CREATIVE DESIGN AND
USE OF HUMANOID
ROBOTS FOR HOBBY AND
|TH1 ROBOT: Level I construction with 2 processor boards installed|
Humanoid Toddler Robot
ROBOT BUILDER PROJECTS Welcome and congratulations! Step into the fascinating world and fast growing field of humanoid robotics - create Humanoid Toddler Robot!
The TH1 Robot is built up from the HUMANOID EXPANSION KIT that upgrades the Parallax Toddler Bipedal Robot into a humanoid, adding an upper body with arms, head, eyes, and torso, resulting in additional motions and capabilities. Toddler grows up from 8.25-inches, to a full 16-inches reach in humanoid form!
This kit; hardware, assembly, programming and usage, is kept simple, for quickly maximizing returns on investment, education and fun! To assemble, just follow the pictures and notes. The HUMANOID EXPANSION KIT is designed for educators, students, hobbyists and anyone wanting to learn more about humanoid robotics. If you’ve got a Toddler Robot, you’ll want the upgrade. If you don’t have a Toddler yet, you’ll want HUMANOID TODDLER!
|The TH1 Robot has moving legs, arms, head, and torso|
Now you can program with the touch of a mouse using the new Graphics User Interface. Using the Parallax USB serial servo controller (PSC) and the provided software, making your humanoid do things is fun! Just move the sliders on the computer screen and watch the legs, arms, head and torso move to the positions you want.
Photo comparing the size of Penguin robot with Toddler Humanoid: This is a photo from China showing the tiny Parallax Penguin Robot sitting on top of the head of a home-built Humanoid Toddler Robot. Penguins are not actually flying birds, so maybe there was some stealth help getting up there. Like little children, both new-born robots are pondering their surroundings with electric eyes. This version creation was photo'ed August 9th, 2008. Additional source: robosavvy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2425&highlight=toddler
|Humanoid Toddler from the Kit|
The HUMANOID EXPANSION KIT takes only about 2 hours to assemble and comes with all electrical & mechanical parts, including controller, instructions, and an abundance of sample programs available for immediate results.
Reference Source: Yahoo Toddler Robot Group
Software is typed in from examples in this manual or can be downloaded at the Parallax Inc. web site at www.parallaxinc.com or at alternate sources. Programming is simplified with look up charts, examples, tips & techniques, and sample programs for: 1) demo, 2) moving legs/arms/torso/head to home positions, 3) new walking styles, 4) an exercise to show the full range of motions, 5) waving, 6) slow motion, 7) dance and 8) beginning Martial Arts.
|TH1 has added ultrasonic eyes for night vision|
|Early Humanoid Toddler V1|
More (from RoboSavvy) April 9th 2008 I'd like to show my latest creation - a humanoid Toddler. This is a modified version of the original Toddler Robot from a Parallax kit of parts. For more information, there's a tech group for toddler type walking robots at the link below. Humanoid Toddler started out as just a pair of legs - a biped walking robot. It's one of the most simple walking mechanisms with only 2 servos. This version is powered by batteries placed in the legs and a Parallax servo controller. Other versions use various incarnations of the Basic Stamp microcontroller and software code written in PBASIC.
Also added to the humanoid conversion: extra servos, torso, head and arms. A Ping))) ultrasonic vision sensor was added on the head and is controlled with a BS2 microcontroller. The newest and latest walking robot from Parallax is the Penguin Robot, which uses the same walking design. There's an entire family of toddle type robots. If you don't believe me, just ask Ken Gracey or David Buckley. They've spent years, even decades inventing and developing robots of this design.
Seen here in front of Humanoid Toddler Robot, a very tiny Penguin bot sports a compass, two IR eyes, two photodetectors to sense light levels, expansion slot, an IR transmitter, a blue segment display, and one of the most powerful Basic Stamp MCUs in the series, the BS2px. I have also written and posted 281 software programs for the Penguin Robot, free for anyone to use. http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/toddler_robot/
It stands taller than a Robonova so it has a good size. The stock parts which comprise the biped section of the humanoid are precision-manufactured metal parts. The parts which comprise the humanoid section are scrounged materials from various local sources.
