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naminukas

Pneumatic walking, driving, wall climbing and tool using robot

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Naminukas is an ultimate indoor robot which can explore almost any part of the house including climbing on walls, ceiling and furniture. Robot is able to transform to either a bipedal walking robot which can hold on any hard flat surface with vacuum suction cups or a two wheel balancing robot which can drive on soft and porous surfaces like a carpet. Robot can also be used as 4 degrees of freedom pick & place arm. It even carries detachable tools which can be picked and used by feet. In addition the robot carries UVA+UVC LED which can be used to disinfect a path traversed by the robot.

Goal

To create a portable robot (should fit in a hand luggage) that could traverse almost any surface, would be able to carry a significant payload (at least 0.5 kg) and manipulate objects.

Current state

Here is a summary video of robot's abilities:

Here is a detailed list of what robot can do with links to corresponding videos:

What's next

Near term goal is to explore even more ways of locomotion. Rubber foam vacuum suction cups look like a promising way to traverse non smooth surfaces and to grab non flat objects. Find a way to move on grass and soft/dry sand.

Medium term goal is to add more autonomy. This might require a replacement for BeagleBone Blue as it doesn't have enough power to run modern tools and complex algorithms.

Long term goal is to upgrade mechanical parts (for example, replace 3D printed PLA parts with metal and carbon fibre to increase rigidity, reduce gear backlash and wear) and push the limits with more bizarre modes of locomotion which I hope will surprise and inspire you few more times :) 

  • 1 × BeagleBone Blue single board computer Used to control all robot functions
  • 1 × Brushless -77kPa parallel micro vacuum pump HXB05KNDC 12V EPDM Pump has 2 heads: one connected to the left foot, other to the right foot.
  • 2 × Pololu voltage regulators U3V50AHV One converter boosts 2S LiPo battery output to 12V for vacuum pump, other to 12V for Dynamixels
  • 2 × High speed rotary pneumatic joints KSL 06-01S Allows wheels to turn while providing vacuum to suction cups
  • 2 × Nitrile or silicone rubber o-rings 95mm ID, 105mm OD, 5mm width for tires

View all 20 components

  • 4 ways robot can move on snow

    Mykolas Juraitis02/10/2021 at 23:13 0 comments

    Naminukas robot has many ways of locomotion. 4 of them (including 1 completely new one!) were tested on a slippery pavement partially covered by snow and ice:

  • Self-righting mechanism

    Mykolas Juraitis01/27/2021 at 20:55 0 comments

    I have created a 3D printed self-righting mechanism for naminukas robot which can be directly controlled by the robot's wheel without any additional sensors or actuators:

  • Transformation to balancing mode in slow motion

    Mykolas Juraitis12/30/2020 at 20:01 0 comments

    Recently I have been working to improve 2 wheel balancing mode. To debug robot's behaviour I captured few slow motion clips:

  • Ski driving stunt

    Mykolas Juraitis12/13/2020 at 15:58 0 comments

    Skiing is an automotive driving stunt where the car is driven while balanced only on two wheels, either the pair on the driver side or on the passenger side. Since only 2 wheels are used to perform this stunt, I decided to try it on naminukas robot. Opposite to the car, this robot's center of gravity is quite high, therefore robot tilts only a little bit. The robot uses an onboard accelerometer and gyroscope to determine to which side it is falling, and tilts wheels accordingly to maintain the balance. Oscillations could probably be minimised by better PID tuning. Currently, only proportional and derivative parts are being used.Steering is implemented by turning wheels at different speeds.

    Unfortunately, while filming this video, I accidentally plugged my laptop charger to the robot's BeagleBone Blue charging port, which fried the charging circuit. Surprisingly, it seems that nothing else was fried, but I can't charge my robot any more :( Here is the damage:

    fried charging circuit

  • Stereo camera in action

    Mykolas Juraitis12/07/2020 at 13:02 0 comments

    After endless hacks and upgrades I finally got Intel RealSense Depth Camera D415 working reliably on BeagleBone Blue computer. Using USB2 connection camera is only capable of 6 FPS but at least simple computer vision applications are possible at this speed. For example tracking object position and orientation:

  • Robot than can move even placed in a bag and submerged underwater

    Mykolas Juraitis11/09/2020 at 08:43 0 comments

    In previous videos it was demonstrated how the robot can move like a caterpillar by periodically tilting its feet back and forth out of phase with each other. Such motion allows the robot to traverse narrow passages. This video demonstrates another advantage of such motion. Since robot's feet in this mode of locomotion doesn't need to turn full circle, robot would be able to move even if enclosed in a flexible material. For example, putting the robot in a plastic bag, waterproofs it without affecting ability to move.

  • Cleaning function

    Mykolas Juraitis10/25/2020 at 20:28 0 comments

    Naminukas can be used for a cleaning application out of the box utilising mode of locomotion with slightly tilted wheels (previously shown towards the end driving under tree branches video). First part of the video bellow demonstrates cleaning function using standard disinfecting wipes and rubber bands to attach them to the wheels:

  • Geranium foam rubber vacuum suction cup

    Mykolas Juraitis10/03/2020 at 12:53 0 comments

    Finally I managed to buy an industrial foam rubber vacuum suction cup made of material called Geranium. I bought only rubber part and 3D-printed cup myself. Here is a result:

    Rubber is very soft and it is supposed to allow grabbing of not completely flat surfaces. My ultimate goal was to allow the robot to climb on a brick wall. Unfortunately this rubber seems to leak quite a lot of air so I think it is optimized for industrial vacuum pumps with high air flow capabilities and might be not usable with small mobile pump.

