Power supply + robot head printed

Being stucked on a problem is never fun, and this is what's going on right now. 

I had bought a fancy power supply thinking "This is The One" that will power the whole robot, but I guess I was wrong. You see since the beginning of this project I had been using a very small power supply DC6V3A I had laying around in my workshop. But by adding more and more servos to it, I came to realize it was not enough anymore to power up the 22 servos of InMoov. During the initialization, each servo seems to draw about 2 Amps. I guess I was just lucky with my small supply to already be able to run the arm and not fry it instantly.

So I got "The One" after searching quite a bit on the net, it seemed to have the amps I required and the 6V I needed for the servos I'm using. 
This thing was expensive, but it was sold by the same kind of shop that sales servos for hobbiest so I thought it must be compliant. I'm no electrician, I do all those things by guessing...

Okay, I received the Power supply, I was excited because I was going to finally get the whole robot to move. First thing I did was to test with a simple Arduino sketch with only one servo. It worked perfect!
Since I had the right arm connected to the Arduino Uno, I plugged it and ran the simple Arduino sketch again. Perfect!!

At that point I had to think of making a small pcb board to connect all my servos and my two Arduino board all to that single power supply.

Once again I ran a simple test with my two Aduino boards and only 8 servos attached. It went perfect again!
Boy, was I getting excited!
So I went straight forward and plugged every thing together, 22 servos, 2 Aduinos, 1 power supply. I had used only one side of the output of the power supply, instead of both, which can each deliver 20Amps and I think here lays my mistake.
I ran the simple sketch which is only moving all the servos from, let say, 0 to 30 position. Some of the servos were already at 0 position. Then they all had to move to their new positions, here started some strange behaviours. Some of the servos were jittering (shaking), and the movements of the robot became erratic.
I unplugged everything, rechecked all my connections, everything seemed okay.

At that point I thought, I must have plugged or touched something that did that strange acting, and decided to go on.

So excited I was , it was the time to get InMoov controlled through Myrobotlab.
Here starts the initialization, and I get this same kind of strange behaviour, all servos buzzing, erratical moves.
Then all of a sudden one of the arm starts to twist way further then what it is supposed to do!!
WOW! I unplugged everything...
I ran the same test again, but this time everything went off at once, no more power. The power supply is protected against short circuit, thermal heat, and overload drawing.
I checked all the connections one by one again, nothing was wrong.
What was the problem, so I restarted with my first initial test, 1 Arduino, 1 servo, simple sketch, it was not perfect at all anymore. It was acting totally erraticaly...! 
And since then of on.
There must be something damaged in the power supply, strangely if I use it with another device, like a little DC motor, it works normal.

So, end of the story, back in search on the net. I read on this page what I hadn't found before about switching power supplies with servos.
Now, I have ordered three batteries with a small charger. They were very cheap when I passed my order, 8 euros per battery. I think that will do for now, I also had found some Lipo batteries but they are rather expensive.
I really would rather a power supply, because I just don't want to have doubts about the power or wait for charging time. I need a DC 6V 44Amps or more, no swithching, with a 250V input.
Would be great if someone has an idea. Any suggestion is welcomed, please post in the comments.

In the meanwhile I have been designing and printing more parts for the head. I also redesigned the top of the front torso, the other was going too high in the middle, and it bothered me because it wasn't taking a human shape structure.
The jaw has it's own servo motor mounted and can be actionned. I still need to test the microphones in the ear circus amplifiers, but this is pure creating guessing. I have no idea if it's going to help InMoov to hear better the voice commands. But hey, why not try something different since I can print and design what ever I want!
3D printed robot head inmoov
Robot head sideway without ear

3D printed robotic head inmoov
InMoov has ears and jaw attached

InMoov robot new neck and yes
Changements have been done on the torso structures of InMoov


InMoov's brain at work

In my previous post, I was talking about Myrobotlab for the brain, and I want to explain a little bit more of what's going on. I have been searching for an easy to use software in order to control InMoov's servos. My goal was to be as open source as I could, so keeping my Arduino boards, and not to go into closed systems. Of course the choice is yours once you are building your robot. Through my search I read on different forums about Myrobotlab and this guy ,GroG, was the one who ruled it.

