chip updates: making a suit for the puppy [updates]
Sooooo a few things I'm going to put here because I don't know if I've made a post like this already. But here's the thing. So we found out a week or so ago that it's pretty hard to get chip to walk indoors because his feet aren't equipped for that level of grip indoors. But outside because of mud an concrete and etc, we get much larger levels of grip (that's why I took the yoga mats off the feet).
Now what this also means is if we do use chip outside, there's a lot of dust and sun and bees and other nonsense that can get into chip and damage electronics and things so we though we'd fix that by giving him a nice tux. And here it is:
Doesn't he just look handsome? Here's how we made it. We took 300 denier Waterproof outdoor fabric from Walmart and cut in into pieces that we could manage. Then we screwed it together with #10-24 socket-head screws and lock nuts. We took a bunch of photos to document the process.
The reason I'm not posting a step-by-step guide on how I did is, is because tbh, I didn't engineer this outer fabric thing. I just wrapped the cloth until it looked like it worked. And I think that is fine for now. The reason for the covering is so we can get to outdoor testing and programming, get to the real purpose of chip. But what I want to do instead of simply described how this thing was made, I want to described the key features.
(front-view of the robot) here we see a velcro opening that allows us to pull the battery out of the robot, but the opening also allows us access to the charging cables so we can charge the robot without pulling anything out of the robot.
(on all legs of the robot) we covered up the ends of the cable-carriers which allows us to not have to worry about the ends of the tubes getting frayed or unraveling (they were starting to). The fabric will hold them together well.
(back of the robot) we let the main power-bus/wire (the 24v-36v line) hang out the back of the robot for the simple reason, if we want to power the robot from a power supply, we're now allowed the choice of using the power supply/tether power or using the batteries we have in the front of the robot.
(back of the robot) we let just the main power switch protrude from the rear of the robot but at the same time, we didn't allow any of the wires that go into the switch to protrude; this was done to protect the wires but allow us to access the button.
(front of the robot) we need some sensors and other devices to protrude from the fabric as well; the antennas for the WiFi were allowed to protrude because folding them could cause them to break; the GPS as well because it's recommended not to cover the GPS for best signal acquisition.
(middle right side of the robot) the fabric that covers the robot would need to be removed in the event of damage or emergencies right? so we put a velcro hole at the end of the fabric on the right so the screws could be un-done if needed.
(middle of the robot's top) this funny looking hole is so we can access the power switch of the jetson tx1, this is the only thing we couldn't really find a good solution to when making the covering of the robot. didn't want to touch the jetson.
(front of the robot) ah yes, the beautiful intel realsense T265; of course this device must be able to protrude from the front of the robot. The reason for that is because it's a camera :) cameras can't see through fabric so that needed to protrude.
(front top of the robot) we allowed this wire to protrude because we thought it would look cool. it's like a hatch on the top of the robot, gives it some asymmetry and makes it a little visually interesting :) - yea that's really the reason for that one.
Those are the features here are some final views of the robot from multiple angles:
Chip is ready to take on the world! (Well not really, he still needs to be pretty much fully re-programmed) hardware wise there are no other changes to make at the moment, at least no planned ones. All the gearboxes should be good to go and we're ready to get to work on programming once I'm done building my mom's greenhouse!