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Building Robotics Hack Chat with MeArm

ln this Hack Chat we'll be discussing building robotics with Ben Gray, creator of MeArm

Friday, May 4, 2018 12:00 pm PDT - Friday, May 4, 2018 01:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
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Join this Hack Chat by clicking on the JOIN HACK CHAT button. 

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Ben Gray, creator of MeArm will be hosting this Hack Chat. 

This Hack Chat is at noon Pacific time on Friday, May 4th. 

Time Zones got you down? Here's a handy count down timer!

It's the end of week 2 of the Hackaday Prize Robotics Module Challenge, so we're wrapping it up with a second robotics challenge to get your gears well lubricated.

Ben Gray is the creator of MeArm, a popular robot arm commonly built by children and hobbyists all over the world. From this Ben founded MeArm Robotics and became the Director of Mime Industries, allowing more people of various backgrounds to get hands in on robotics education. MeArm can even be found on here! https://hackaday.io/project/181-mearm-your-robot

In this chat, we'll be talking about robotics:

  • MeArm
  • Robotics Arms
  • Robotics Kits
  • Robots Made for Hacking

  • Building Robotics Hack Chat with MeArm Transcript

    Shayna05/04/2018 at 19:13 0 comments

    Shayna 2:57 PM: So we'll get rolling a couple of minutes after the hour, just to give folks some time to gather

    Shayna 2:59 PM : Feel free to start submitting questions if you got 'em! https://hackaday.io/event/156850-building-robotics-hack-chat-with-mearm

    Shayna 3:00 PM : In the meantime, would you like to introduce yourself @ben.phenoptix ?? :)

    ben.phenoptix 3:02 PM : Hi everybody, I'm Ben from MeArm. MeArm is a project that got started some years back now when I lusted after an open source robot arm project. Since then we've built quite a few and there are many many more out in the world thanks to folk like Scott on here who have been sharing the project

    ben.phenoptix 3:03 PM : The first good version of the MeArm owed a heck of a lot to a chap called Jack Howard, and the latest one a chap called Ben Pirt. It's always been a collaborative project

    thedoormouse 3:04 PM : Oh yeah doormouse here doing the Drink Crow Badge this year for DC26. Glad to finally make it in time for this weeks chat and touch bases with everyone.

    Shayna 3:05 PM : Thanks for joining us for Hack Chat today!

    Shayna 3:05 PM : Ready for some questions?

    ben.phenoptix 3:05 PM : Yup!

    Shayna 3:06 PM : Fabulous

    Shayna 3:06 PM :
    First up from @Elecia White :

    "Have you looked at how difficult it would be to integrate the MeArm into ROS? I tried to make a URDF so the MeArm could work in the Gazebo simulator but couldn't get the shoulder right."

    Elecia White 3:08 PM : (Hey, other people should ask questions too! I have a monopoly over at https://hackaday.io/event/156850-building-robotics-hack-chat-with-mearm and, unless stopped, I will keep adding more until @ben.phenoptix redesigns my whole mearm-based project for me.)

    ben.phenoptix 3:08 PM : Ah Elecia! there's an email I need to respond to! Unfortunately I haven't, most of my time this last year has been sucked up by the day to day running of the business so I haven't had the time to look into the ROS side of things, or listen to your pod cast. That last part I can remedy sooner than the first!

    ben.phenoptix 3:09 PM : Just chuckling to myself that this is going to turn into all of the emails that are starred but not responed to in my gmail account!

    Shayna 3:09 PM : hehe

    Shayna 3:10 PM : folks are usually a little shy to start out but we'll get more ;)

    Shayna 3:11 PM : But @Elecia White asked the first few so here goes the next one up: "How are other people doing feedback to get real position of the gripper? "

    Elecia White 3:11 PM : ROS (Robot Operating System) is used a lot in academic life, I'd love to see mearm added, not just selfishly but also because the on-line modelling means less breakage of the arm as I play with reinforcement learning or motion planning.

    ben.phenoptix 3:15 PM : Hmmm, I've seen hacked servos used for feedback, like in the UArm. Feedback is something that the MeArm lacks, and it would be good to solve that, but I've always struggled with keeping the MeArm to a price point.

    It would be great to have it set up properly in ROS, I'm hoping to have some more time this next 12 months to work on fun stuff with Robotics myself and be freed somewhat from the day to day of running a company.

    ben.phenoptix 3:17 PM : Adding anything to the capability of the MeArm in terms of feedback just seems to add so much to the cost. I'd be really happy to see of hear of anything cost effective we could do, or even be pointed towards projects that use feedback

    Elecia White 3:18 PM : Totally understand not wanting to burden the mearm itself, just wondered if you have heard of other people doing common things...

    zakqwy 3:19...

    Read more »

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Martin Esser wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:41 point

how do you compensate for accuracy when the robot arm is mechaniocally bending under load ? The type that cannot be dtected by encoders.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Elecia White wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:13 point

Where do you see MeArm going from here? Bigger arms? More control? Different materials? Easier builds?

  Are you sure? yes | no

anfractuosity wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:12 point

I'm just wondering how you position the arms hands in 3D space, does it use something like inverse kinematics or..? (are there even other approaches?)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Martin Esser wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:11 point

What would you do if you discover your project for sale by a chinese company. ?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Martin Esser wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:09 point

Does a gripper interface standart exist mechanically,electrically and softwarewise in the industrial world that makers can aim for to implement to solve that gripper design problem ?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Martin Esser wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:07 point

i have a feel that robots are divided along the lines of either being cheap and inaccurate or using harmonic drives or similar that make them very expensive. Where is the goldilocks zone of cheap but still accurate enough

  Are you sure? yes | no

Elecia White wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:03 point

Other than occasionally tightening things when they get loose, is there maintenance I can do to make my mearm last longer? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Elecia White wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:01 point

How are other people doing feedback to get real position of the gripper? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Elecia White wrote 05/04/2018 at 19:00 point

Have you looked at how difficult it would be to integrate the MeArm into ROS? I tried to make a URDF so the MeArm could work in the Gazebo simulator but couldn't get the shoulder right.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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