Introducing The Altair Ez:2 Robot

Toymaker

United Kingdom
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Introducing the ALTAIR (Affordable Latest Technology Artificially Intelligent Robot) EZ:2 Robot

The first unveiling of the EZ;2 Robot (the commercial version of the EZ:1 Robot that has been seen on this forum) - you guys are seeing the EZ:2 first!

I am proud to confirm that it will have "EZ-Robot inside" and powered by the awesome V4 - well done DJ and the EZ-Robot team for making such a great product that allows robots like the EZ:2 to be light years ahead of the competition!

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The EZ:2 will also have face and object recognition capabilities and our advanced Ai engine and will work together with the ARC software.

Because we have been waiting to design in the incredible EZ-Robot V4, we are behind on our development schedule (but it is worth waiting for) and we will now start beta testing in 2015.

I wanted the EZ:2 to look like a robot and not a humanoid and you will see this reflected in the design. I guess not everyone will like the design, but it is practical for (low cost) mass production and because of its modular build transportation costs are reduced.

Hope you all like the EZ:2.

Tony

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#1  

This looks awesome! Great job Toymaker! My robot believe it or not sort of has the same body design. I want one now!

#2  

Tony! You did a GREAT job on that. It is aesthetically pleasing.

At first I thought it was going to be a robot based on the S-100 Bus. I didn't immediately see your name. ha!ha! an appropriate name.

#4  

Wow! And I mean Wow! Those photos are amazing. Amazing work. I know we've sort of seen it kicking around the forums but, seeing it all done up and ready for the ball? Breath taking. I can't compliment it and you, enough.

#5  

That is really cool! I cant wait to see you get this off and running in peoples homes.

South Africa
#6  

Well done you did an excellent job I can't wait to see videos of it in action

PRO
Belgium
#7  

i like it except for two things.different arms&elbows. and continu smilling mouth.you cant ad emotions like sadness. what you mean whit low prize?

#8  

Absolutely fantastic! So Tony, are you bringing this to market after the 2015 testing? Any idea what it might cost? I can't believe it, but I would seriously consider buying one from you... Beats re-inventing the wheel as it will allow me to concentrate on programing instead of design and construction...

PRO
Canada
#9  

Amazing Tony! I can't wait to see EZ:2s rolling around, they look awesome!

And Thank you so much for the kind words:)

#10  

I'm in love.;) I know you once said that marketing this over seas may not be affordable. Has that changed? I would love to see this big guy scampering all over the world! I'd be very interested in buying one.

United Kingdom
#11  

Awesome work as always!

I guess I need to start saving up for one of these!

United Kingdom
#12  

Thanks everyone for the kind words

The EZ:2 modular body (4 sections) means that it is possible to have 2 sizes, here is the 3 section smaller version.

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Transportation and packaging is still a major problem in these units being sold into the Worldwide Robotics hobbyist market, Hobbyist's are not going to want to pay the several hundred Dollars that a full EZ;2 robot is going to cost to ship. Imagine the packaging required (wood crate etc) for a 4 foot robot, that needs to get to the customer in one piece! If later on we can get overseas dealers then that could help a lot, I have spoken to DJ on this before and there are a few possibilities.

The main first markets for the EZ:2 Robots is in Education i.e. Universities and Schools, I am not ruling out hobbyist's this may follow if we can find ways of shipping efficiently.

Tony

#13  

WOW! That really is impressive! How did you get those panels done?

#14  

Tony, I have admired your great work since 4/1/2013. What a perfect combination EZB4 and EZ Robot 2 ALTAIR. It is SO ADVANCED! I sure hope something can be worked out on shipping. Keep up the great work on my favorite robot. Thank you for updates. Steve S

United Kingdom
#15  

@Troy, we fortunately have a brilliant modelmaker on the team.

Thanks Steve, glad you like the EZ:2.

Tony

#16  

Tony.. I do hope you will at least consider letting the average guy like me buy one... As crazy as it sounds I would be willing to pay the heavy shipping cost for one of your EZ:2s... And yes I do understand why it would/will be so expensive to ship across the pond... like I said buying one of your EZ:2s actually saves me more than you think... not having to reinvent the wheel in all...

Cheers Richard

Canada
#17  

Hey Tony! Glad to see the EZ-B v4 arrived safe and sound and is ready for that wicked EZ:2 We will be keeping a close eye on your work:)

#18  

Tony, What a fantastic robot! You had me interested in all it's features before but now it's a great looker as well!

I have an Emiglio, waiting for it's EZB,I was thinking I would change it's head, but the kids won't let me because its got a goofy smile. They love the EZ2 too! Family acceptance will make it much easier to sell.

Put me down for one! Beta tester or whatever!

Great job...

Ps. Any videos?

Ireland
#19  

Tony Thats amazing ,well done ,very futureistic You are right on focusing on the educational market initially ,it has been proven that pupils interact much more with a robot than their teacher in trials carried out in South Korea. I think whenever you have your official launch you better have one available for everyone in the audience.Best of luck.Can only imagine what's under EZ:2 covers

Pat

United Kingdom
#20  

@zackarybay, thanks for the comments, no video's yet as most of the EZ:2 tech is still being tested on the EZ:1 robot development platform (the AIMEC body version).

Thanks Pat for the kind words.

