Adventures in robotics

Olaf BaeyensOlaf Baeyens wrote 10/18/2016 at 21:20 • 1 min read • Like

My adventures in building the Thor robot.



Olaf Baeyens wrote 8 hours ago point

CNC 3018 Pro has has issues with the connector screws attached to the stepper motors.  They tend to come lose, so I will need to figure this out how to solve this.

A bigger issue when using the laser is the smoke it creates.  Even with an air-filter next to it the fine dust becomes 140 ppm.  It is summer so I can open the appartment windows, but in the winter I won't

I have a potential solution by containing the smoke into a indoor growing tent :-)

It is designed to add air filters inside it, it is designed to deal with  raising heat and it is light tight so a perfect place for a laser room.

In the end I will make a box for it but the tent would make it easy to experiment with the air filters and it is big enough to move inside. It is not a permanent setup.

It is also big enough to not create CO, wee are burning materials inside a closed room so I don't want to get an CO intoxication.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 4 days ago point

The 7W laser I purchased is intended to cut parts for my projects. The cutting is faster than the 3D printing.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 4 days ago point

All weekend busy setting up the CNC 3018 Pro and the 7W laser. 

I found this simple program called LaserBurn. Very easy to use for laser machines. But I did have to set up some configuration so I can modulate the laser power.

The CNC 3018 Pro assumes that it has a drill not a laser.

LightBurn can control the laser and CNC machine but it's 0.0 coordinates is what the CNC machine stored. The only way to get the 0,0 changed is by using this remote control andd then power off the machine (pull the USB cable too)

Make sure you have a bucket with water and a wet sponge nearby.  LightBurn did not stop the laser and it was set to 20% even though I changed it by hand to 1%. This is clearly a bug but it made my carton that was under it burn and I had to take the sponge.

The biggest issue is that you can only cut when you literally vaporizes the material under it. This makes it release smoke in your home and you need a way to vent it out to filter it.

I may want to get a second CNC 3018 Pro for the drill only. Swapping the laser means some slight configuration changes.

To cut carton I used about 3.5 W power output and 3 passes.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 07/10/2019 at 19:52 point

Just received my  CNC 3018 Pro  (€188) from TopDirect and very surprising quality in boxing and material. 

The 7W blue laser I want to use on this machine I already received yesterday.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 07/02/2019 at 20:54 point

More servo motors ordered, preparing for new robotic projects. I also ordered an OpenMV H7 board. I want to experiment with face recognition and the robot to follow your face.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 07/01/2019 at 21:22 point

I still don't understand completely why the servo motors of the SainSmart sometimes jumps to random positions when I power it on.

However extended the code so that only when I press the PS3 "Select" button that I power on the motors. This guarantees me that my PS3 controller is in full control and I am prepared.

Also added added a Home position that is connected to the square.

This robot is 6 DOF  but is clearly designed for ground objects unlike the Thor project where I have all freedom's.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 06/30/2019 at 21:31 point

Trying to figure out why when I power on the SainSmart it moves to different positions that are unexpected.  While during development I had no such issues.

I think I figured it out by the fact that the PS3 controller receiver lost power and therefore has initial values that makes the robot jump to weird positions.

This may be solved by making the robot only initiate it's motors when I press a start button on the PS3 controller.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 06/29/2019 at 23:18 point

Some movements of the The SainSmart 6 DOF are limited to other motor positions, this is going to be a coding challenge. Motor 3 has its maximum range when motor 2 is in a 45 degree angle.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 06/29/2019 at 22:30 point

The SainSmart 6 DOF came with a wrong assembled head and a defective SG90 servomotor.  Luckily I have a spare one laying around.  

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 06/24/2019 at 21:28 point

Before I continue with the Thor project I wanted to get experience with a smaller robot to see how to control it. I have chosen a cheap 160 euros SainSmart 6 DOF robot.

This one is built with servo motors and easier to develop for.

I order control the robot I went back to the PS3 controller I had issues with and with a new firmware update (

Iit seems to work with a ELEGOO Mikrocontroller Board ATmega328P ATMEGA16U2 (11 euro's).

One thing I noticed is that the the controller has a 3V and a 5V connector, the Bluetooth needs 5V to synchronize with the PS3.

