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Modular humioniod robotics? Answered

Hello my name is Alex,
I have a very early stage idea for a modular humioniod robotic development platform.
I'm looking for information, a point in the right direction to all things modular robotics.
Books, threads,forums, drunken scribblings on a napkin I don't mind.
What I would really like to do is a open source collaboration, where people can make either the whole thing or just indavidual modules.
What do you think? Great idea? Dumb? Totally unachievable?
All comments and replays welcome, positive or negative

Thanks in advance

Alex

Discussions

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rickharris
rickharris

Best Answer 3 years ago

Modular? Not sure what you mean, a collection of bits you can assemble like lego? (they already did that)

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AlexC229
AlexC229

Answer 3 years ago

hello Rick,

Thank you very much for your reply. By modular, I was thinking that I would have a standardised connection between modules. I.e I make a simple gripping claw, someone else who has a interest can make a hand module that is better suited to their task. Am I explaining myself well? Or just confusing the subject.

I'm quite new to the subject so let me know if what I'm suggesting is not possible or as you say been done, we're you talking about lego? Or something else you know about?

Cheers

Alex

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rickharris
rickharris

Answer 3 years ago

OK I see where your coming from. For a cooperative build or open source if you like your going to need to define the standards.

This means you going to have to specify:

The individual modules (eg is a module a hand or a finger, a leg or a toe?)

Scale

Electrical connectors

Control signals in and out of each module (This needs to be complete so that builders can select what functionality they will incorporate).

Functionality of each module.

Module interaction

IF I were you I would do a first pass at this and then set up a web site to act as a anchor for the project. Then hit all of the social media groups that cold be relevant so they know what your doing (you need a better description as well).

From my experience of writing specifications for automated machines:

1. Do this in logical scheme.

2. Give an introduction setting out the aims

3 Move on to the over view, the big picture showing what the problem is and how the parts relate to each other.

4 Describe the over all standards those things that apply to all modules. e..g. scale, software, servos, materials, control operation etc.

5. Starting at the top or bottom break the problem down into modules roughly of the same complexity. Each module should have a definable functionality.

6. Describe each module, it's functionality, the signals in and out, the connectors to use, the range of movement, the power supply, the materials, how the module will be tested when complete, how the module will be documented (no good without of it will never be maintainable.)

I promise you this is a HUGE task but without it you will not succeed. The lack of such documentation is why software projects so often fail.

This will take up a lot of time, effort and research and will need peer review and updating regularly.

You have to have a very good mind picture of where your trying to get. A diverse team, possibly well spread out and of varying skill and personality will be hard to control.

People tend to have their own ideas and reject others so they have to be on board and understand that the document is all powerful so make it the best you can. When in doubt refer to the book!.

My best guess is that this isn't going to work because of the above paragraph. Hobbiests who do this sort of thing like to make their own way and fitting in with others isn't a part of that.

I have seen Steam engine projects built cooperatively but they are building to a single master plan, a drawing they all understand and have no arguments with, they are just sharing out the making effort.

By all means go for it, but fail to make that "drawing" and get it right and you will not achieve anything. Effectivly YOU, the creator of the master plan have to be better than anyone working for you.

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AlexC229
AlexC229

Answer 3 years ago

hello Rick,

Thank you so much for your detailed response. It was great to read. I am aware of just how big a project this would be. Right now I am working on a single power module. Specificly on how they would connect together. Once I had finalised one module my plan was to then move to another, using the standardised connections, hopefully I'm making myself clear :).

My belief was that if I could make a standardised module, made from a 3d printed structure then other people could take the idea in a different direction if they wanted. Personally I want to produce a humanoid robot that I can then use to develop software. But I wanted to get the design and physical plans in place.

Thanks again for the response it was very informative :)

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rickharris
rickharris

Answer 3 years ago

Your welcome.