Okay, we admit it. As devoted as we are to our two humanoid robots - Gulliver (KHR-1) and Mondai-Noid (MANOI AT01) - we have been more than a little jealous of the Hitec Robonova-1 crowd. After all, there have been quite a few interesting accessories developed for the Robonova that expand its capabilities and appeal. We wanted the same type of add-ons for our robots as well.
So, what was the #1 must-have, can't live without, accessory on our robot wish-list? Simple. We were absolutely dying to get a set of grippers. Something that would allow our robots to do some useful work, to pick up things, perhaps throw them or maybe even do some housework.
Thanks to a new add-on kit, developed by Matt Bauer - the creator of Rook's Pawn and founder of Bauer Independents, we finally got our wish! Mondai-Noid can pickup pencils, screw drivers, and even a small ball. He's even managed to toss the ball, and other objects, a fair distance, though he's not ready to play in the major leagues yet.
The housework part? Well, you have to watch the video below to find out how that's going.
The gripper design is based on the Kondo KRS-4024HV servos used by the AT01 robot, but other Kondo 4000 series servos could be substituted since the case and mounting dimensions are the same. Like Matt's best selling grippers for the Robonova-1, the robot gripper kit includes all the gripper parts, screws, and an excellent set of assembly instructions. Typically customers will purchase the servos and horns through their normal robot distributor channels.
Matt went to the extra effort to design the grippers so that they could be installed on the servos even if the horns were already in place. We decided to assemble the gripper main body to the servo first, which worked with no problems at all.
The KRS-4024HV servo mounting holes are basically a rectangle, which makes it easy to layout mating holes and screws. The holes to the left are used to mount the grippers to the AT01 robot arm servos. The added weight of the extra servos at the ends of the arms did tend to throw some of the stock motions off a bit, but we were able to quickly adjust the motion sequences using the Heart to Heart 3 application.
We arbitrarily assigned servo channel CH23 to the left gripper and CH24 to the right gripper. It's easy to change later if necessary. It's also important to check all motion sequences, especially any that might have been downloaded from a website, by stepping through the object sequences manually before downloading them to the robot and hitting play. With the grippers installed, the robots arms are longer, and its center of gravity shifts slightly. Of course motions that use the arms, like getting up from the floor, may need significant editing to work correctly.
In the spirit of "full-disclosure", we should mention that the evaluation gripper set that Matt provided carried a special inscription, as you can see from the photo above. Thanks Matt!
Bauer Independents - Home of Rook's Pawn and Matt Bauer's other fantastic robot creations and accessories.