We're prepping Gulliver, our KHR-1 robot, for the RoboGames competition this June in San Francisco, and the first step was to give him a brain transplant - a brand new Kondo RCB-3 controller. Mechanically, and electrically, the change was surprisingly simple. Basically we carefully removed the old RCB-1 controller - labeling all the servo cables, installed the new RCB-3 controller, removed the jumper and plugged in the booster module, then reconnected all the servo cables.
Of course, the robot needed to be trimmed so that it would start from the correct Home Position, but that process was very straight forward. The next challenge was to create some motion sequences, and the shortest path was to just load and convert some of the old motion sequences so that they could be used with the new configuration.
In our earlier RCB-3HV Upgrade announcement post, we mentioned the added ability to automatically create a number of new position objects (POS) between two existing objects. It turns out that this functionality is quite useful in creating new motions. For example, you might capture the start and end poses for a particular motion, then use the new function to create the necessary intermediate positions. Of course, they may not be exactly what you need, and may require some minor servo and speed adjustments, but it gets you 90% of the way very quickly.
We put together the quick tutorial below showing how the new H2H3 used with an upgraded RCB-3HV controller works.
In addition to the excellent documentation that Kyosho supplies with the MANOI AT01 humanoid robot kit, they have also been diligently updating and adding to the information on the Official AT01 website. In our experience, they are one of the few companies that actually listen to their customers and use the feedback to constantly improve their product and support.
The most recent example is a new MANOI AT01 robot home position setup procedure. Getting the home position setup correctly is really the key to successful operation, execution of the sample motions, and being able to exchange motion files with other owners. The new procedure walks you through each step with numerous photographs to show clearly how each major part of the robot needs to be aligned.
Of course we all know that "real men never read the manual", at least not until they've failed miserably and don't have any other alternative. But, no matter when you decide to actually check the documentation, this new procedure, and others like it, will make it much easier to setup consistently accurate home positions.
The new Kondo KHR-2HV humanoid robot has been available for less than two months here in Japan, and according to all reports it's proven so popular that it's completely sold out. Some robot fans overseas, specifically in the US and Europe, managed to snag a few of the kits, and have been making great progress. In spite of the fact that English documentation and software for the robot isn't available from Kondo yet, these brave souls have managed to build their robots, and they seem dedicated to professionally documenting the process online (see links below) for others that will soon follow in their footsteps.
We installed the larger feet on Gulliver, our KHR-1 robot, and added some make-shift soles to give him more traction and less slip. Of course, changes like that require adjusting all the motion sequences since we’ve effectively changed the robot’s basic geometry. In the process of adjusting the motions we came up with a very useful method to test the results.
’Building One Of The ROBO-ONEs: A Handy Shortcut’ continues
From following the online weblogs posted by many of the builders of Robo-Ones we've noticed that motion creation seems to be a huge stumbling block. People tend to leave it until the last, then rush to create some motions and map them to their remote control. So, we decided to spend some time up front and try to understand what's going on with the motion files and try to come up with a process that will make it easier to create and modify motion sequences.