Tony

United Kingdom
#21  

Further to my other threads on the Kangaroo, I though some of you might be interested in the slave locomotion PIC processor (to the V4) and its teach pendant. These "overseer" processors are very useful as they take a lot of the robots mundane tasks away from the V4 so it can do more important things.

Thanks to the Kangaroo/Sabertooth setup the locomotion system moves incredibly accurately and in a straight line, this is pretty cool as it means that the robot can be taught to move from place to place (room to room etc) in predefined routines that the V4 can call. For example "charging pod to kitchen" or "charging pod to hall" etc, with this type of system you have to start at a known place and the Charging pod is good for this as it is the EZ:2 Robots little home base. For this to work you need some serious odometry and thats were the motor encoders and Kangaroo come in, with 63500 pulses per wheel revolution you can see why its pretty accurate!

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In the above picture you can see the wireless teach pendant, due to the high accuracy required the PIC commands the Kangaroo to do the highly accurate turns (like 45 degrees right etc) from a single key press from the user/teacher, the joystick is there for just moving the robot around and not for teaching new journey routes. Journey routes/paths are all held in EEPROM (the 8pin IC next to the PIC), hundreds of routes can be stored here.

Tony

United Kingdom
#22  

I'm always surprised when I read how many pulses per rotation those encoders are. Correct me if I am wrong (and this isn't an area I have looked in to much yet) but aren't encoders usually between 100 and 1000 (give or take a bit, I remembered it easier by rounding up/down).

Basically, it's accurate to something like 0.006 of a degree?

#23  

Great job tony , I'm interested about the encoders for sure. With my robots I'm playing with steppers to move in increments and a gearbox on the stepper to increase torque if needed. Can you tell me what kind of encoder you are using?

#24  

As ALWAYS ... very impressed with your work!

I too am a believer that slave pics should be employed for certain task, as to free up the EZB and computer from getting bogged down with routines.

Do you ever have plans to post the pic circuit and Hex or is this something that you feel must stay private for the Atair EZ2?

#25  

I so want one ! Id definitely pay the high cost for shipping to get one here. I look forward to seeing it in the market next year!

United Kingdom
#26  

Rich, its quite common to have encoders of this resolution, here is the spec for the motor/encoder that I use you will see the "Encoder Pulses per Revolution = 63500" at the bottom

www.zagrosrobotics.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=639

@Josh, here is the encoder datasheet

www.zagrosrobotics.com/files/heds55xx.pdf

@Herr Ball, yes the slave pics are very useful all the V4 has to do is send a command to the locomotion PIC such as "go to the Dining room" and then the job gets done with the PIC reporting back to the V4 when it gets to the target location. The (very sensitive) lower ultrasonic sense array seen below is also connected to the locomotion PIC so if an obstacle is found in one of the route paths then the V4 gets flagged to make a decision of what to do next.

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Tony

#27  

@Tony, This is amazing to me. I hope some day to be able to use your drive system in my full size B9. I can see him now moveing from Pinball machine to Pinball machine in my game room reaching out and wanting to play and makeing snide comments. I still say you should offer this as a kit that can be assembled at home and sold in parts. It would be simper and more afffordable to sell and ship world wide. A person could buy it in different sections over a peroid of time and others that just want to put your arms and drive sections on their robots could do so. Heck, I'd get a whole bot and a few extra parts.

@All, I'm useing these encoders in my B9 for the hips and waist. I also plan to get one installed in the radar section sometime soon. They are amazing and so simple to use and ind install. I bought the motor with the encoder attached Tony points to (Mine was the faster geared version) and a stand alone encoder. I mounted the stand alone one to a shaft of a DC motor and it works great. I was amazed how smooth and exact it makes my motor in combo with the Kangaroo X2. I had to get used to the large numbers returned by the Kangaroo from encoder for position poisition and speed. Position was from 0 to 32000 between my limit switches and 0 to 22000 for speed. They come in indexed type for super high accuracy and unindexed types if you just need to get within a fraction. You dont have to be too critical with centering on the motor with the unindexed type (that's the one I bought).

Hope I'm not taking away from @Tony's excelent topic but you guys seem interesetd. Here's a couple pics of the motor I have installed and the stand alone encoder:

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#28  

Hey tony, I noticed some "button" type sensors around the bottom from. By any chance are those ultrasonic sensors like on a cadillac? If they are where are the from and did you have to make a custom ping generator / receiver circuit for them? If they are distance sensors that is a very cool yet subtle touch.:)

Thanks for the specs link by the way.

United Kingdom
#29  

What an amazingly visually stunning robot, I am relatively new to robotics and like many of you am waiting for my v4 to awaken my robot "TRAKX". You guys are such an inspiration to me and each time I come on the forum I learn so much.

Thanks guys:)

United Kingdom
#30  

Josh, you are right these 4 round items are ultrasonic transducers from a very low cost Car reverse parking system.

Unbelievably for under £10 you can get a complete 4 transducer (4 sense zones) system (they even supply the hole saw)! Here is one on ebay but there are many

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Parking-Sensors-LED-Display-Car-Reverse-Backup-Radar-System-Sound-Remind-BL-UK-/141243942520?pt=UK_In_Car_Technology&hash=item20e2cb8678

The system is so good that it can detect and give the distance of a vertical piece of 20mm plastic conduit in any of 4 zones (very accurately) to a distance of up to 1.6m (the earlier photo in this thread shows this).

