Posts Tagged ‘hockey’
Maker Faire NYC was great! We showed off four of my robots, Learning Pet, DOGCOW, RoboBrrd, and MANOI!
We were located at the Robot Square which turned out to be a really great location!
By far the most popular was RoboBrrd Food! It was so crazy. The kids kept feeding the RoboBrrd constantly, they wouldn’t stop! And if they had to stop, sometimes they would start to cry or whine to their parents. It was great! It was funny to see how the younger kids understood what to do right away, when the older ones didn’t really know. As for the adults, you had to tell them to try feeding the RoboBrrd, they never did it automatically haha! Here is a video of RoboBrrd food in action, thanks to VayaConQueso!
Learning Pet was a close second to the most favourite robot. It was great to see everyone interacting with it. Some of the kids played right through from level 1 to 5, so they could see the super duper Learning Pet victory dance celebration!
Here’s a video explaining Learning Pet thanks to the NY Hall of Science:
As for MANOI the hockey playing humanoid robot, most of the time its battery was running out! So lame! MANOI was always pretty much sitting down, like in this photo:
However, MANOI did appear at the 0:21 mark in the Engadget show. It was pretty crazy when they were filming, they were super professional, and no one knew they were from Engadget!
You can watch the Engadget show here!
One of the favourite things was explaining everything to all the people. It’s fun to see their reactions and what they think of the projects. Plus, since there are so many people, what you say each time becomes more fine tuned!
Check out all of the stuff that I brought home! I’m super excited to use all of this!
Some notables include:
- Tons of XBees YAY
- seeedstudio ADK kit WOOT
- netduino, pulse sensor, white lol shield, shapelock, tshirt (bought these )
- Maker Passport (a repurposed Hackerspace passport) with lots of cool signatures in it! AWESOME!
I also managed to see Arc Attack for the first time in person ever! It is super cool, definitely recommend it! The sound seems so much clearer than anything else. The blue shining in from the glass was really amazing too, and all of the waves in the wall. I waited in line with a friend from university, Matt Krass, and his friends so it was pretty awesome. (I then forgot to say bye as I left, DOH! Was in a rush to get back to my robots!)
At the end of the Maker Faire, there were these blue ribbons being given out, and everyone I asked had no idea what they were. I asked the guy giving them out, and he said that they are *only* for awesome projects. To be honest, I got a little upset at this (my projects aren’t awesome?! whaaat?!), but he was kind enough to visit my table and hear me explain all my projects!
Here’s a video of me explaining ALL of the robots thanks to Chris Connors:
And then after that, he awarded me his very last Maker Faire Editors Choice award! Wow! Yay! Thanks again, Chris!
The trek back home was interesting! My parents drove down to bring me back. The fog in the Adirondacks at night is intense! We slept in a Walmart parking lot too I was super tired the whole time, falling asleep a lot.
There were some people that I didn’t get a chance to meet, hopefully next time there will be that chance! Special thanks to Jonah and Katherine for letting me sleep on their (very nice) couch for OHS and Maker Faire! Thanks to everyone who made the Maker Faire NYC 2011 so much fun! It was a pleasure meeting everyone who came by the table, and hope to see you all next year!
MANOI the hockey player was on Daily Planet, the science news broadcast on Discovery Channel (Canada) on November 3rd, 2010! Check out the clip below!
On Sunday, a breakthrough was made with regards to getting the CMUcam2 to send a frame back to Matlab! Amazing! It works!
Check out the screenshots:
(something bright was being shone onto the camera)
(lens cap on (yes they make lens caps that small))
It’s quite noticeable that the resolution is very small. In fact, it’s only about 10 pixels in size!
I started off small so that we could have something that works, then go from there. It’s only sending the green channel too, which helps improve the latency.
The way it works now is that it asks for a few hundred bytes of data. From there, we search through the array to find a 1, or the start of the frame, until a 3, or the end of the frame. This is stored into a new variable so that we can search through it (again!) and plot the data.
Plotting the data needs some improvement. Not too sure how to handle this yet– should I make a Processing app that will be able to save the image as a .png? Or can Matlab write images too? Hmm!
Post a comment if you want me to post the code, I just don’t want to post something that’s incomplete and will essentially confuse everyone.
Other projects statii:
Out of the 120 Letters of Intent that WillowGarage received for the PR2 Beta program, one of them is one from Clarkson University!
There are ten robots that are going to be given away. Coincidentally, the research teams that win will be notified on March 26th — that’s the date of the Boston FIRST regional (which Team 229 is attending and is going to ROCK THE ROBOT HOUSE)!
We’re giving it our best shot, and it’s looking really cool! If you see me around, ask me about it!
This whole process has been super exciting. Our proposal is being wrapped up, though it’s only due March 1st (that’s in six days, we still have plenty of time). My two sections are pretty much complete except for some stuff. I’ll be blogging about it on March 1st at 8:00PM, so keep an eye out!
