Featherweight Schnauzer Part 16

Welcome back to another update in the (re-)build process of the featherweight Schnauzer. In the previous blog post I've described the mounting of the wheel boxes to the base plate as well how I did manufacture new side armour plates out of Hardox. In this blog post I am going to talk about the assembly of the complete drive train. As a first step I did disassemble the whole motor and the gearbox in order to check all parts for damages sustained during the last fight(s). After the gearbox and the grease have been removed the Robot Power Magnum 775 motor with its gear pinion remains, as you can see on the following picture.

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On the next picture you can see the shaft of the planetary gearbox. If you take a closer clook you will notice that the diameter at the front of the shaft is smaller than the diameter at its back. It was necessary to reduce the diameter because the bevel gear which needs to be attached to the shaft only has a 10 mm wide bore. The reduction was done by my uncle with a lathe (Thank you 🙂 ).

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After this step I could start with reassembling the gearbox. The first step was to put back the four small gears on the four rear shafts of the gearbox shaft. Together they form the second stage of the planetary gearbox.

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Then this unit is inserted into the front ball-bearing which is press-fitted in the front motor base plate.

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Afterwards the first stage of the planetary gearbox with three bigger wheels on its three rear shafts are inserted into the previously assembled second gearbox stage.

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Now the outer ring of the planetary gearbox which has gears inside can be imposed over the gears of the first and the second gearbox stage.

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Finally the motor can be attached to the assembled gearbox.

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After mounting the back plate the assembly process of the RobotPower Magnum 775 motor is complete.

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Since the front part of the gearbox shaft was cut down to a diameter of 10 mm the bevel gear can now be easily attached at the shaft.

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In the next step three M4 set screws are inserted in the threads evenly spaced around the bevel gear.

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On the next picture you can see a close-up of the set screws.

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After the set screws have been screwed completely in (by using an allen key) they are on one level with the surface of the bevel gear. In order to prevent them from vibrating loose Loctite bolt adhesive was applied.

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In order to mount the motor to the base plate of the robot an polycarbonat adapter plate was manufactured.

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On the next picture you can see a bottom view of the polycarbonat adapter plate.

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Finally both motors were mounted on the base plate utilizing aforementioned adapter plate.

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In the next picture you can see how the bevel gears of the motors are interlocking with the bevel gears of both rear wheel boxes. This solution consumes little space while still allowing for powerful motors.

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Next you'll see a glimpse of the bottom side of the base plate. Notice how all screws are embedded in the base plate by means of counter sunk drilling:

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With the drive train being (mainly) completed it was time to start to work on the wiring. As a first step two polycarbonat panels were manufactured and mounted between the front and the back wheel boxes. The upper panel contains one red LED for signalizing that the robot is powered. Furthermore two red connectors (for the removable link) and one black connector (for charging the battery) are mounted on the upper panel. The lower panel consists of a green and and yellow signal LED - they do not have yet a functionality assigned and are kept in reserve for future upgrades.

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A more detailed picture of the upper panel:

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A more detailed picture of the lower panel:

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Stay tuned for further news about Schnauzers progress 🙂

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Robotchallenge Vienna 2016

Last weekend from 12th of March to 13th of March 2016 the twelth edition of the Robotchallenge Vienna took place. Since its inception in 2004 over 2000 robots from 56 countries have participated in the various competitions the event organizers provide. Even LXRobotics has participated twice at the Robotchallenge Vienna, once at the Robotchallenge 2011 with the Mini-Sumo-Robot Sergeant Pain and the second time at the Robotchallenge 2014 with the Mini-Sumo-Robot Evolution. This year we did not participate with any robot but we visited the event to gather some pictures for our fellow aficionadas 🙂

According to the organizers a total of 128 Mini Sumo robots were registered for the event. How many showed up we simply can't tell because we only saw very few Mini Sumo Robot competitions on Saturday. Maybe those where hold on Sunday instead. However we managed to get hold of one Mini Sumo Robot for a brief picture:

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Apart from a few Mini Sumo robots which weigh a maximum of 500 g and there size must not exceed 10 x 10 cm we saw much more fights of the ferocious Mega Sumo robot class, which can weigh up to 3 kg and are allowed to measure up to 20 x 20 cm. Whenever those robots were competing you could here the noise of the tortured engines across the whole competition area 🙂

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And another mean looking Mega sumo in the Dojo weighting for the fight:

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On the ground floor where most of the Freestyle exhibitiob took place we also saw iRobot Roomba vacuum robots compete in a spectacle called Roomba Sumo. To this end the Roombas where outfitted with Scoops to get underneath the opponent and throw them out of the ring. During the battle they had their vacuum motors fully engaged in order to generate maximum traction for its wheels.

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Some Roombas had received even more upgrades as the one with an electric impeller blower mounted on its back:

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Another competition required Quadcopters to follow a dotted black and white line printed on the floor which formed the number eight. This competition proved to be quite difficult and only one team managed to successfully fly multiple rounds on the course.

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One of our friends from JECC also participated in this competition with his Quadcopter Elise:

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Another event JECC competed in was the Puck Collect challenge. The task of this challenge was for two robots to collect as many pucks of one colour as possible and drop those pucks in its base located in one corner of the arena:

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Last but not least we would like to report from the Freestyle competition, where everyone could bring whatever he thought would find the judges appeal. First I'd like you to present a mobile robot base whose drive controller seemed to implemented with some sort of relay shield. I did not see it driving but I expect a very crude bang-bang control experience (either full speed forward or full speed backward) ...

