B.O.B. Bret's OmniBot


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So I am finally to a point to report some progress on my omnibot hack. I call him BOB. I decided to change his color as there are so many white ones out there. I used a flat black with silver accents.

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Looks great, bret! I hope mine turns out half as nice. I'm loving the silver accents. :)
Thanks! I'm sure yours will. Be sure and post pics as you go.
Here is one complete arm with the shoulder only motorized.
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Note how the servo is attached.
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Close up of the servo. 208oz/in torque at 6 volts. I used a plastic epoxy and screws.

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Is the servo mounted directly or are there more gears for further gear reduction?
Im just curious of what the final weight capacity the arms will have.
The servo is mounted directly. Not sure of the final weight capacity, I never really calculated that.
It should be easy to calculate. Just measure the number of inches from the pivot point to the "hand". Divide the number of inches into 208 which is your servos rating.
For example an 8 inch arm will stall at 26 ounces. At least thats how i think that works. :/
and oh yeah I believe that is when arm is horizontal to ground.
That is my understanding as well. But thanks for doing the math for me lol. Still not bad for a little omnibot. The other arm also has the same servo at the elbow, as well as a 9g mini at the wrist and on the aluminum claw. This will be a considerably larger load so I will have to see if this servo will work for the shoulder or I will need to invest a stronger one.
Nice looking work on the shoulder servo. So what is the servo horn mounted to on the arm? I thought there was a big screw holding the arms onto that side body panel.
I shortened that mounting shaft and then used a plastic epoxy to mount a servo horn to it. Then I ran a long screw threw the arm to attach it firmly to the servo.
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I love its simplicity!
I'm nothing if not simple minded...
Actually it is just a slight modification to what DJ did with his omnibot.
@bret.tallent Any updates on B.O.B? I'd love to see some video of the arm with multiple servos running. *cool*

I've finally gotten my bot disassembled and I'm still trying to decide the best way to actuate the arms vs. my skill level. BTW, once I got the arms apart I finally grasped what you were saying in the Robie Sr. thread.

I know you mentioned that DJ made the same kind of arm servo modifications to his Omnibot, but I don't remember ever seeing his Omnibot's arms move. *confused*
Yeah, he never showed that. I am finally assembling the multiple servo arm (hope to finish this weekend), then I will test it out and hopefully have some video. ;) at the very least I will take pics of the elbow and wrist joints, and how I attached the claw. Then hope it all works LOL :D Have you begun any mods yet?
@bret.tallent - That sounds good. I'm sure we'd all enjoying seeing what you've been up to with the arms and the CLAW! :D

No, I'm still in a "parts gathering" stage... went to one of the home improvement stores yesterday and looked for anything that might be useful. Very good prospects in the PVC pipe aisle. I'll have to bring a few of my bot's parts to the store next time to do some fit tests to be sure, but definitely worth the trip!
So I finally finished the work on Bob's new arm and claw. I still need to hook it up and test it out (and post a video) but Christmas is putting alittle damper on my building time. So here are some pics!
The new arm - woohoo!
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Cool Claw!
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Wrist close up! The support tube is PVC pipe epoxied onto the arm.
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*cool* Now that's a claw worthy of the name! *eek*

The claw... it... calls to me...

So here is Bob showing off some of his cool lighting. I used the original face plate and added LEDs. Also, note the servo where the ping sensor is being mounted.

And here he is sporting his new claw.

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And here is the EZ-B in the cassette tray. I have a cooling fan at the back.

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Brilliant use of keeping the faceplate and using the casette drawer for the EZ-B! That's a real sharp Omnibot
Wow! That is really looking great!
That is one sharp looking bot. I wonder if any of the original Omnibot designers have any idea about the second life these toys are getting.

I love the black and the Claw, gives him a bit of a pirate look.... I remember a bad 80's movie called Ice Pirates, they had a lot of bots in it:)