I had tried to use the software a few times, trying to figure stuff on my own, but I finally decided to contact him. And boy, what a help! The Gui still remains opaque to me, but since I had been fooling around with Arduino scripts since January, I was ready to jump into Python scripts. At my very low level of knowledge of course. GroG has been helping to figure out many problems I had with scripts but mainly has been working on creating a special service in his software for InMoov.

This means if you have printed let say the hand and forarm and set servos inside and you are looking for a way to control it, with that service you can. It allows you to test your servo's movements with sliders. If you have a microphone with your PC you can give voice commands to your servos. OpenCV should be easily installed when you install the software, that will allow you to control with it's own vision your robot.
There is Tutorials, and maybe some more coming up for easier understanding.

For the software to take control of the servos through the Arduino board:

-First download Myrobotlab. Here Get the last one on the bottom of the list.
-Unzip into your hard drive C:\
-Open the folder Myrobotlab in C:\ and double click on myrobotlab.bat
-Right click on InMoov's service and click "install"
-Start the Arduino service by right clicking on it and give it a name, for exemple: arduino1

-Choose in the Arduino tab, the type of board you have and which serial port it is connected to.
-Then upload the script on to your board. (It seems that sometimes it doesn't work through the GUI, in that case copy click the script and upload it directly on your board using the Arduino.exe)

-Start the service InMoov by right clicking on it and give it a name, for exemple: inmoov1

 -At this point the GUI will load all the servos and will attach them to your board.
If you click on the "thumbRight" tab you will have access to the slider of the thumb servo.
Notice all the servos and two arduinos are now available in the tab bar.
This is for both arms, right and left + the head.
Ear tab is for giving voice commands, Mouth is for the robot to talk back.
OpenCV is if you have a camera set in the head. (Although those STL parts are not ready for downloads yet)

So now you have the base, it's up to you to play around, discover and there will be more to come according to GroG.

Following the tutorials might help you to go further.

Hope you have fun!


InMoov's head and shoulders

Hey all,
Here is what I've got until now. I found some very talented people that are helping to developpe InMoov's brain. GroG is the guy that runs Myrobotlab and he has been helping to get InMoov listening to commands.
If you download his GUI you can do all kinds of interesting things with your robot. The neat part is that you can do all that with any Arduino board. The GUI still needs developpement but I have confidence to get to a point where I will understand how it works.
This a small video explaining some basic use of Myrobotlab.

And I have made a video with the last printed parts mounted on the robot.
Have a look it's getting to a point where it starts to look like something...
Hope you enjoy it!


InMoov at the Makerfaire

InMoov was presented at the Makerfaire of Pittsburgh by Brian. He had been working hard to get all his things ready for display. We can't see it on the picture but he also had a Rostock delta 3d printer he builded. Things didn't go like Brian wanted though that day, apparently some kids went aggressive on the 3D printed fingers... And on other presented things.
I have seen a video made that day by the local TV where he desperatly tempted to present InMoov, but that also didn't turn out like he wanted.
Anyway, I want to make a Special Thanks for his efforts that day.


Bicep video of InMoov

Well, that took me a while to post. I just couldn't find the right moment for to make that video.
I should make a "making of", because for to achieve this one, I had to redo it five times . Between the phone that rings, the ground plug from the Arduino that disconnect, and me kicking the table and not knowing anymore what I am talking about...
You are lucky to finally see a video, I tell you.

This picture is for to show the latest covers of the bicep, looking from close at the picture you can see in the background the head of InMoov.

I work on the head when I get stucked in engineering some other parts, for example the shoulder has given me headaches, so from time to time I start studiying the head, it's eyes movments with the camera and other fun things.

 Update 07/10/12 covers are uploaded on Thingiverse.


Bicep for your Robot

This is it!
Today is the releasing day of the bicep, and the beginning of the shoulder.
Gee, since the last post I had again to redesign SO many parts it is unbelievable. First the shoulder isn't going to be like I thought because I encountered some direction problems, it didn't look human anymore... 
It was freaky! the shoulder was huge and too high which made InMoov like he had arms way too long.