The Socializing a Social Robot with an Artificial Society SURE abstract from the summer has been added to the Honors Summer Research 2009 page! Finally! ^_^
Also, I refined my paper with logic that can easily be followed now, and included Zoomify graphs of the results. This makes it easy for readers to scan and interpret the graphs themselves. Plus, Zoomify graphs are always fun.
As for the code… I still have to get on to documenting it. It’s a lot of work, so I’m just getting through it step by step. Lesson learned: although comments are distracting when you’re working on the code, it’s horrible to go back and then spend time to comment it. Always comment. No exceptions!
SecondLife Statistics Project
We finally parsed through the data and found something really striking. When the economic downturn in real life appeared, the usage hours on SecondLife rose, and kept on rising for a few months! The virtual economy was booming. It’s almost like as if people were tired of the real life, and wanted the easy success of the virtual world.
Though, there was eventually a decrease in the usage hours on SecondLife. This leads us to wonder if…
1) Is there a lag between RL and SL?
2) Did people notice that there weren’t as many opportunities on SL as when they first joined?
It’s really cool to think about this sort of stuff. It makes you wonder what Oreo sales have been like throughout this modern recession. I would love to study Oreo sales, I think they would be really representative of the economic situations. Either that, or Oreo sales always remain constant.
This build season I helped out with the website a lot. We were coming from nothing, and now we have a beautiful source of information, all collected together!
It was quite a load of work, however help from the teammates and mentors helped very much. Go check it out!
Physics Team Design
In Physics II there are two lab sections that allow you to participate in a team based design course. The challenge is to model the velocity of a hobby train with given voltages. We do this using photogates… and a piece of National Instruments hardware that measures data at a rate of 400,000. I’m not sure what the units are, but it’s pretty amazing! The challenge sessions are where we apply this model, trying to predict the train’s movements based on the data that we have collected.
The way the data is collected is through LabView. Unfourtunately, the program that is used was deleted… so the professor/TA needed some help to fix it. After working on it for a few hours, we figured it out and got it to work!
I’ve been playing around with core-plot and working on an app lately- it’s 80% done, and will be out on the App store within the next few weeks!
We’re still trying to sort out if we’re going to Open Source it, and how that would work (since we want people to buy the App too…!). Perhaps we could just *suggest* a donation whenever people try to download the code? Anyone have any experience with Open Source App business model plans?
Coming back from winter break to school was tricky this time around… since I was outside the entire day playing hockey during the break!!! Although Clarkson has open skate, their ice mixture is really weird, and there’s no pickup hockey games Better than nothing, though.
I bought two shirts from shirt.woot, and they are awesome. One of them is ‘I Fought the Laws’, and has three pictures of crazy robots. The other is a robot that is plugged in to a wall outlet, leading to its heart. ^_^
That’s all for now! Keep it real, humans and robots. =)
I made a pretty good summary of Hockey MANOI in this thread at Trossen Robotics forum. I figured I should post it on my blog because it is a good summary and I broke it down into easy to read parts, so it’s like a whole JOURNEY of awesome!
Hello TRC World!
My project is a hockey playing humanoid.
It uses a MANOI AT01 kit, controlled by an Arduino (with an ATmega328) with a Wave Shield, and a SSC-32.
Humanoids have always been associated with walking or running. This project focuses on a different action for humanoids, skating. The end result of this project yields an interesting vision of the possibilities of skating robots.
The idea came around when I was trying to make my humanoid (MANOI AT01) walk. Instead of taking a “big bite”, I decided to take a smaller bite and make it slide its feet. However, I quickly realized that when it slides its feet, it looks exactly like a newbie Canadian hockey player!
A Canadian newbie hockey player begins to skate by almost walking. Although the skater doesn’t go far, he does move forward due to the friction between the blade of the skate and the ice.
When I did notice this, I quickly grabbed some lego to create MANOI’s own version of skates, which are similar to rollerskates. I mounted the lego onto the feet using velcro.
The hockey stick I just found laying around. I had to cut a bit of it off, as it was too tall. I use tape and tie wraps to keep it mounted to MANOI.
Development on this project was mainly trial and error. To get all of the motions correct so they all balance together was critical.
Instead of using the controller board that is usually used to control the MANOI, I did a major transplant and substituted it for the Arduino and SSC-32. This allows me to have much more flexibility in terms of sensing and creating motions. The H2H software was too problematic.
Usually what would happen is I would draw out a motion, on paper, that I would want to create, and I would put it into MANOI. Sometimes I got it first try, other times I didn’t. However, the cool part is that a lot of the motions stemmed from the ideas of other motions.
For instance, in the video of MANOI Skating with music (seen below), the motion where MANOI is running is actually a faster version of the sway motion! That was really surprising.
The development for the Wii nunchuck part of the code was quite easy as I had already established all of the variables and settings of when the nunchuck is tilted left or right, forwards or backwards. Instead of using real numbers for it though, I just defined a “home position” of the nunchuck, and subtracted or added numbers to the accelerometer axis, x y and z.
The music part of the wave shield was quite fun and straight forward. I looked around for the songs, and put them on a SD card which plugs into the wave shield. From there, it was just a simple method call inside of the Arduino.