How it works is like this, the whole package is for a retrofit car reversing system, each of the 4 sensors are two way (send and receive) and they are connected to a small control box. From the control box there is a serial connection to an LED display and buzzer that fits on the cars dash. This serial link is bit-bang, so I needed to reverse engineer it and produce a PIC to decode it. This dedicated PIC can make decisions about the readings like emergency stop, display the reading results (as you see in the photo) and also communicate with the locomotion PIC and V4 via a serial or I2C link.

If there is enough interest, I will do another thread on the hack

Tony

#31  

Yes Tony, that would be awesome!... I am going to pick one of those backup warning systems off of eBay... Maybe I can adapt your PIC code for the transducers to use with the Arduino (which I am getting quite proficient at using now)... Then interface with the EZB....

Ireland
#32  

Tony Thats a yes from me too please re reversing radar interface to I2C link

added one recently to my robot but need to interface it to EZB

Thanks in advance Pat

#34  

Oh yea tony , this is a epic distance sensor hack. I would really appreciate a "how to" on this retrofit 4 zone distance sensor. I imagine it would be useful for most robots

United Kingdom
#35  

Here is an internal view of the ultrasonic array in the EZ:1 robots leg section.

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You will notice the metallic tape that is wound round in the leg section this is an electromagnetic sensor system that senses anything (human, animal even furniture etc) approaching the robot at 360 degrees, its a very neat sensor.

So the front ultrasonic sensor array gives a very accurate detect (4 zones) of the front of the robot and the electromagnetic sensor gives a coarse detect of the complete surroundings of the robot (all directions).

I used one small 14pin PIC 16F1823 as the dedicated microcontroller interface for both sensors here.

You guys will have to bear with me on doing the hack thread, as I am up to my eyes in work currently on my new Cube World NG (Next Generation) toy range. I will get round to it as soon as I can.

Tony

#36  

Most of us aren't going anywhere @Tony. We'll be here when you're ready and able. Looking forward to seeing your Cube World roll out. Any idea on a timeline when we may be seeing that hit the market?

United Kingdom
#37  

Thanks Dave! With Cube World NG we are currently looking for a major Toy company to run with it, so we have not gone to license yet, but hoping to soon.

I was thinking about you liking pinball machines etc so you may be interested in our Arcadie product (for the iPod, iPhone etc) here is the original sizzle that we made.

We have also done one for the mini iPad

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Tony

#38  

Now that's cool! It kinda makes the long hours I put into making my full sized MAME arcade game moot and the big dinosaur of a game obsolete. However my version does have over 65K classic and newer vid games loaded. You can see it here next to my B9 robot in this pic:

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Does your App come in Android version also? If not I may just have to switch over the the Apple when my contract up up soon or just go out and get an iPad. The iPhone and pad has so many cool things going for it. :)

#39  

Dear Tony

Great robot!

I would love to hear about the possibility of using the car sensors within a robot. That sounds so useful. I'd therefore like to add enthusiasm for a thread on this issue.

Cheers

Chris

United Kingdom
#40  

Here is a view of the PICs LCD display when a wide object is 0.5m in front of the robot (all 4 zones are detecting the object).

The SENSE FIELD is the electromagnetic detector display.

As there are not too many of you guys interested, I will probably do a custom PIC for interfacing with the V4 and send out to you the pre-programmed chip, this would save you from buying PIC programmers to program just one PIC. It will be simple to use just a 14pin DIL package (internal oscillator) so no crystal or SAW resonator required that can be inserted in a soldered IC socket on a small piece of stripboard.

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Tony

#41  

Tony, I am also very interested in the ultrasonic array sensor hack and would like to get one of the PIC chips you mentioned.

Rex

#42  

I would absolutely be interested in buying that. :)

United Kingdom
#45  

I would love to hear more about the electromagnetic sensor and how it detects the location of the approaching object and to what range it can "see" too. Could you post a how to perhaps, not that I want too add more to your work load :-)

#46  

Count me in! Although I might need a little more help ..

United Kingdom
#47  

@mgodsell1973, As I understand the principles, I started out by designing my own electromagnetic sensor system, but then I came across a cheap ready built one in the form of another car reversing system (no holes no drill) so decided to use that. Its very course detection (only 3 distances far, mid and near), but it does work well on my robots for 360 degree detection. Note this system only detects when an object is moving either towards the robot or the robot is moving towards a fixed stationary object, so if the robots stops and the detected object is stationary detection will then be lost unlike the ultrasonic system which would continue to detect the object and its range.

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Electromagnetic-Auto-Car-LED-Parking-Reverse-Backup-Radar-Sensor-Reversing-/321202076987?pt=UK_In_Car_Technology&hash=item4ac922bd3b

I have hacked this piece of kit as well, it was quite easy as it has a much simpler display interface compared to the ultrasonic car reversing system.

Here is a video of a system being installed and working in a car, no transducers so no drilling holes thanks to the self adhesive strip sensor that goes on the inside of the bumper.

The system makes a great secondary detection system that can detect 360 degrees completely all around the entire robot, so no more sneaking up from behind it will detect you from any angle!

Tony

United Kingdom
#48  

Here is a close up of the EZ:2 Robots teach pendant in its ruggedised case.

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This is why I really like the Kangaroo and motors with high-resolution encoders where you can build a robot locomotion system that moves so precisely that you cannot rely just on a joystick to give the precision (teach) moves and turns. Individual push switches over 180 degree ARC allow these precise maneuvers to be made and learnt by the system. This way whole paths and routes from one place to another can be pre-learnt and then reused.