The bearings for the quad-servo-core (QSC) are cut from acrylic and Pexiglas. The mounts, bolts, nuts are all light weight nylon and the head and arms are molded and cut from a polypropylene material. Washers are phenolic. The humanoid section had to be the lightest possible weight due to the additional weight added by four more servos. The humanoid has a total of six servos. The light weight makes it possible to use common low cost standard Futaba servos that have model airplane ratings.
Another nice feature about Humanoid Toddler is that programming the motions is very easy and can happen in real time graphics over the USB cable and a portable computer. You just move a slider one direction or another for each of the 8 motors and set the position. This can be controlled in one of two ways - either with the servo controller in animatronic mode or the servo controller under control of the Basic Stamp 2 microcontroller.
There's the talking speech version Toddler, named Toddler Talker. It uses a BS2 interfaced to a small SPO256 speech synthesizer chip and micro speaker with the LM386 amp chip.
The BS2 MCU can also handle the Ultrasonic vision sensor, infrared transmitter and receivers, photodectectors, and other sensors, as a result of the servo controllers serial interface taking up only one port. In the prototype BS2 MCU version, there's a 2-line serial display, tiny keyboard, memory expansion card, decoder, reset, and additional sensors.
Humanoid Toddler Robot
Morph your Toddler robot into a Humanoid with this Humanoid Toddler (HT) kit.
It gives a full human-like body to the original two walking legs.This is a modified version of the original Toddler Robot kit from a Parallax. Humanoid Toddler started out as just a pair of legs - a biped walking robot. It has one of the most simple walking mechanisms with only 2 servos, and is ideal for this conversion. This version is powered by extra AA batteries placed in the legs and added Parallax USB servo controller. Other versions, not shown here, used various incarnations of the Basic Stamp microcontroller and software code written in PBASIC to drive a Parallax Serial Servo Controller board.
The success of the HT depends on the invention of the Quad Servo Core. The bearings for the QSC are cut from acrylic and Pexiglas™. The mounts, bolts, nuts are all light weight nylon and the head and arms are molded and cut from a polypropylene material. The head opens up for the placement of wiring and sensor attachment. Washers are phenolic. The humanoid section had to be the lightest possible weight due to the additional weight added by four more servos. The complete humanoid has a total of six servos. The light weight makes it possible to use common low cost standard Futaba servos that have model airplane ratings.
Another nice feature about Humanoid Toddler is that programming the motions is very easy, no code required, and can happen in real time graphics over the USB cable and a portable computer. You just move a slider one direction or another for each of the 6 motors and set the position. This can actually be controlled in one of two ways - either with the USB servo controller in real time animatronics mode or a serial servo controller under control of the Basic Stamp 2 microcontroller. If you wish, retain the original Toddler motherboard to incorporate precision walking routines.
The BS2 MCU can also handle the Ultrasonic vision sensor, infrared transmitter and receivers, photo-detectors, and other sensors, as a result of the servo controllers serial interface taking up only one port. In the prototype BS2 MCU version, there's a 2-line serial display, tiny keyboard, memory expansion card, decoder, reset, and additional sensors (not shown here).
The HT was originally designed as a new Parallax product, a low cost add-on kit of parts to convert a Toddler into a Humanoid, but it never made it to the product stage for various reasons. A second computer has a Humanoid Toddler manual in the making, more photos and technical information so more information can be offered in the future, so stay tuned. Please note, the HT can fully function without programming by using the slider settings on the computer display, and by connecting the USB servo controller board to a support computer. For other versions, connecting the serial servo controller is the same as shown in the download manual. Consulting the PING))) manual will show connection info and sample code.
What are some new uses/features for HT robot?Head - The head pivots side to side within the full servo range. This extends the range of PING))) vision significantly. Ranging and vision with a walking cycle is possible. Looking from side to side is enabled. HT can indicate "NO" by head movement or exhibit some personality.
Arms can push - actually move toggle switches, slide items, topple light weight materials, position items in special positions, and do light hitting and pounding. To accomplish more refined arm movements, incorporate the Torso. The use of both arms can raise a light weight bar positioned slightly above paralleled arms. Arms can also tap out numbers and Morse Code on various in-range surfaces and act as various visual signal flags with multiple positioning. A friendly arm waving is possible as a greeting or a goodbye. Combining arm movement with torso movement opens up a wide range of capability along the extra axis.