Sold my complete omni to a guy at work for $80 cause I didn't think I wanted to do one up. After seeing your bot I wish I would of kept him. Super cool.
Thanks! And I remember Ice Pirates - and the space herpes.:)
Am I right , is the torso for regs omnibot the same as omnibot 2000?
Not exactly, but very close. The bottom of the 2000s torso is taller and includes the slot for the drink tray. I also think there is a slight difference where the arms attach. But other than that, they are pretty much identical.
I ran accross another omnibot 2000 150 shipped.:) just bought on eBay , lol so I would have two motorized arms:)
Sweet! I am really jealous. You have so many and I have so few. *tired*
Hey I'm just trying to fit in with you guys. I haven't tinkered with a robot since I was 12
just a idea bret, hese arms would look awesome on your bot.
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the difference is the black one writ will twist otherwise the black and yellow one goes for 40 bucks from OWI at hobby lobby, online and ebay. it uses 5 different dc motors with worm gears so it holds position well. anyways just throwing out some ideas so you can get your omnibot reaching andd picking up things !:)
I have two of the black ones, and am considering them.
do it man !!!!! put some blue leds inside them too since that plastic is clear!
I actually already have the arms built for my omnibot but I have a 1/16 scale RC tank I was thinking of removing the turret and putting one of these arms on it. Just for a cool little grabber bot.
Oh ok cool , post pics man. I'm at a stall on my stuff , waiting on parts to get here to start mounting and such.
Hey Bret how's the Omnibot coming , we need some videos of this guy running around;)
Awesome CLAW!
Ah man, I just got a serial motor controller board from Sparkfun in the mail today. If I had known they had this CLAW, I would've ordered 2 Myself!!!:(
Oh well, pulling out the Credit Card!
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Just a thought but remember that guy is parting out robots , you could retrofit easily the 2000 arms which are bigger and more articulate , just move over the shoulder mounts you already fanned. Sorta like this....
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Ps, the eBay robot guy sells domes for 30
I def like the 2000 arms. I will post some video tonight of my arms moving. I'm still having a little trouble with wrist and claw movement/flutter. I am going to try a separate power source and just use the signal from the board and see if that clears it up.

Click To Watch Video
Good Job ! I like the different hands . J.W.:)
Bob is sooooooooooo cool. Nice job!
*cool* Wow @bret.tallent B.O.B. is looking sooooo good! I'm really impressed with the arm movement on your bot. Those are high-power servos, right?

I think you mentioned in another thread that you were thinking of stopping work on B.O.B. I really hope you decide to finish him. It's really a great looking and working bot!:D
Thanks Everyone! Work on Bob will continue...I just see so many projects I really want to do. All in good time I guess. I'm just frustrated with the servos not working correctly on the wrist and claw. I am going to tie them into the separate power supply like the HD servos and see what happens. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Have you tried different servos on those same ports ? And what about the kg/cm rating ? maybe a higher rated one would work. And thanks for posting the video !:) I've just pulled apart my Buster and working on a plan . J.W.:)
Okay, I tried a multitude of things and finally fixed the movement (see new video). I had to adjust the claw mechanism itself as it was binding up, and completely replace the wrist servo as it was just funky. Now he is right as rain.


Very Coooooolllllllllll

Did you change the type of servo in his wrist? or was it just a faulty one originally? You get some duds with those 9gm servos sometimes. I think I will go with mini 2.5kg digital mg's same as the ones I use in my 450 heli.

@RichiesRC - Thanks! servo is same type, the original was faulty. As cheap as they are not a big problem to replace. Next up is the ping sensor, head, and camera. Then on to the drive section. I think I am going to use jstarne1's suggestion of the dynamat.
I picked up some of those for cheap servos too. I think $1.99 each:) J.W.
Great that those cheap servos work ok, got me a bit worried as I just bought a heap of them.

I think the real problem was I had damaged the wiring during the install on the original one. I tested all the other ones I have and they all worked fine. When you can get a servo for a couple of bucks and it works well, that is pretty awesome!
Hey Bret how tall is.the range of view? For example if the radar is.mounted at 6 inches from floor on the.bot can.it.see.somthing 8-10th inches high?
I don't know, I haven't played with it enough yet. My battery died during the video, that's why it started moving so slow. I have to get a charger, lol. Then I can continue.
Ask the guys with more experience then me jstarne1. But from what I've been seeing playing around it's fairly narrow out at 1ft.
bret.tallent I set my increment speed to 1/2 of the minimum and maximum that way it scans left, center, right J.W.:)
Hey Bret , have you hooked up a h bridge yet? I wanna see your bot moving around! Ps I have a spare regular Omnibot drive train if you have a blown motor or stripped gears :). If I need more power on my bot I have a extra 2000 drive train I could use to power two additional wheels that are normally cheap plastic "dummy wheels" with no motor. I have the extra wheels too! :). Can we say 6 wheel drive 4 motor omnibot? ? Fyi when you.have a second drive.box and wheels you easily can add two more wheels onto your Omnibot instead of that dummy caster it has right now.
No drive section yet. I'm working on the head and camera first, then do the drive last. 6 wheel drive is sick! I think I have plenty of power for this little guy as I haven't really changed the weight much. Lost the tape drive but added servos and a claw. But I am also going to do the dynamat so that will add some weight. But not enough to drag it down. But I may play with the drive section a little this weekend.:)