Tony

#49  

I have not actually used the sensor I'm about to mention here but car alarms often use a three wire device referred to as a " microwave sensor" or sometimes shock sensor. The detect movement 360 degrees through the windows . Maybe one of those modules can be used to sense the proximity of a person or animal to the robot... like the sixth sense that makes you paranoid when someone stairs at you .:)

@tony totally not trying to hijack you thread , I just figured you could weight you opinion in in the general use of a microwave proximity sensor.

#50  

Tony, There is alot of interest in your ideas and inventions. Sure like the Teach pendant. Altair EZ 2 is something I think is so advanced. Thanks for sharing, Steve S

United Kingdom
#51  

Thanks @toymaker

This will be something I will definitely look at adding to a future project.

Keep up the great work

:-)

United Kingdom
#52  

Thanks for the kind words guys!

Josh, microwave are great sensors, if fact in the nineties when I was a design engineer for one of the largest vehicle security companies in Europe, I was on the team that designed one of the first vehicle microwave sensors. In those days we used a Gunn diode en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunn_diode

With a dual zone sensor you will get 2 sense (distance) zones, here is a typical unit

www.in-car-stuff.com/shop/falcon-dual-zone-microwave-radar-proximity-sensor-for-car-alarms-p-44.html

Microwave sensors (like the electromagnetic sensor) are sensitive to movement of mass, so will not detect stationary objects unless the sensor is moving itself (on the robot).

The electromagnet sensor that I use is a bit more accurate and gives you 3 or more sense zones

Tony

#53  

Tony, Just checking for any updates. I luv the look of the EZ Altair robot. Steve S

#54  

@Tony, Your creation is beautiful.

But, I want to know why did everyone laugh at me when I suggested using a car microwave detector. ? It seems to work.

I am confused.

United Kingdom
#55  

Steve, work is progressing with the EZ:1 and EZ:2 robots, I am just developed an "emotion" chip that will be very useful in human interactions. The chip is currently going in the EZ:1 (development) robot which has a whole new head and also now has 3 interlinked PIC microcontrollers. The EZ:1 is now being converted over to the V4. Thanks for your interest, I will post videos when the work is completed.

Mel, I do not know why people laughed at you about the microwave sensor as they could be quite useful on a robot. They cannot really be used for ranging like ultrasonics of IR allso they only detect movement and not passive objects, but as (moving) human/animal proximity detector they should work quite well.

Tony

United Kingdom
#56  

Mel, you said you wanted to use them for navigation when you asked about them. You were told that they couldn't be used for navigation which is correct to a degree, it would need more. I am sure all of this was explained, in fact I am sure Tony referred you to this topic.

#57  

Tony, An emotion chip! This is getting like Star Trek, Lt. Commander Data type stuff. Cybernetics Dr. (Tony) Soong. So much to look forward to, EZ Robot and Altair EZ:2 Robot. Luv it! Steve S

#58  

@Rich, that is right. I remember now. Thanks for reminding me. Motion ONLY not navigation.

OK, while we are on the subject. If your robot is moving, it should detect objects and people in front of you according to what was just said. So, if it is running into anything, it should know that it is. Just a thought.

And maybe we can use the electromagnetic sensor instead. Same type of operation. But, wait, they would not detect you if you were not metal. So microwave all the way.

United Kingdom
#59  

Mel, the electromagnetic sensor that I use will detect anything wood, metal, people and animals etc. Its used as a car reversing sensor so it has to detect everything. It also has 3 sense zones so you get 3 distance indications.

Tony

#60  

Toymaker, Just checking to see if you are still on the forum Tony? Love your work. Thank you, Steve S

#61  

Yah, we miss your genius work.

Sorry to hear about the loss in your family. Hope you all are doing well.

Dave Schulpius

United Kingdom
#62  

Steve S, I am still around, its just that I have had some personal tragedies follow one after another over the last few months and it rather took the wind out of my sail. Dave thanks for the kind words.

I am getting back to the EZ:1 (dev platform) and EZ:2 (commercial) robots development with a new head and arm design. Here is the new MD-5DOFr arm (medium duty with 5 degrees of freedom right arm). I am now using miniature linear actuators for the elbow joint which work great.

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I was not happy with the older version of this arm (seen in the object recognition video below) as it had too much play. I am still using the Bosch motors for the shoulder as they deliver all the torque I need at very low current consumption.

#63  

Hey Tony, welcome back... the redesigned arm is looking really good... If you don't mind me asking what model of Firgelli actuator are you using?

#64  

Welcome back Tony, Wishing you the best. Steve S

#65  

Hi @RichardR, Looks like Firgelli has two styles of actuator that may work for small to medium load. Their L12 and L16 series. Sounds like the L16 moves pretty quickly and id the strongest. If you want larger Firgelli actuator's they have a sister company that will provide them. They have one for the Lego Mindstorm and other types of motor.

www.firgelli.com/products.php

Here's the specs:


L-12:
Stroke: 10mm (-S and -P only), 30mm, 50mm, 100mm
Maximum Force: 12-45N

No-Load Speed: 5-23mm/s

Voltage: 6V, or 12V (-R option is 6v only)

Control Options: Limits Switches(-S), Linear Feedback(-P), RC Servo(-R), Integrated Controller(-I)

Pricing: $70 per unit for limit switches(-S) or RC Servo(-R). Linear feedback(-P) $80 per unit. $90 per unit for integrated controller(-I). $10 per unit discount for quantities of 10+.