Torso The upper body can pivot around an axis, helpful to more accurately position the arms, extends the range of vision to the back, helps move or nudge light weight objects with the arm tips used like hands, and creates some interesting dance routines and walking motions.
DOF There are now 6 degrees of freedom for more fluid motions and capabilities. Feel free to explore positioning of all six servos and body parts for added functions and new features.
Added Grow-Up Height is significant, with about three-fourths added height. The distance from the top level support plate to the top of the head has five added inches. This range includes the QSC, arms, head, torso and bearings. Added grow-up height helps with better object visibility, manipulating higher objects, more stature, and more character.
Dancing is more articulated. More dance moves and more expression is now possible.
Eyes are more precision with ultrasonics that can see in total darkness, detect objects within a circle with a diameter approaching 12-feet, and do obstacle seek and avoidance. The eyes can create object maps and retain positions in data logged memory during improved navigation.
Walking can now make use of the arms and torso for additional balance.
Combinations such as arms and torso positioning can fine tune motions like walking or running.
Legs contain additional batteries and provide a new lowered center of gravity for more stability.
Personality is now possible with added expressions using the head, arms, legs and torso.
Toddler Humanoid Development TechniquesThe Processor - Toddler's original board can be removed. Use the USB serial controller board and supporting PC for the most simple HT version. Other HT versions can use the OEM BASIC Stamp 2 board for minimum footprint. Keep the Toddler motherboard for dedicated walking.
The Servo Controller - In the most simple robot version, the USB servo controller uses a graphic program. You just move the sliders to move the servos. This is very reliable. (saving code and motion playback is not used)
Adaptation of Penguin Code It is possible to modify the humanoido series of Penguin programs for use on HT robot, by scaling and port assignments. Remember to scale the motion ranges and the speeds, and take more inertial effects into account. Also make necessary conversions from the BASIC Stamp IIpx to the model 2.
Finding Discontinued Items - It seems we cannot keep up with the discontinuance of Parallax products. Now discontinued are Toddler Robot, Penguin Robot, USB Servo Controller, assembled OEM BS2, SSC and the PSC. For any of these items, check with friends, the Forums, second hand ads, distributors, dealers, ebay, and google all possible sources.
Assembly No soldering required
Humanoid Toddler Kit Parts List1 Parallax Toddler Robot Kit
2 Polypropylene Arm2 Polypropylene Arm End Cap
1 Polypropylene Head
2 Head Screw
1 Parallax USB Servo Controller
1 USB Cable
5 Servo Extension Wire Cable
4 Standard Servos with Servo Horn and Hardware
1 Pexiglas Bearing Plate
8 QSC Quad Servo Core Brass Spacer
4 QSC Quad Servo Core Metal Nut
8 QSC Quad Servo Core Phenolic Washers
4 Nylon Spacer for Bearing Plate
4 Nylon Nut for Bearing Plate
8 Nylon Battery Spacer
8 Nylon Battery Screw
8 Nylon Battery Nut
4 AA Battery Holder
4 Nylon Bearing Spacer
2 Nylon Controller Screw
2 Nylon Controller Nut
22 Phenolic Washer
5 Yellow Wire Twist
1 Red Power Wire
1 Black Power Wire
4 Black Wire Clamp
4 AA Battery
1 Black Cable Tie
6 Arm Servo Horn Mounting Screw Metal
3 Head Servo Horn Mounting Screw Metal
1 Head Servo Horn Extra Large 1.75" Dia.
4 Foot Tape Strip
1 PING))) Extension Cable
2 PING))) Nylon Mounting Spacer
2 PING))) Metal Mounting Screw
1 PSC Serial Servo Controller
1 OEM BASIC Stamp 2 Kit
1 Toddler Motherboard
+ Screwdriver Large
+ Screwdriver Small
Needle Nose Pliers
THE TODDLER HUMANOID KIT puts all the parts together in a box for a fully functional humanoid when assembled - made from the "now rare" and discontinued Parallax Toddler robot kit, the Toddler Humanoid is now a great treasure.