Some pictures of the bicep, I have done many pictures of the whole building process, to make it easy to build. Actually it will be easier for you guys to build the bicep then the forarm.

I'm planning on making a step by step with pictures, just that, it's so much work.

Covers aren't ready yet, I am still working on the design, after all this is what gives the final look. The one you see on the pictures are just for show off, but it should be something close.

 Hope you enjoy it, because I do. When I see that arm moving by itself I feel like being in a sci-fi movie.

I need to make a little video to show how this works. As soon as I receive my white  ABS and I can print the rest of the covers.

Update 21/09/12: Assembly instructions uploaded in Tab "Assembly help" .
Update 01/10/12: Assembly sketchs uploaded in Tab "Assemblysketchs".


Inmoov robot shoulder

Well, it's been a while since I haven't been able to print something. Holidays... I had been reviewing the concept of the shoulder. Not that my first system didn't work, but I wanted to get really more DOF. Sometimes I'm amazed of how many parts  I have to design and redesign under Blender before to finally be able to print them. Then, often, I have to redesign them again because of mistakes I discover once they are printed...
A box full of printed parts that are all for the trash.

Anyway, this should be something good, I am surprised of the strength it gives. Those HS-805BB servos are amazing.
This is what I plan on getting for the shoulder. Each cylinder has a servo motor and can rotate at 180°.
The cylinder contains a gear with a worm drive related to the servo.
I have extracted the potentiometer of the servo and fix it in the center of the cylinder.

 This is what I have printed so far, I had to print in green because I don't have anymore white ABS...It should arrive soon though. I really don't like this green... It doesn't look right on the robot, although I have nothing against bio colors.

Here it's mounted to the bicep, I had to redesign the mechanism system, and it isn't printed yet


Inmoov by B.Stott

I have been in contact with someone since a while now, and I can tell you that person is really working on InMoov's hands. In fact, some suggestions came from him, for exemple the new brackets and the rotational bicep. 
Have a look at all his pictures, he did a great job. I am so delighted when I see others constructions, it really helps to make me go on with this project.
Thanks B.Stott
To see more of his work:  Here


Power glove your robot hand

Feeling like actuating your robot hand with a PowerGlove?
Added InMoovPowerGlove (Thanks to brianhomer) on thingiverse.
This should get you going.
The zip contains a PDF diagram for connections and a sketch to upload on your Arduino board.


Dilemna with "WristsmallV3" part

This will help, I am sure about it!
There is a new tab on the blog which contains Assembly Sketchs for a more comprehensive perception.
There is also other tabs that might interest you...

I want to clear a dilemna with "WristmallV3" part. Some of the builders might think during it's assembly to "WristlargeV3" that there is an error, because the fingers can go more further in open position than in closed one. This is because you need to fix the "topsurface". Once attached the fingers won't open too much.

Also the closing really shouldn't be too much, because once the finger tips are glued, you will get ringfinger stucked by majeure finger on full closing.  
If, after the complete assembly of those parts, it doesn't close enough to your taste, cut a little bit with a knife the blocks inside the palm, that stop the closing. 

Ringfinger should have a movement of about 15 degree and Littlefinger of about 20 degree while Thumb will normally have a 50 degree movement.


Orange 3d printed hand

Why not in orange!
see  http://rymdstekel.blogspot.pt/
One recommendation I should suggest after having build a few hands, is to start lining the fishing rods from the servos to the finger tip. That way, when you make the knots at the tip, you can really pull and adjust the tension of the fishing rods. I found you can make more knots BEHIND the first knot to pull the rods at maximum. (I will make pictures of this technique to explain better soon)

Also the other day I discovered this http://robosavvy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=34865
Which is a way to convert InMoov STL files to CAD, I'm sure it will be handy for some of you.


Finally have been able to upload "thumb5" and "leftthumb5" on thingiverse.

By the way, I made a modification on "bolt_entretoise1" to "bolt_entretoise2" because the previous version had oversized bolts in length, I expected people to just cut them. But seeing pictures from the builders, I realized it confused somehow their assembly. I also added a fastening ring for the bolt that goes in the wrist.