L16:
Stroke: 50mm, 100mm or 140mm
Maximum Force: 50-175N

No-Load Speed: 8-32mm/s

Voltage: 12VDC

Control Options: RC servo(-R), Limit Switches(-S), Linear Feedback(-P)

Or you can also use the L16-P as linear servo by purchasing an LAC board.

Pricing: $70 per unit for limit switches(-S) or RC servo(-R), $80 for linear feedback(-P).

www.firgelli.com/products.php

United Kingdom
#67  

Richard R, the linear actuator I am using is the Firgelli L16-150-12-P which is surprisingly powerful. I need the P (linear feedback) version as I want max torque so 12V is important also I want to use my own Smart servo PIC and board (which has current sensing which is important with any worm gearing drives like these).

Here is a jpeg showing the Smart servo board controlling the linear actuator on the elbow. You can also see the miniature Sharp IR ranger on the claw which detects any object close to the claw tips.

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Ireland
#68  

Great to see you back Tony and sharing your robot building experience with all on the forum again ,missed your contributions in the recent past ,very detailed as always. Pat

#69  

Sweet Tony. I'm so jealous. That's a Sweet arm! I wish I had your skills.

I spent the day today going through the Kangaroo x2 ramping script you wrote and just couldn't wrap my head around most of it. I did get the motor to move at different speeds and stop at certain positions but couldn't figure out how to get the control and ramping effect I'm needing.

The guys over at DE sent me a copy of a Bata version for both their new hard code for the Kangaroo and the DeScribe software that gives the Kangaroo Accerallition control in position mode. It works pretty good but not as well as I would have liked. I think the issue is my heavy Asymmetrical load it's trying to adjust for. I don't think the Kangaroo is good with auto Tuning these types of load. I had to do a bunch of tweaking to the auto tune settings before I was happy with them.

#70  

Tony, I hope you don't mind me tooting your horn here. However i was blown away when I watched this YouTube news cast about your work and how your known world wide and respected in your community at home. I think our friends here would really enjoy it also.

Did you make that Star Trek Transporter shown in this vid? I've had one sitting on the shelf in my office for a couple years now. You do Very cool work. I'm proud to know you!:) cool cool

United Kingdom
#71  

Dave, thanks for the kind words! the interview is quite old now, we have done quite a few more toy, game and gift products since, and are now just signing off our sixty-first licence (in fourteen years).

My favorite TV interview is with the BBC, this also explains how we inventors get paid in royalties. I get very nervous doing TV interviews as you can tell in the video, here it is.

PRO
Belgium
#72  

tony

great video.is this cube still on sale?

for the nervous feeling ,go to optition .seeing and talking at the same time, cost alot oxigen.

#73  

BOOM! I'm blown away again! Thanks for showing that to us.

United Kingdom
#74  

Pat, thanks for the kind words.

Nomad Cube World finished in 2009 after series 5 but they are probably still available on ebay.

Dave, I saw the fantastic job you have done on your B9 arm, well done superb engineering there!

Here is the MD-5DOFr arm on its test rig ready for first trials before installing on the EZ:1 development robot. I will put a video up at some point.

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PRO
Belgium
#75  

toymaker

thanks for the tip.

#76  

Very nice looking arm Tony. I'm really looking forward to seeing the vid. I like the change you made by adding the linear actuator.

United Kingdom
#77  

I am starting back now on the ALTAIR EZ:2 robot development (this is the commercial version of the EZ:1 development robot).

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The jpeg above shows the modular body elements.

Tony

#78  

It's looking really great Tony. Glad to see you working on this again. It is very impressive. I like the 4 section version the best.

United Kingdom
#80  

Thanks Rex and Dave, you guys help to keep me going on with the project!

Tony

#81  

@Tony... Few people have your skills.... quitting is not an option... The only sad part is (as you mentioned) we in North American can't get one of your bots....

United Kingdom
#82  

Thanks, Richard!

Here is a close up of the EZ:2 head, I have just produced some 8x8 LED matrix eyes that are now on the EZ:1robot and will later be added to the EZ:2. The eyes currently have over 40 animations and can display a lot of emotions.

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Tony

#83  

Holy Crap! Happy, happy, happy.

Stunning and cutting edge. You just keep raising the bar.

With such sweet and smooth lines already the neck looks bare. Are you planning to add some sort of boot to cover the neck pan and tilt brackets?

#85  

I keep telling Tony... I would pay the money for him to ship that bot to Canada.... The EZ:2 is a much more advanced and durable version of the inMoov.... Hands down the best design I have seen on here.... or anywhere for that matter...

United Kingdom
#86  

Dave, yes I am looking at the rubber boots for cars to cover the pan and tilt something like your B9 neck rubber.

Thanks @zackarybay

Richard, thanks again for those kind words, as we have moulds (plugs) for the EZ:2 robot body parts it is possible to make more. Hopefully when its all finished, I will be able to send some parts over to some of my friends on the forum like yourself who want them. My main thrust for the EZ:1 and EZ:2 robots now is the education sectors, I would like to see the EZ:2 robot going into schools and universities.

Tony

#87  

@Tony wow! That's great I would be all over that idea...

Cheers

#88  

Tony, I am so glad to see your ALTAIR activity here again. Love it! Steve S

United Kingdom
#89  

Thanks Steve!

