Saturday, 20 July 2013

CE2 Awaits

I looked at the trolley today.  The rear door was getting bent every time i used it, so it needed addressing.  I added a board the same height as R2 to the trolley to give a flat surface for the frame rings to rest on, then removed the area of the mat that was pressing on the rear door.  It works well, he now rests on the trolley without damage. :)

I then decided that the way i was strapping him to the trolley was also not ideal, it too was putting pressure on the skins and bending them.  So i found that if i strapped round the leg to body hubs i could strap him on really tight without that problem.

So all safe and strapped to the trolley but no protection.  So i got my over sized sleeping bag out and started playing.  By making 4 small holes in the right spots, to pass the strap through, the bag can be used on the trolley and he is still just as secure.  Really happy, hopefully he will make it to Germany in 1 piece now. :)

So with that done, i moved on to repair the back door.  I removed all the bent bits and flattened them out and reattached them with VHB, and added tape to the back as extra support.  Job done. :)

Then a few final little bits.  I fine tuned the utility arms, and tightened a few bits and put the skins back on.  And taped up a few unfinished bits.  He is looking fine. :)  I might swap out one for the front logics tomorrow (it has a dead LED).

While playing i spotted another issue with the 2-3-2, the leg rod fixings on the feet have play in them, not sure if that is due to the grass driving or if it has always been like that, but it will need redoing when i redo the ankle joints.  I am confident that that will help quite a bit, and mean that the drive moves the droid and not the angle of the foot first. :)  2-3-2 is an almost never ending pursuit, fun, but not for the easily scared, we will get there eventually. :)  But for the moment, 2-3-2 and 3 leg driving are fine, its just the 2 leg driving that will benefit. :)

Ian dropped off his droid today.  James is over Monday.  We collect the Van Tuesday, then fit the false floor to maximise the space.  Then Flips for Tuesday night, via a few droids. Then its the 8am Ferry and the trip to Essen.  Cant wait. :D

BHD Control code now Online

James has now had the code uploaded to his droid too, we tested the booleans for the 2-3-2 and dome potentiometer.  All works well.

We did need to adjust the stop points for the dome and feet drives and also the speed and turn profiles for the different modes, but easy fixes.  The code is now reordered and annotated to make those changes easier for others.

I went through all the sketches and added a header, and a few critical annotations.  It can still be improved, but its all in there now, all tested and all working reliably.

Im not 100% happy that the random dome motion prevents the triggering while moving, but it was intended more as a static mode, so its fine for now.  Also the flash of the HPs means that the dome servo scripts can be up to 0.15s slower to trigger, but no biggie.

So all MP3s, all sketches, libraries and Xbee files are now uploaded to my drive.  Please test them thoroughly before using in public.  Mine has a lot of run time now, and i have fixed lots of issues, the code is good, but id hate to see any droid go wild.  This code is used at your own risk, but i haven't had any issues and trust it.  Good luck.


I will write up the wiring of the setup after CE2 and pad 2 are done.

Im so glad i upgraded it to the 193 commands, it gave me the chance to refine a lot of the functions.  Really pleased with the results. :)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Warborough Festival AKA 3 hours on grass!

Well.  A mixed weekend for R2.  

The 30Ah 5v packs arrived, only about 60% heavier than the 12Ah ones and they also have a power draw sense, so i only need one switch inline to turn the power on and off.  I will need to do some work to fit it in the body, so decided to add one and a switch to the dome as a quick job.  I used a short USB extender, and stripped it to add the switch on the +ve line.  I then rewired the dome to use one USB lead as the power to both Teeces and servo controller.  The switch is easily accessible with the dome facing forward and the back door open.  And much easier than fishing around in the dome. :)

Then my car let me down, so i was forced to cancel another event for Saturday night.  I was really disappointed i couldn't make it. it was for a charity about as close to me as it gets.   Hope they repeat the event and i can go next time.

