the same microcontroller and the same communication method via wifi with the OSC protocol, running an free app on the iPhone called mrmr. Taking a cue from Chris James, I added buttons that control banks of sounds for different moods or r2 sound types. I went through the sounds I have and sorted them into categories like chatty, sad, happy, whistle, raz, mad, question, processing, holo(leia), dance(cantina music), and a couple others I can’t recall right now. I wrote some code for the microcontroller so that every time you press the sad button on the iPhone, it will play a random clip from the sad set of sounds. I also setup buttons to play all sounds (the “V3A” command on vmusic2 module), stop playing (“VST”) and switch off random mode, skip to next directory (“VSD”), and a slider widget for volume control (“VSV”). I also added a button to go into random mode where r2 will play a random sound at a random interval, so you don’t have to keep pressing buttons to make some noise.

Next up will be controlling the J.E.D.I display with the iPhone and tying that into sound control.

Another cool thing I will work on is feedback from R2 to the iPhone. I should be able to display messages or status on the iPhone display from r2 when needed say like battery level, error messages, what modes are on/off, and the state of various subsystems.

More iPhone progress

December 3, 2008

Yesterday I was able to borrow an iPod touch and verified that it was able to control servos (or R2D2) as well so that theory is confirmed. I was able to use a iPhone and the iPod touch at the same time and it worked just fine. Also I was able to remove a computer from the setup. In the video below, a computer was acting as a OSC message translator. The message path would be something like this:

iPhone –> wifi router –> computer –> wifi router –> microcontroller –> servo (or motor)

The iphone would send a message like

/mrmr/accelerometerX/44/iPhone 450

the computer would translate that message into this and send it to the microcontroller

/servo/0/position 450

Simple but effective.

Recently I was able to do the same without the computer and have the microcontroller do some internal translation of the message.

Now the message path looks like this:

iPhone –> wifi router –> microcontroller –> servo (or motor)

Yes the R2D2 will have a wireless router inside it and will be power from battery.

I am also working on controlling a vmusic2 module in order to produce the sounds R2D2 makes. I am also planning on controlling other parts of R2 with this setup as well including:

  • Dome motor
  • Feet motors
  • Holo servo
  • door panel servos
  • JEDI system control (lights)
  • Periscope (eventually)
  • Lifeform scanner (eventually)
  • and more

Another nice aspect of this setup is that I can add microcontrollers and remotes (iPhones or iPod touch) to extend the system.

Installed dome drive and speakers

November 17, 2008

I got my new Atomic Pickle dome drive from Guy. This is the new version 2 style with a planetary motor. This is a serious motor. It uses a bit more current than the Pittman but its very sturdy. The output shaft is 3/8″ and has double ball bearings on it. This motor was designed for Battlebot use and it has been tested in battle many times so you know its tough.

I also got a small 300 watt amp from David Navone for
$40 and it works great. Its hard to believe how small it is and how much power it can put out. I hooked it up to some 4×6 oval speakers from Blaupunkt (GTx 462) and installed them in my r2 on the sides below where the legs attach. I am going to replace the blue back plate of the side vents with blue speaker cloth to let the sound through. The speakers are mounted to a piece of tinted polycarbonate that is attached to the side plates with 5/16″ standoffs that I made from aluminum bar stock, using my lathe. Pictures below.

Attached the legs and dome

October 29, 2008

I got my legs attached to the frame and the dome as well. It’s really starting to look like R2D2 now and not just a pile of parts. Next step, attach the skins to the frame.

Got my COM-8 frame

October 27, 2008

I picked up my COM-8 frame on Friday and was able to put it together Saturday. I actually made some of the pieces myself including all the spacer rods and the shoulder rings (not pictured).

Awesome Aluminum Parts

September 28, 2008

I just got my parts from David Shaw today which included the utility arms, front and rear logic surrounds, and totally cool holo projectors. Here are some pictures to get an idea. It was like Christmas today 😀

I had to file one of the dome cutouts that was painted blue in order to get it to fit over the front logic display. I guess I could have painted it instead, but oh well.

Mmmm fresh painted parts

September 17, 2008

I got a bunch of parts back from the paint shop today. They look great. Can’t wait to get the rest of the parts so I can have it all together, especially the frame.

Door panel trays

August 29, 2008

I made a test tray to go behind panels that open. The flat pattern was CNC plasma cut and then bent the sides up on a brake.