Here is a Robo-Buddy picture with ALTAIR EZ:2 and Dewey.

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Tony

#90  

Lol, I thought he was setting down an adult beverage on top of Dewey at first.

#91  

Tony, As always, you have done a really fine job on this. I especially like the head and eyes, and the Elegant sleek design.

Mel

#93  

Tony, I am a big fan of the Dewy robot from the movie Silent Running. That is really awesome.

#94  

There is a place somewhere where they have the complete plans for the three robots and plans on how to make them.

United Kingdom
#95  

Here is a quick and rough video of the NEW EZ:1 development robot head with LED matrix eyes, this is the first EZ:1 head that I am completely happy with!

Tony

#96  

Tony, That IS SO COOL! Nice work. I really feel honored your sharing this with us.

#98  

LOL

I am using the same LED matrix for my robot eyes too. I am running them off a Arduino and when needed to do something particular the EZB will send a command to it. It works pretty good that way and leaves the EZB to do other things.

As always, your work is extraordinary!

United Kingdom
#99  

@Herr Ball, I am WAY too old for the Arduino, I have been programming PIC microcontrollers for over 20 years and can code most things pretty quickly.

In the new head there are 3 x PIC18F14K50 PIC microcontrollers that all do their own things and link together in a network. One is the master (head) PIC and this communicates with the EZB v4 and is the boss controller (in the head). Another is the head sensor controller that handles all the sensory data and only send data back if it has been requested or if it looks important. The third PIC is the emotion and animation controller that handles the way the matrix eyes, eye surrounds, mouth and side lobes work.

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So the head is smart in its own right and the EZB v4 can just send simple instructions to the head and very complex things get done with low processing overhead on the EZB v4. This is similar to what you are doing.

Tony

#100  

Tony, I have to say that this is awesome. Thanks for sharing. I love the eyes.

#101  

I love the look of your new robots.

United Kingdom
#102  

Thanks David and mcsdaver your work is pretty awesome too!

Tony

#103  

@Tony Glad you like my robot. I hope to get him strong enough to walk. I am waiting on my V4 boards before I add any leg movement to my robot. Hopefully with more servos and power he will be stronger. Mine might need a removable tablet on his back so he can play more games with kids. I am sure your robots will be successful. You have created a very smart and cool looking robot with smooth movements. Looks like everyone here wants one now.

David

United Kingdom
#104  

Thanks David.

Here is a close up of the new EZ:1 head showing sensors etc.

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Head sensors from the top are

EZB v4 camera 8 pixel thermal imager LDR (light level sensing) Long range Sharp IR ranger Left and right ear lobes have 5m Panasonic PIR sensors

The thermal imager and IR ranger can detect and track (with distance) the heat from a face in front of it this is processed in the sensory PIC microcontroller.

The LDR just checks ambient light but for a bit of fun the eye pupils dilate with the ambient light level just like animal eyes.

The left and right PIR lobes are constantly monitoring the left and right sides for human activity - by monitoring the output patterns of the PIR, they can even tell which side has the most humans on, which would be the side of most interest.

Tony

#105  

Tony, Thanks for the update. You have so much to offer. "EZB4 camera, 8 pixel thermal imager LDR (light level sensing) Long range Sharp IR ranger Left and right ear lobes have 5m Panasonic PIR sensors

The thermal imager and IR ranger can detect and track (with distance) the heat from a face in front of it this is processed in the sensory PIC microcontroller." Toymaker, your work is something I want! You have spent many resources working on a EZB ROBOT! I love it! Thank you, Steve S

United Kingdom
#106  

Thanks Steve S for your kind words, I appreciate it!

Tony

#107  

Tony that is outstanding work! More videos! The eyes remind me of the robot on the animated movie called "Treasure Planet"

United Kingdom
#108  

Thanks Rex!

The ALTAIR EZ:2 now has the LED matrix eyes!

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Tony

#109  

EZ:2 is such a great looking robot! I hope they will be sold in the USA! Great work Tony!

#110  

Could you post the source for getting the rectangular leds for the mouth on the EZ1and the led matrix for the eyes on EZ2 robots ?

United Kingdom
#111  

Thanks David for the kind words.

@rb550f, The eyes and mouth are controlled via a dedicated PIC microcontroller that is one of three in a network in the head (see post 100). The "boss" PIC in the head does all the communicating with the EZB v4. So the source is the firmware in these PICs, but would be no of use unless you had the same hardware.

I believe that DJ is doing a new control that will allow the use of the 8 x 8 LED matrix breakout boards via ARC - this will let you do something similar in ARC.

The mouth is quite simple with one (PIC) output used for "smile" and another used for "frown" the mouth has an op-amp circuit that I designed to synchronise the mouth LEDs with the speech.

Tony

United Kingdom
#112  

A complete bodied ALTAIR EZ:1 development robot in the lab just about to receive its EZ-B v4 gear - the gear-tray is to the right of the EZ:1.

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Tony

#113  

@Tony... Just tell me where to send my PayPal payment...LOL:D I absolutely love your bot.... I think I am getting drool all over my keyboard...:D

PRO
Belgium
#114  

would love to see him in action.(ez1)

United Kingdom
#116  

Here are the new ALTAIR mark3 claws - these are 12v with a worm driven precision planetary motor. They are very quiet and have a really strong grip easily grasping a 500ml can of drink, they can also pick up and hold things of various sizes including paper etc.