Your bot looks great! You are doing some really nice work there!
Nice work area bret! really nice omni too. After seeing yours, i wish i painted mine black. I have this obsession with white - until i see something done well in black. then i regret it lol

black looks great on robots!
Black is bad for taking pictures of them though. Makes it hard to see the details . I like the way it looks though. Good Job!!:) J.W.
I love the white but.at.the.same time it would be nice for a bot to.stand.out , khudos to.Bret. maybe once bot is.running and.I'm done cutting I could go.with a candy Apple.red.iron man.scheme.
That would be cool jstarne1. A good Ironman look !:) J.W.
Thank you all. I love the support on this forum! You are all inspiring. I like the black and silver on Bob - even if it is the Oakland Raiders colors - lol But I think I will go with something different on my big bot, I'll have to wait and see what will look good on him. Not that I have anything against white, it's just there are so many of them.

I agree jstarne1 - Iron Man look, definitely!
If you wanted you could possibly use a fine tipped silver paint pen and run it inside the detail grooves. I wonder how that would turn out.
HMMMMMMMM? After I get him moving I will be doing some final touch up. I like the paint pen idea....Hmmmm?
Iron Man R2D2 paint job...would be pretty cool on ANY BOT!:)
@ Bret , no it won't look good. Get a pinstripe kit for cars , has a finetip brush and you can use quality paint options as well that won't flake off !
@RR333 - nice.
@jstarne1 - good idea
I do have some EL-wire running through some of the lines that will be lit up when he is on, but I think some detail work might be a nice finished product.
@bret. Well see man , I have the fan controller which all knobs light up Plus the system status LCD which lights up and a 4.5 inch LCD tv for a monitor. It would be cool to get a large flat top led and put it in the center of the claw to mimic iron man's repulser. A small amount of el could work.... Hmm. Any ideas of where specifically? I wouldn't mind modding to head to look similar to.iron man in the face. Any design ideas for.different face I could make (but within the same head shell? )

I just recieved 2 of those SparkFun Claws w/o servos...
Seems an Odd size...What type/size servo did You end up using?
I used a 9g mini servo. I did have to do a little filing to the opening to get it to fit though. The servo was very snug going in to the opening but then I didn't have to screw it down. It is working great!
How did you fasten it. My mini servos don't line up with. Claw mounting holes. Did you drill new ones?
Soooooo, You're saying you filed down the "box" top of the servo and wedged it in the hole?
@RR333 - I actually filed down the hole of the claw to accept my mini servo. Then I screwed a servo horn onto the claw, then attached that to the servo. I did not have to drill any new holes. I will take some pics tonight and post them so you can see what I did.
Thanx. I assumed you really meant you filed down the metal of the claw after I had posted that question....lol
Okay, made some progress this weekend. I wired in the original DC jack to charge the battery and installed a cutoff switch to the alternate powered servos. The camera is functioning well, as is the radar, head, and arms. All I have left is the drive section, and USB Joystick control.
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Handsome boy!
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Charging port:

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NICE!,,,BTW; I got my Claws all set and running:)
@RR333 excellent! I am anxious to see some pics or video!
I love to see videos. I would try making one but I work.on the bot so sporatically. I only have my phone to take videos so I'm not sure if that's usable to upload YouTube videos.
Well, dug my motor controller out of the bin and it is a stepper motor controller. So while I am waiting for a motor controller for Bob I think I will start my next bot. I have 24" Robot B9 from Lost in Space that I'm going to start hacking tonight. Hmmmmmmm...what to do first?
Have you ordered one Bret? I'm mounting ezb and motor controller and fitting up some switches to turn everything on or off. If this motor controller is fine I guess I could hook you up with the new bv from dj.
I will be posting Soon, I hope. Been very busy. Can only work on a little bit at a time right now:( But soon Those "bits and Pieces" will become a full work:)
@jstarne1 - no, I haven't ordered one yet - got to wait for payday haha.

@RR333 - can't wait to see pics! I know what you mean about taking time, I have been working on Bob since Thanksgiving!
Comone Bret , you got a motor controller and cooling fan , I wanna see Bob Chase around a cat!
That will work , dogs that small ? Have Bob take him for a walk.
I will be getting the motor controller up and running this week, then hook up my joystick and hopefully get a cool video this weekend.
Nice , I did find out your motors are mabuchi 6v
Testing out the drive section:
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And here is BOB all buttoned up and ready to go:
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Next is setting up the joystick gamepad control. After I get that figured out and working right then I will post a video of BOB chasing around my dog Peanut. This should be BOB's debut....

