Archive for the ‘dome’ Category

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.

Remote control with an iPhone

November 18, 2008

I found a way to remote control my R2D2 with an iPhone. I’ve got minimal control working now. Once I perfect it, I will share more details, but for now this will whet your appetite. In the videos I demonstrate controlling a servo and the dome motor using an iPhone using the accelerometer (tilting the iPhone controls it) and using a slider control on the touch screen. Other touch screen controls are possible too such as rotary controls, buttons, XY controls, and multitouch as well as gestures. I should be able to interface with my J.E.D.I display as well and type in text messages in the iPhone that will scroll across the front or rear logic displays.

(Cue evil mad scientist laughter ) Muh ha ha ha ha!!

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.

Dome progress

October 6, 2008

Made some big progress on the dome. Just need to polish it and attach the dome panels.

Here are videos and pictures in its current state.

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.