Building Zowi, the Open Source Robot

This was a very nice week-end project: building the BQ’s Zowi Open Source Robot.

You just need a 3D printer, 4 standard servos, an Arduino and cables.

Zowi Open Source Robot

Zowi Open Source Robot

I found the source at http://diwo.bq.com/zowi-cc-by-sa/

After the build I found some suggestions:

What a mess!

What a mess!

Hardware: Not all the servos come with the hub size used in the design.

Software: You have to manage to find the ocillator library and correct some misspellings.

Assembly:

  • The BQ arduino version is very cool but is not easy to find. You can use your standard arduino uno making a bigger hole on the head shell.
  • An extra hole for the switch is important too.
  • The hardest part is to fit the head shell with all the cables. A redesign with the arduino fixed toi the chasis instead of the shell could help

Many thanks to the BQ team!

 

New joints for the animatronic robot

Wall-e is an old animatronic robot we build for entertainment and social robotics research.

It is also used as a valuable platform for students projects.

Its joints are driven by different kinds of RC servos, and sometimes the servo axle is used as the robot joint. This is a weak design point and we had to change this.

We needed a neck replacement and we found a “Servo Block” kit for Hitec servos which was perfect for our robot. It was 29€ over our budget (0€) but the MechatronicMan foundation helped again.

Servo Block was perfect for our robot neck

Servo Block was perfect for our robot neck

 

As we ran out of budget we had to design and build new shoulders.

We originally used a Lynxmotion Servo joint with poor axial bearings but it was not solid enough.

Our new design used “standard” skates ball bearings. with two parts: A 3mm width aluminium plate and a 100mm width bearing support.

The old ISEL cpm 3020 did a nice work with a 3mm single flute straight carbide bit.

20140703_135424 (1)20140703_173840 After a sandblasting the plate looks very professional! isn’t it?

20140703_183151

 

And the final assembly with the quarter scale RC servo gives a solid joint for our robot.

20140704_120804

That’s all. I just wanted to show it.

In the future I’m not using RC servos anymore unless I build a toy robot.

By the way, the joint in action were seen in last post : Animatronic at the Postgraduate Courses presentation 2015-16

Bye.

Animatronic at the Postgraduate Courses presentation 2015-16

Our animatronic robot made a new appearance after some neck and shoulder surgery.

This was the first Postgraduate Course presentation of the University of Málaga.

We had to refurbish some of the Wall-e’s old joints, but he´s a good nice robot and did his job nicely.

Some work has to be done to improve the robot’s power system and battery charge. Anyone?

Many thanks again to my postgraduate students.

 

More videos of Wall-e in this playlist:

Presented Master Thesis on Navigation for Social Mobile Robots

On July, the 15th, 2014, Antonio Martín presented its Master Thesis about Navigation for Social Mobile Robots.

antoniomartin

He developed a ROS based platform that uses a RGBD sensor for people detection. Some sonars were added for local obstacle avoidance.

ROS based mobile platform developed

ROS based mobile platform developed

The original report “Robot móvil con comportamientos sociales” can be downloaded.

Thanks, Antonio!