I don't have time yet to update my Thor pages, maybe in the weekend?

The SainSmart 6 DOF has very limited movement range compared to the Thor project. However it is fast!

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 06/20/2019 at 19:23 point

The Thor project is still alive,just had other priorities  that needed money and time to build like a solar generator.

The reason why I ended up frying my Nextion display can be traced to bad set of new purchased batteries for my volt meters that ended in showing inaccurate voltages and a contact that came lose.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 12/30/2018 at 03:17 point

Got some shelves to put my parts on it. My desk was getting too small to contain all parts. Work on the robot got delayed over the last year because it took time to clear the desk.

I got a soldering station and an air gun right next to my PC. Just arms length and I can solder. when I feel up to.

The only bad thing is that my holiday is running out of days. Other priorities my take over again.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 12/30/2018 at 03:06 point

Memo to myself, make sure that the print is no higher than a nut thickness so they can't roll under your print if you lose one.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 12/29/2018 at 02:07 point

Tried to repair the Nexion display with the exploded capacitor but it just doesn't want to function. So I guess something else broke but there is no visual damage to be seen.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 12/28/2018 at 02:32 point

AY CARAMBA! Just smoked my touch screen when wiring up my touch panel.  I initially thought that I fed it a too high voltage since I use a 24V to 5 V converter. But it turns out to be inverted polarity.

A C5 blew up, and I think this is the only damage. By comparing I found another reference capacitor at the same board, because I could not read the writing. So I am guessing that it is a 106C = 10µF capacitor.

I found some classical capacitor and tomorrow I will try to replace it and hope that it works.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 12/27/2018 at 02:09 point

Very long delay in proceeding with this robot design, but I needed my time and energy somewhere else.

The story continuous by building a box for the electronics part.

Rough box that barely fits on my printer, but this is only a development box to test out electronics parts. And especially the software design.

The box contains separate stepper motor connectors that i can pull so I have a safe environment to test the robot without the motors physically connected to it.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 04/26/2018 at 23:19 point

The Thor robot is still a work in progress but job insecurity has forced me to as much online learning as possible. That ate all my available free time.

Since I have no clue what my next client will need, I am forced to learn everything I encounter.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 02/20/2018 at 21:36 point

Just a quick update. Any free personal time is still used up for getting schooling for my job. No time to even come close to continuing the Thor project.

I also did investigate in air quality indoor when I print. It is a complicated matter but opening your window daily for 30 minutes seems to be the only and most effective way. Air-filtering won't remove that kind amount of Formaldehyde.

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Naturobotic wrote 02/21/2018 at 11:03 point

Good to know.
My enclosures are heated and conducted to the outside, in the similar manner as in the clothes machine dryer, having the natural air flow from the room trough the envelope to the outside.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 02/02/2018 at 20:34 point

The Thor project is not dead, but my professional life requires me to get as many learning certificates as possible just in case I need to move to another client. My current contract at the client are only short time extensions. So I am using all my free personal time to get these 'official" certificates.

Started with a 78 hour course, 58 hours left to learn :-)

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 01/01/2018 at 21:19 point

It would be nice if someone out there could give  me a list of electrical connectors, and where to buy that is needed for this Thor robot. I am a N00b in regard to electrical connectors :-)

Sepio I noticed that you have these nice colored cable protectors so you can group your cables. Any idea where you found them?

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 01/02/2018 at 20:23 point

Thanks, exactly what I was searching for.

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 01/05/2018 at 19:25 point

Just received some colors.: CBBOX0205-GN They may be a bit too small 2 - 5 mm but now I have a sense of direction.

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dannyvandenheuvel wrote 01/02/2018 at 14:17 point

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Olaf Baeyens wrote 01/05/2018 at 19:35 point

I try to have my power supply disconnected from my Thor controller by a detachable cable

I tried to order this PX0412/03P IP68 but I am a bit confused what parts I need.
I saw that you need to order pins. I also found a connector cable 739681 IP68 Aantal polen: 3.
But what makes it unclear is where is the male part connector that can be used in a 3D printed part.

(Maybe I have not found them yet, Conrad site is very slow and not always give me results what I need)

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