But that meant i had a fully charged and ready to go R2, so today i went to the village festival, and was soon convinced to bring R2 down.  He ran on the grass fine for about 3 hours (all i could manage), the ground was hard and bumpy but R2 coped well and he was really well received.  So much love. :)

Me and R2 :D

The new code all ran fine, no bugs at all that i spotted, the delay on the triggering while the dome is moving is a bit of a pain, i may have to look at seeing if i can put in a cancel for that to make it more responsive, the grass made no difference to run time, the extra drag didn't seem to make much difference, i just had to drive a little slower so that the door didn't bounce open, all the batteries still show as full after the 3 hours, nearly all with the dome random on.  So it was a useful afternoon, even if i do now have to double check what has come loose. :)  

Will make the final tweaks and upload the new code this week.  But please don't post any spoilers if you go digging in the code. ;)

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Redo Complete BHD v1.0 is fully operational

The 2-3-2 with the feet drives is a lot better,  the wobble of the caster is gone. :)  I still need to adjust the bottom limit switch and also the 2-3-2 drop position, but it works much more reliably with the feet drives in. :)

2 leg still mode isn't right, fine forwards or backwards, but not while turning, i need to do a whole new mixing method for it, the resistance to turn is too much, so needs more power, but i don't want the forward speed to be too much, may have to sketch that one out, should be fun, and might be better on the other modes too and allow faster on the spot turning.  Maybe later, for now its stable enough for parking. :)

But the tweaks to the slow mode are an improvement, a little more top speed and a little more agile.

Loving this dome motion, while static i now have the dome position, MP3s, random HP move with flash and the logics and PSIs, he really seems alive. :)  I might try and add the odd ripple or twitch here and there too, on the dome servos and utility arms, but i want him to be safe while doing it, so will have to make sure nothing opens too far.  Will just help add a little more character.  But he has character already, he made me chuckle a few times while letting him run. :)

So that is it.  I still need to annotate the code a little and pop on a header.  I will do the event next Saturday (Oxford SciFi Moonlight Walk) and post the code once it has had a proper run. :)

Still not done those door servos, its a pain to get to the arms, maybe forget those for now, just do the CBI and big door next to the vents.  There is still time. :)

While testing, i have noticed that the body battery seems to run down quicker than before.  It is now running the Master and Xbee, dome positioner, MP3 uno and shield, 2-3-2 Uno and pots, Body controller, CBI, Vegas Kit and Adafruit.  It is happy running them so cant be more than the 3.1A output, so i decided to upgrade, i have ordered 2 30Ah 5v packs, so i now have 2 12Ah for the dome and the 2 30s for the body. :)  Should last a whole event for the 5v needs. :)

I also ordered some USB mains adapters and a UK to EU converter, so all i need now is the USB leads and a 4 way extension and i can charge while in CE2.  So R2 is nearly there now, just me and the trolley and we should be sweet. :D

Final testing before driving

I got most of it running. :)

But i still had a few things to sort out.

After playing for a few hours, i gave up on the MP3 freezing problem, but after a kip i found the issue, i needed to reset the script numbers on any functions that did not play a track.  Easy fix once found.  That is sound now.

I added a random dome position, in the vid it was in it's early stages, i spent a little more time making it more usable, it now works in the first 120 or so degrees of front range, i used 9 positions and simply random one, wait a random time and repeat.  I did it so that the dome drive can still be used, it will wait for about 2 s of no dome motion before doing the dome motion and then random wait, works really well, but other than feet drives, it wont receive commands while moving the dome, so ok while static but not ideal. :)  I added a slow fast option, tied to the random sounds frequency, so like an overall activity level option.

I also reduced the flash of the HPs on random to 0.15s so that there is less delay running any scripts.

Then i ran into an issue, i thought the 2-3-2 command lines were fine, but turns out that if you use pin 13 as an input on an uno, it floats at 1.7v because of the LED on the board, hence i wasn't getting a reliable 2 leg signal.  So i moved to pin 7 and it started working, sort of.  After a lot of debugging i found out why the 2-3-2 call wouldn't end, i had the wires the wrong way round!

So with the 2-3-2 call ending nicely i knew the while calls were ok, so the pins were all signalling fine and the 2 leg/3leg on the pad was showing correctly.  So i wired up one motor and did some more testing.  I had to fix the direction of the motors during 2-3-2.  Hey presto, controlled feet drive motion during the 2-3-2. :)

I then got the walk working too, and moved onto feet drive testing, i spent a while trying to work out why it wouldnt switch to fast mode, but then i remembered that in 2 leg mode it wont, so did the 2-3-2 and all worked fine.  Muppet!  But both slow and fast modes seem fine, 2 leg driving is much slower and look like it will work well.

So its time to fix the legs on and adjust the speeds to suit the droids. :)  Must do that tonight, after that is done, and 2-3-2 positions are fine tuned for balance, i should be ready, all bar a few small jobs that dont really matter. :)

Pad Mk2 is going well, slowly working on the layout. :)  Maybe in time for CE2, you never know. :)

Will post a vid once i get him driving in 2 legs. :)