The claws use our Smart servo board and thanks to the motor current sense circuit they have a programmable grip that goes from light grip (holding an egg etc) to medium grip through to full power grip. The grip value is sent from the EZB-v4 via the PWM value.

The claw's object detector is a micro Sharp optical ranger whose distance sensing is 100mm which just extends past the claw tips.

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Tony

United Kingdom
#117  

Sounds impressive and thought out (I wouldn't expect any less though)! Looking forward to see some demo videos of this claw.

#118  

@Tony... Great job as usual ! I like them a lot. How are the linear actuators at the elbows working out? Can you provide a link to the part number?

United Kingdom
#119  

Rich, I am currently working on the ALTAIR head microprocessor network when this is complete I put up some videos of the new robot.

Rex, the linear actuators are the Firgelli L16 series here is the spec

http://www.active-robots.com/actuator-l16-140-150-12-p

I am running them at 18v and they work really well for me.

Tony

#120  

Thanks for the update Tony, I am sure the developments of the microprocessor and the ALTAIR will be great. I like how you bring everything together. I think you are the most advanced creative robotic builder on this forum! Thanks for sharing development of the ALTAIR EZ Robot. Steve S

United Kingdom
#121  

Thanks Steve, you make pretty awesome robots yourself!

Tony

#122  

Wow Tony. I'm sitting here shaking my head in wonder. Your little guy is getting more advanced with each rebuild. I love your dedication to making it better and better.

I'm really disappointed we couldn't meet up a few weeks ago when we were within driving distance of each other on vacation. I would have really enjoyed our conversations and the Rum. I think I would have overwhelmed you with questions and admiration (at least until the Rum kicked in).:P

United Kingdom
#123  

Dave, yes it was a pity we could not meet up in Jamaica this was our first visit to the Country and we really enjoyed it! I did not have much Rum, but I did drink a lot of Jamaican Smile cocktails!

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Tony

#124  

@Tony..... Hmmm.... rough life you robot creators have...:P

United Kingdom
#125  

Rex, here is how I use the L16 linear actuators - as my main servo power supply is 12v (for the Bosch servos), I boost the linear actuators power up from 12v to 18v in the elbow electronics compartment seen below. These step-up converters from ebay are great and only cost a couple of pounds, but I did need to add a heatsink to the surface mount IC. At 18v the actuator runs at quite a nice speed where it is a bit on the slow side at 12v. The linear actuator's pot connects to the Smart servo board for position feedback.

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Tony

United Kingdom
#126  

@Tony.

ALTAIR is looking fantastic my friend. The effort you put in to your work really does show and your an inspiration to us all. Once you finalise what you need to do, like others have already said, I really look forward to seeing his guy in action.

Truly Stella work.:)

United Kingdom
#127  

Thanks Steve G for the kind words - its appreciated!

Tony

#128  

Holy JamaicaMan! Tony, you have done a GREAT Job. No surprise.

Mel

#129  

Thanks Tony for replying about the linear actuators.... Are they plenty strong for the elbow joints? Would love to see some video of the arms in action lifting stuff...:)

United Kingdom
#130  

@Tony.

I had a bit of spare time today reading through past forum threads and came across this one again, and just spent the past hour reading through it once again, and then thought your website. The more I read about your work, the more I am inspired by what you do, and also keep thinking, "I REALLY want one of these".:)

So I have a few questions I want to put to you if that's okay...

1.) How far along are you currently in for development and testing for the EZ:2?

2.) Do you have an estimated or target completion and release date in mind?

3.) Once completed, what kind of price range would you be look at for a complete unit?

4.) I read that you are aiming to sell the EZ:2 to education establishments which is a wonderful thing, but would you consider selling to individuals such as myself? (for shipping issues, I live on the Surrey/South London border. You can email me about this if you prefer. My address is in my profile).

I hope you don't mind me asking and I would be grateful for any information you can offer. I love what you have done with the ALTAIR series, and if all is well with what I have asked I would love to own my very own EZ:2 unit if it were at all possible. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and I would be very grateful indeed.

Anyway, keep up the fantastic and inspiring work Tony.

Steve.

United Kingdom
#131  

Hi Steve

All the current development work is on the ALTAIR EZ:1 (with the AIMEC body) once all this is fully developed then it will be ported over to the EZ:2 - so the EZ:1 is the development platform and the EZ:2 will be the commercial offering.

I have recently done a lot of work on new parts/functions on the ALTAIR robots - but have held off showing stuff in dribs and drabs - but soon will show a big launch of new exciting features all in one go.

The completion targets have all got put back as I have had a very bad year and tragically lost a number of very close people - this put me in a downward spiral which I am just recovering from. But I am back with more determination than ever! In fact it is the robotics work that keeps me going.

Where are you, I am based in Crowborough just outside the Ashdown Forest?

Tony

United Kingdom
#132  

@Tony.

Thanks for the quick response. Yeah, I did read about you loss earlier in the thread. Truly very sorry to hear about that. Well I look forward to the launch, sounds exciting so I'll keep be keeping watch. I know Crowbourough fairly well as I used to drive through there using the Uckfield Road quite offen. I live in the Croydon area so I'm not a million miles away from yourself.

United Kingdom
#133  

Steve, I have had 3 major loses now in a row, the last recent loss my Mum was brought on by very very bad mistreatment (and medical errors) at St Helier hospital Carshalton that you probably know of.