Once the above developments were done, I wanted to create a version of MANOI that could sense if a ball/puck/object was there. I did this by using LDRs and LEDs.
Rest assured, I would have used IR Sensors if I had any This was the best alternative I had, though!
On the left side of the sticks the LEDs are in a yellow casing, and on the right side they are in a clear casing. There is some effect on the reading, however their values change precisely the same when an object is in front of the stick.
The black construction paper enclosure around the LDRs was required to direct the reading. Otherwise, the light from the LEDs saturated the reading and no difference was seen when an object was present or not.
I observed the change between the readings of when there was an object present, and when there was not an object present.
From this, I created a simple neuron, where if the input values succeed a predefined threshold, it will perform an action. In this case, the action would be to shoot the object.
I had to tweak the threshold a little to make it work with smaller objects, such as a roll of electrical tape.
In the video below, you will observe that it does work with a roll of electrical tape, a ball, and a spool of lead solder (the LEAD solder isn’t mine, it’s my DAD’s because he can’t use non-lead solder like the rest of us -_-;). The spool is white, which proves that the theory does work, meaning that the light that is reflected from the LEDs back into the same LDR board does not obscure the readings.
Here are the videos that you can look at!
This is the first video, where I was just getting the motions down.
The program is basically a sequence of movements:
- Forward 6 times
- Shoot 3 times
- Backward 6 times
- Shoot 3 times
As you can see, the forward and backward movements both result in MANOI moving backwards. As I later found out, through trial and error, it was due to the Arduino and power cords limiting the movement of MANOI! Once they were mounted properly, it worked much better.
This is the second video, where MANOI is controlled by the Wii nunchuck!
You press Z to shoot, and you hold C and tilt to move it. MANOI can move forwards, backwards, left, right, and home.
This is there third video, where MANOI is playing a little game of hockey by himself while listening to some music. The song that you first hear is the Hockey Night in Canada theme song!
This is the last video, where MANOI can autonomously decide if he should shoot or not.
(The quality in that video is quite yucky, please check out the video on [URL="http://vimeo.com/2641041?pg=embed&sec=2641041"]vimeo[/URL] if you’d like to see it in better quality)
In conclusion, this project was SO much fun! The only time I didn’t enjoy it was when I was trying to hold MANOI, who was whacking me with its stick, with one hand and trying to type in some code with my other hand.
My favourite part was watching people play with the Wii version of the code. They really enjoyed it!
I also liked making the AI part too, that was pretty fun.
The next steps would include coding a modified version of the Bayes filter algorithm to predict if an object is in front of the stick or not.
More sensors would be fun, like three proximity sensors mounted on the front, left and right. This way MANOI could avoid opponents trying to take the ball off of it.
I would also add two more servos in the leg that would allow rotation. This would then allow me to create a more realistic skating humanoid, where there would actually be a stride.
Perhaps I could also add a camera to the head so that it could track where the ball/puck/object is.
That’s my project, I hope you like it! ^_^
You can see more of everything I mentioned at robotgrrl.com
Today (Thursday) I got my MANOI working with my Wii nunchuck!
It was super easy since I already had the configuration ready because of my other robot.
Here are some pictures:
The way it works is the Wii nunchuck has an i2dc interface with the Wave Shield, which is on the Arduino. Using the Nunchuck library, you know what button is being pressed and values of the accelerometer.
I already made functions to determine if the nunchuck is tilted home, left/right or up/down. Soooo, I just added the “skating” functions to that, and the condition that the C button has to be pressed. There’s more control this way.
To shoot, it’s just the Z button.
The most surprising part of all of this was when I realized that MANOI “skates” better when I added all the stuff to his back. I guess it adjusted the center of gravity just right!
There’s a video here:
I still have some more stuff to do… like add a few more motions and sound.
This is my Hockey MANOI work in progress robot. It needs a lot of improvement before I actually take it outside (hopefully there won’t be snow by then). It’s using a plastic stick that I found lying around (check out the pics)
So far it’s going okay, I guess. Trying to make a robot balance with many moving parts is difficult though, and really exhausting. There’s lots of things that I’ll need to fix… The program is basically a sequence of movements:
- Forward 6 times
- Shoot 3 times
- Backward 6 times
- Shoot 3 times
The Forward and Backward movements do vary slightly, but they both result in the robot going backwards. I’m trying to think of a way to fix it that will be the best way, like attaching a few heavy rocks to the front of the robot won’t be the best way in this case. Once the robot shoots after going Backward, there’s too much movement and it falls over.
I’ll probably have an if statement in the Shoot movement asking what was the last movement. If it was backwards, the shot will be more slow and less intense so it won’t tip over.
The stick also has to be mounted better… it moves WAY too much =P (those tie wraps serve no purpose)
Despite all of the falling over, it’s fun to be trial’ing and error’ing to see how the robot can balance And it’s working off of an Arduino! I plan to add the Wave Shield, with some hockey sounds/songs that MANOI can play — there will also be a FSR on the stick so the robot will know if it should shoot or not ^_^