    I will go back to experimenting with neoprene rubber foam because it is cheap, readily available and did show promising results. I just need to find a better way to cut it. Hot wire seems to be not an option according to this article.

  • The most utility per servo robot

    Mykolas Juraitis09/13/2020 at 19:44 4 comments

    In HACKADAY PODCAST 084 naminukas was called the most utility per servo robot. Indeed, I did not add a single new actuator to the robot since its first prototype that could only walk. Since then, a number of robot's behaviours have exploded. Naminukas was selected as a finalist in Supplyframe DesignLab: 2020 Hackaday Prize. For an attempt to win the first place I made a video which summarises all robot's features so far:

    It is almost its anniversary too. Last year in October I ordered the first parts for naminukas robot. I didn't expect to get this far. I told my wife that this will probably be the most expensive useless robot, but she let me build it anyway. It is by far the most expensive robot I've ever made but now I am starting to see that it could be useful after all. My original intent was to make an indoor robot which could act as a mobile security camera to check around the house while on holidays. Potentially with additional capabilities like remotely controlling the robot to go to the internet router and reset it and similar tasks. Now I think it has the potential of becoming an industrial inspection robot, cleaning robot, kitchen helper, entertainment robot and much more. I couldn't have succeeded without the community support, kind words, advice and encouragement in the comments on various media channels. Thank you everyone! I hope my work gives back to the community by inspiring others to start new or continue existing great projects.

  • Rubber foam vacuum suction cup

    Mykolas Juraitis09/05/2020 at 15:09 0 comments

    I was looking for foam rubber vacuum suction cups for a while with an ultimate goal to enable naminukas to climb a brick wall. I am still not sure if that is possible as I couldn't get hold of foam rubber suction cup of suitable size and without heavy metal plate. To convince myself if it is the direction worth pursuing I have build a suction cup from a cheap self adhesive neoprene foam rubber sheet from eBay and 3D printed decommissioned naminukas' parts:

    Rubber foam vacuum suction cup with 3D printed base (size view)
    Rubber foam vacuum suction cup with 3D printed base (bottom view)

    Cut with a hobby craft knife it doesn't look nice but it is good enough for testing. It does stick well to smooth and hard surfaces. It also sticks to pavement tiles and some outdoor concrete surfaces to which regular rubber cups wouldn't stick at all. Holding force is not enough to lift a robot but it is also smaller size than I would like to use. So while this cup doesn't stick to bricks at all I think overall this design looks promising. Next step is to test larger diameter cup and softer rubber foam if I can find one.

View all 29 project logs

  • 1
    High level schematic
  • 2
    Model files to 3D print

    All 3D printable parts were developed using OpenSCAD. Part model files are available in GitHub repository. To use these files the following libraries are required:

  • 3
    Parts to buy

    List of parts with links where to buy them is available on project home page.

View all 4 instructions

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Discussions

jonathan wilhelm wrote 09/18/2020 at 04:09 point

Where are you sourcing the vacuum pump?

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 09/28/2020 at 12:59 point

I have a list of all parts with links where to buy them here: https://naminukas.kikaitachi.com/build#parts

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Jonathan wrote 09/08/2020 at 06:51 point

This is very nice man !

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 09/08/2020 at 16:25 point

Thanks!

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Peter Robinson wrote 08/17/2020 at 15:12 point

Very interesting. I never saw anything like it before.

Peter from https://www.gardenloka.com/guide-on-tree-trimming/

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John Loefler wrote 07/13/2020 at 18:37 point

I would Try green bananas at a distance far enough away that heating effect would not cause burning.  Masking it would also give you a better contrast see this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FbDVX7wvgI)

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clive wrote 06/26/2020 at 01:25 point

Yes the wheels are funny ,its like its doing the splits .You might even think about , making it amphibious,, water proof .The wheel in some way have paddles  ,I am just guessing. Top marks !! :)

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 07/09/2020 at 14:40 point

Thanks! Robotis recently released waterproof Dynamixels (for example https://emanual.robotis.com/docs/en/dxl/x/xw540-t140/), electronics could be put in a sealed box and vacuum pump should work with non corrosive fluids out of the box so amphibious version seems feasible without too many changes.

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M Druiven wrote 04/29/2020 at 20:14 point

Nicely done! What are you using to generate vacuum?

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 04/29/2020 at 21:36 point

Thanks. Black thing in robot centre is a dual head vacuum pump which is making all the noise in walk/climb mode.

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Mike Szczys wrote 04/27/2020 at 19:06 point

That is awesome! The walking up walls is a delight, but moving from walking to rolling is the robot equivalent of the moonwalk. Wicked!

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 04/28/2020 at 08:43 point

Thanks!

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Dan Maloney wrote 04/09/2020 at 17:00 point

OK, gotta admit I didn't see the wheels thing coming. That's pretty clever!

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 04/09/2020 at 20:15 point

Thanks. I was super excited when this idea came to me. Still working on how to make transition from walking to wheel mode autonomously (without me holding robot in the air) with minimal or no additional hardware. Servos are powerful enough to drag vacuum suction cups without robot being lifted and also one leg could be transformed while other leg is stuck to the floor but balancing process is not good enough for a transition phase. Software still can be improved a lot but it is not clear if it will be enough.

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