Huge Progress! February 15, 2014

We’ve made great progress in the cleaning up of PR2Lite into its final configuration.

  • Replacing the old desktop-based computer with its converter with a laptop went a long way to clean up the wiring.
  • We added a shelf for the laptop above the microcontrollers for the linear actuator and wheel pids.
  • The wires now go up in a channel cut into the shelves per its original design.
  • In the shelf above the laptop, we put the new DC to AC converter, all the AC adapters (e.g., for the neato the usb hubs, the dynamixels, the kinect), and two powered USB3 Hubs for all the USB-based controllers.
  • the next shelf up has three 12v SLA to power the DC to AC adapters.  It also holds the joystick.
  • The top shelf has the neato board and some battery voltage level detectors.
  • The dynamixel CM-5 and USB2Dynamixel were moved down within the moving outer torso.
  • The Linear actuator holders for the torso up/down were re-glued.
  • Courtesy of excellent Robotis customer service, our new MX-106/MX-64/Velo gripper arm is operational again.

We are currently upgrading the encoders for the wheels and continue to improve the mobility of the base.


Pictures of PR2Lite, which now doesn’t need to be plugged into an outlet to run!

PR2Lite's arm moving (It planned out it's movements -- see the laptop screen)

PR2Lite’s arm moving (It planned out it’s movements — see the laptop screen)


Progress Update: September 28, 2013

The Velo Gripper wrist is nearly complete!  Here is a separate update for just the Velo Gripper wrist.

We have also detached the right arm to make new drill holes to accommodate the MX64 and MX106 servos we’re putting in.  The shoulder’s MX64 servo (not pictured) fit in with minimal effort, which is nice.

Removed Arm

We were having troubles with the long cables that controlled the linear actuators and wheels; the signals would get too many collisions because the wires were too long.  Frank had trouble converting the cables into smaller cables, DB9 connectors, and RS485 signals originally, but has since gotten them to work.  Version 1 did not work, but Version 2 did.  Both are pictured below.

Franks boards

We also have a new Ubuntu System 76 laptop (quadcore i7 with SSD) which will replace our current computer in the robot, and open up some space.  We’re also moving to the Hydro ROS release and moveit! arm control sometime in the future.  Here’s a picture of the laptop:

New Laptop2

Velo2G Gripper Progress Update: September 28, 2013

We’ve made a large step in our integration with Willow Garage’s Velo2G Gripper.  I completed my design on AutoDesk Inventor 2013 of the wrist, which controls the Velo Gripper and rotates.  I also designed other parts which will complete our upgraded lower arm.  I had to change holes and parts to accommodate for larger servos like the MX106 and MX64.  Here is a screenshot of the final drawing.

Velo big update1

We ordered the pieces to be cut from Mr. Plastics in San Leandro, got them about a week later, and started putting the parts together.  The pieces fit in snugly, so glue is not entirely necessary.  Here is a picture of the wrist attached to the Velo2G before glue.

Velo big update 2.1

Progress Update: August 3, 2013

Alan and Andrew continued adapting the PR2 pick and place demo as a basis of the Floorbot challenge.  They also started evaluating continuing using electric versus moving to groovy and “moveit!” for the challenge.  Additionally, they looked into Willow Garage’s velo gripper modeling.

Alan, Andrew and Frank are debating about which laptop should replace PR2lite’s current computer.

Matthew continued his Autodesk Inventor design of the lower arm in Autodesk Inventor.

Progress Update: June 22, 2013

Alan is planning out how to do a “Floorbot challenge.” We are installing a “big red panic button” in preparation for testing!
Frank is rebuilding the cable that handles microprocessor communication.  The communication cable will be much shorter, thereby reducing the likelihood of collisions.  The power cables to the linear actuators in the arm will be longer.
Matthew is restarting the design of the new powerful arm with the Velo gripper.