Thank you all on this site for your help and encouragement. But even as I finish BOB I am already working on my next bot.

hahahaha they're all sideways. Darn cameraphone
Your not using.the BV motor controller?
I'm using that on my next bot - a 2 foot version of robot b9 from lost in space. Bob has always just been a test bed so I could get ideas and work with stuff. My Robot B9 is the one I want to put a lot of work into and the best parts (like that motor controller). After reading another post I decided to try that stepper motor controller I had and it worked (it takes up 5 ports!). But I wasn't planning on adding any more to Bob so I didn't need those ports (no MP3, or sensors other than ping). The B9 that I am starting next will use a lot of ports because of all I want to do to him. I am going to use my RAD drive section on him and the controller you sold me to control it.

By the way, is that fan enough to cool that controller or should I get some kind of heat sink as well? I also noticed that DJ has taken ALL motor controllers off his website.
Okay, here is Bob's debut: I am using joystick control in this video and just playing with different things. His motion tracking is really cool and he seems to be checking out his environment. Mods: Camera, head, radar, chest lights, EL wire accents, right arm movement at shoulder, left arm movement at shoulder, elbow, wrist, and claw. So without further adieu...BOB, Bret's OmniBot!!!

B.O.B. looks great, Bret! *cool* You are truly an inspiration to all of us builders. Kudos to you on your Omnibot build. Can't wait to see the next one.

In the video, was B.O.B. attempting to dance "the robot" at one point? I noticed his claw-arm in a valiant attempt of it at one point. Also, I couldn't help but notice the lack of dog chasing... ;)

Again, great to see how far B.O.B. has come!
Awesome man. Are you gonna make him autonomously controlled?
Eventually, I will play with code and let him roam freely. For now I am having fun with the remote control on the gamepad.
Can I use a ps3 controller for this kind of thing?
I believe you can - I just got a $10 generic off ebay with dual joysticks on it - usb. It works great so far.
Oh ok so your using a ps3 type Bluetooth controller , that's great.
@ jstarne1,

I think I saw a post on this a while ago...the thread discussed hooking up a PS3 controller wired with 3rd party drivers. Just found a thread describing how to do it BT as well..... Looked pretty cumbersome....I actually think buying a wireless one off ebay might be easier;) Let me know if you find an easy PS3 controller solution......but $10 is not too bad to have a dedicated ROBOT wireless controller.


Wireless would definitely have been nice, but money talks. The USB connection to the laptop isn't bad. I had a lot of fun playing with him last night -
Easy way to get Bob to talk is add a wireless bluetooth speaker to him.
Then any PC sound comes out of BOB.
If you turn off the wireless speaker then sound comes from your regular speakers again.
Would work for B9 also.
I just paid for a 24 inch B9 from ebay.
Hope to get it soon and start modding him.
I have 2 old RAD robots, but I may use something else to drive him.
I need to finish my humanoid first.
@mcsdaver - thanks, that's a good idea. I actually bought an mp3 trigger set up for B9 and I will use it's auxillary outputs to drive the voice box lights of the B9. But the bluetooth speaker is a good idea for BOB. If you look at my thread for my B9 I used a RAD 1.0 track base for the drive section and it really zips around with a 12V battery in him. Plus I use a servo to change the gear selector for high or low gear. Do you have any progress/pics of your humanoid project? I would like to see that. I think my next hack is going to be K-9 from Dr. Who. I have a 12" RC one that does not work so is a prime candidate for EZ-B.
I am trying to build my humanoids head before showing him off.
He has a Robosapien V2 upper body with my robotic arms I had on my C3PO.
I may get back to C3PO sometime, but I want to get this robot from a story I am writing built first.
The arms have 7 servos each and the head will have 2 servos and the camera.
I am rebuilding the legs from the Robosapien to see if I can make it walk more human like and be a bit taller. I wanted to use the hands too, but they are too big for my robot.
The V2 hands have fingers as long as mine.
I have been following your Bob build and your B9. You are doing great on both robots.
I have 2 RAD robots to use for parts, but I may use something else for B9.
If I could find a good head for him I would build a much bigger B9. I have two 1/6 scale tanks.
One is in perfect shape, the other wont drive reverse anymore. Could rebuild it into a much larger B9 or a Johnny 5 robot. It couldn't handle a full scale B9. I do have wheelchair motors for large robot fun.
so, he is also sort of a Franken-Bot. Can't wait to see him.

@ MovieMaker
Yes, a franken-bot of sorts. I started a thread for mine so I wont take over Bob's build.
Pics soon.