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On the next picture you can see another mobile robot base with a camera and an Raspberry Pi on top which does not really seems to be connected with anything else except some sort of dongle, maybe bluetooth for an PS3 joystick or a mouse ...

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The next robot seems to have reached an higher degree of completeness. On top one can see a blue board which judged by its connectors looks very similar to a Rasperry Pi B, however it has the traditional Arduino blue colour. Maybe some of our readers can shed some light what board is used here?

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The University of Wroclaw (Poland) demonstrated a prototype for a robot which might be used to explore other planets in a distant future:

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The next picture show an prototype for an Modular Self Configurable Robot (MSR) which can walk around on tiny legs. Honestly I think this is a very cool design BUT the Raspberry Pi B on top is again only pure decoration ...

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The face changing robot is a project of a chinese gymnasium and was already featured by us on twitter. It could perform a cute little dance and was one of the projects we (especially my girlfriend) liked best:

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The last robot we present in this blog post was quite the opposite of the cute face changing robot. I believe it was meant to be some kind of a telepresence platform, however it scores a 120 % on the uncanny valley curve. The thing looks like it belongs in some cheap horror movie.

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Sweet dreams, dear reader 🙂

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Featherweight Schnauzer Part 15

In my last report on Schnauzers progress I was detailing how the cases for the four wheels were assembled. The next step was to mount those wheel cases to the robots base plate. After a meticulous planning process numerous holes were drilled in the base plate as one can see on the next picture.

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On the bottom side a counter sunk driller was employed to ensure that the screw heads of the cutting screws used for connecting the base plate with the wheel cases do not stick out of the bottom plate and get jammed with the arena floor as it has happened with the first version of Schnauzer.

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In the next step a handheld jigsaw was used to cut the holes for the wheels out of the robots base plate.

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The following picture shows all four wheels mounted to the base plate. Unfortunately I've got no picture from the bottom side where all the heads of the 4.5 x 40 cutting screws could be seen.

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I then placed the two motors together with their bevel gears on the base plate as kind of a mock-up in order to get a feeling for how the motors should be mounted later.

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Since no further steps with the base plate could be done at that moment I shifted my focus towards manufacturing the new side armour of Schnauzer out of my recently arrived hardox steel plate (Many thanks to Dirk of Team Flatliner 🙂 ).

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The hardox sheet was affixed to an old table positioned in the gateway of my parents house. The table served as a stable base since I was about to use the angle grinder. The cutting took place outside of the garage in order to avoid that the sparks inevtiably produced by the angle grinder would set anything on fire.

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The angle grinder was then used to cut two identical eight centimeters wide steel panels of the main hardox sheet panel. Since hardox is an extremely though steel it took around 15 runs of pulling the angular grinder along the cutting line for each desired cut.

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Afterwards the angle grinder was used to cut the desired form out of the sheet panels. All in all it took me about 2,5 hours to manufacture both side armour sheets. Also on the top of the picture you can see two hardox triangles.

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Those triangles were electro-welded to the front scoop of Schnauzer by my uncle. The idea behind those "horns" is to stop other robots from running over Schnauzer once they've been picked up by its enourmous front scoop 🙂

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Stay tuned for further updates 🙂

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Featherweight Schnauzer Part 14

Hi everyone! After spending another day in the workshop I'm happy to report some progress on Schnauzers drive train. In the last status report on Schnauzer I described the assembly process of the housings for the wheels. With the housings fully assembled the only items missing were the axis for mounting the wheels within the housings. Since I do not possess a lathe I asked a bit around for help and fortunately Renè from the Berlin based team "The-Devil-Crew" agreed to build me some axis after my specifications. Thank you Renè 🙂

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As you can see from the first picture two different versions of axis were manufactured. The first version is for the rear wheel housing where on one side of the rear wheel housing a bevel gear while on the other side of the rear wheel housing a cogged-belt pulley will be attached to the axis. The bevel gear will be later used to interlock with an identical bevel gear mounted on the the electric motor in order to transmit power from the motor to the rear wheel.

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A toothed belt is then going to be used to transmit the power from the rear wheel towards the front wheel via a cogged-belt pulley. For this reason the front axis has only a single cogged-belt pulley which will be connected with the back wheel via aforementioned toothed belt.

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For providing a stable connection of the bevel gear to the axis three evenly spaced holes with a diameter of 2,5 mm were drilled in the side of the bevel gear. Then a thread cutter for M3 threads was used to cut a screw thread in the bevel gear.

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The exact same process was applied to the cooged-belt pulleys - with one minor difference: Since the cooged-belt puleys are made out of aluminium instead of steel the whole process had to be performed with extra care (The softness of aluminium compared to metal makes it quite easy to destroy the screw thread).

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In the next picture you can see a single bevel gear with three headless set screws partially inserted into it.

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Finally the bevel gear could be mounted on the axis, Loctite bolt adhesive was used in order to prevent the bevel gear from getting loose through inevitable vibriations during operation.

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In the next picture you can see a completely assembled rear wheel housing with cogged-belt pulley mounted on the left while a bevel gear was attached on the right side of the axis.

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Now that all four wheel housings are assembled the next step would be to connect those wheel housings with the base plate of the robot. I'll definitely let you know once I have any updates 🙂

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