InMoov by Brianhomer + Sugru

You should look at this video posted by brianhomer where he shows his final project. 
The project consist of using InMoov hand controlled through an Arduino with a power glove made by himself.
The demonstration with the can definitly shows that finger tips need to have silicone patchs in order to grab objects correctly. 
I have stumbled on a material that could be perfect for this use, I haven't tried it but it seems promising and easy to use. 
Google: sugru rubber
This material could be applied by hand directly on tips or even casted in a printed mold...
Anyway it seems a much easier solution then the one I used on my first hand.

Another thing about brianhomer project is the fact he used only one cable per finger which makes the return of fingers "uncertain", but he plans on building a second hand so I hope to see totally fonctionnal.

I contacted him to see if he would be kind enough to give me the Arduino sketch he came up for his power hand, it could save us time.


Alright, I have fixed thumb4 problem to thumb5. I actually have no idea why it became bigger and couldn't fit wriargeV3 anymore. But I can't seem to upload it to thingiverse on the moment. It's been three days. I am located with a very poor internet connection at the moment. Hope this won't be long. Be patient, or if you are so desperate, go to thingiverse and send me your email, I will return you the STL.


I finally updated all fingers hinges to make it much easier for assembly. If you have an acurate printer there shouldn't be anymore filling nor drilling. Although I have a quality reputated printer, holes shrink a little because of the overhang. I tried of making snap in parts like suggested Easton Lachapelle, but with the test I did, the strength of the traction exerced by the rods would disassemble the hinges.
Anyway, I received the AS5040 Magnetic encoders ordered for the big servos. Soon time for electronics and adventure I really don't know much about...

Also trying to teach InMoov with voice recognition, and object detection. I'm far still from any good result. My camera is not even detected by the software myrobotlab, but the voice gives results. I tried to make him say something before he starts the action but I get really confused in some implementation for now. Those new softwares and concepts have to make their way in my brain first before to be applied to InMoov. 

Here is a little video:

There is someone that needs your interest at the moment, he has done a great job on producing a printable hand in one piece if I understand right. He plans on creating another version you can discover.
He has launched an indiegogo campaign here


I have uploaded on Thingiverse "robcap3V1" and "leftrobcap3V1" for to close the elbow of the forarm. This part is necessary if you plan to go on with the project of the complete arm. It also gives a finishing touch to the forarm...

Here you see it attached to the forarm, with the "elbowshaft1" glued on it.
It needs to be glued to "robpart5V2" or "leftrobpart5V2" depending on which arm you built.

I also changed "bolt" to "bolt_entretoise", because every body doesn't have aluminium pipes in his workshop to make some entretoise/spacer.
Here you see where they are meant to be used.


I have uploaded on thingiverse the new brackets for the servos in the forarm. Here are the instructions for to adapt them inside. These let you decide wether you want to add a fifth servo allowing animation of all the fingers or if you rather keep the Arduino Uno inside the forarm.
I would advise you, if you plan on building the complete arm (biceps and shoulder) to remove the arduino Uno from inside the forarm and get the pinky finger giggling around!

This is how you are going to modify your forarm:
If you just printed the parts, you can go ahead and remove all the brackets from "robpart3 and robpart4V2" or "leftrobpart3 and leftrobpart4V2" with pliers. If you have already glued these parts together, it will be a bit more tricky but I did it, so I'm sure you can.

This is on "robpart3"
Do the same treatment to "robpart4V2".
Glue in "stand2" at the place of the Arduino. Make sure the servo actuator will be free to rotate with the rods. Notice the servo (pinky) comes from the back of the bracket. You might want to tight the servo before gluing or drill holes on the side of the forarm for to have access with a screwdriver.
You should have something like this now. Here you see the servo(index)
Set in the servo (thumb) that is half way in "robpart1 or rotawrist". (Sorry on this picture all the cables and actuators are already fixed in, this is due to a lack of the correct photo.)

You should have now three servos aligned in the forarm with the two new brackets set above. Thumb, index , pinky.(again sorry for the lack of picture)
Set above the servo (majeure) as shown.
Attach the last above servo (ringfinger) in it's bracket.
Run the nylon rods as shown. Rods run a bit differently now.
 I hope the following pictures help you to figure out how rods run. Again, it doesn't have to be that way, you might come out with a much better solution.