We used to live in Thornton Heath and I was born in Mitcham so Croydon is my old stomping ground - lets meet up at some point? I will email you with my contact details.

Tony

United Kingdom
#134  

Wow, you have indeed been hit hard. Again I am sorry to hear of you losses. I feel for you buddy, but fair play to you for pushing through and it's good to hear that robotics is helping you through. I'm currently going through something myself where I had to give up work recently to care for my mother full time now due to a devastating diagnosis. (Yes I know Helier and George's very well indeed).

Anyway, lol, what a small world. Mitcham you say... that's exactly where I am (not far from a certain pond you might know). I say Mitcham and people often say "Where?", so I say Croydon or Wimbledon now and people go "ah yes, I know it.". It just makes things easier:P.

Yes it would be great to hook up at some point so we'll defiantly have to arrange something. Sure, send me an email and we'll arrange something sometime. I look forward to that.:)

United Kingdom
#135  

This is for Steve G (who likes Dewey) - My Drone 01 is back in the garden!

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I guess you will be meeting him soon in the flesh (or should I say fiberglass).

Tony

United Kingdom
#136  

LOL, that's great. Thanks for that Tony.:D

Brilliant.

#137  

@Tony

I'm looking for candidate 'bot heads to serve as user (student) interfaces with my remedial math tutorial system. It looks like Alan's availability will depend on the Indiegogo results and would not likely to occur until February or thereabouts. I bet the Ez:2 head would work well as an interface for students at all levels, from middle school through college/university.

I would need a design that supports these minimal requirements:

SPECS: EZ-B v4 based Must support devices needed for Face recognition (digital camera), Voice recognition (microphone), Handwriting recognition (digital camera), Voice synthesization (speaker) Neck must have two degrees of freedom

I'm sure that your Ez:2 design does all that and more, right?

If so, in a few weeks, I'd like to talk about purchasing a head so that I can evaluate its fit with my project. Right now, I'm using a JD head for prototyping but am not sure that it will be the "go to" head for the final project.

Ron

United Kingdom
#138  

Hi Ron, The ALTAIR heads are designed to be part of a complete full robot and not meant to work on their own, so they are not the right thing for your application. I know you will have to wait a bit, but Will's ALAN looks to be a great robotic head platform to work with. Wishing you all the best with your project, it sounds exciting.

Tony

United Kingdom
#140  

The ALTAIR robots now have in-built high accuracy Face recognition/Gesture/Emotion/Gender/Age estimation detection.

Tony

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#142  

Man, that's a lot of magic packed into a little head. I'd love to see this wonder movie around in person. Thanks for sharing this with us Tony! Good to hear from you again.

#143  

Awesome work Tony! I would still love to have one of your robots!;)

United Kingdom
#144  

Thanks David C, Dave S, Steve, I am still around!

Tony

PRO
USA
#145  

@Tonymaker:

Nice work!

you have two cameras, i presume the reason is different hardware sensors, otherwise one single camera could feed multiple functionalities.

thermal sensor, is an array sensor (how many cells) or a single cell ?

left & right PIR ... is it like an eye in back of the head:)

Cheers.

United Kingdom
#146  

Both cameras are needed as they have different unique functions.

The thermal sensor has 9 pixels 8 for thermal data and 1 that gives the ambient temp in front of the robot.

The PIRs let the EZ:1 sense humans on the left or right hand side it also measures the amount of movement each side so it gets a rough idea of how many people (if any) that are on each side. The sound localization works similar and lets the robot know what direction the sound/speech is coming from so it can face it and analyse what is the source.

With these systems the EZ:1 can decide which is the most interesting side to next look at.

Tony

#147  

This looks so awesome. Is it available is the US?

#148  

I agree with Dave, that is a lot of magic packed into one very head!

Tony, I'd love to hear about the PIR sensors you are using and how you control them and filter their reading? The PIR sensors I have give either a high-low output values for movement or no movement and usually trigger for just about anything moving, including the robot.

#149  

@Toymaker, very nice. I thought you had already released your robot to the public? Anyway love the head setup!

Could I ask how the sound localization mic's work? I remember sometime back someone had wrote a script to use two microphones, which I was never able to get it to work correctly. It would be great for it to work like the old R2-D2 thanks.

United Kingdom
#150  

I use these Panasonic sensors they do require a few external components.

uk.farnell.com/panasonic-electric-works/amn31112j/sensor-motion-5m-100-82-white/dp/1373711

The head sensor PIC looks at the PIRs outputs pulse length/repetitions and can then estimate how much human activity is occurring each side. All head sensory data is compressed into a data packet and sent to the v4 which is the master controller.

On sound localization I use a cross-correlation function that is quite complicated and requires a dedicated microcontroller - it can track sound with an accuracy of around 5 degrees in front and 9 degrees sides.

Tony

#151  

Thanks Tony, did you R&D the sound localization yourself, do you sell them or is there a supplier that retails these sound localizers.

I would love to us it in my Inmoov.

Thanks

Brazil
#152  

Hi.. simple question. Is it for sale? If so, where and how much it would cost one unit? Thanks!

#153  

Is this robot available in the US? I've seen a couple of comments about it, but none answered. My son is home schooled with high functioning Asberger's (just a sub-type of Autism) as search we do robots once a week. Something like this (or been thinking maybe a inmoov build) could be great thus the reason I'm asking about availability in the US. Thanks!