• IRA 2.0 Update 02/24/22

    Kendus Tisdale-Jeffries02/22/2022 at 23:37 0 comments

    I have made a few major design changes and decisions since my last update.  First I broke the project up into stages so that I could better organize myself and focus on specific aspects of IRA's development.  Sticking with the flower theme I applied it to some of my naming conventions.  The project is broken up into these major stages; Seed, Seedling, and Flower.

    -STAGE 1: Seed

    For IRA's seed stage I plan to focus on the overall form, mechanics, and electronics.  This also includes working on the visual aspects of IRA's design and giving them more character.  At this stage IRA will be more of a puppet than a robot.

    -STAGE 2: Seedling

    AT this stage I will begin to work on providing IRA more capabilities and Autonomy.  Allowing them to start fulfilling the companion/assistant goal of the project.  The hope is to start implementing sensors to allow IRA to react to the environment they are in.

    -STAGE 3: Flower

    At this stage I want to start implementing more autonomy like image recognition and some IOT capabilities.

    I will probably jump back and forth from these stages as time goes on possibly even starting from scratch with a newly evolved version.  Stages 2 and 3 still require a bit of thought because I haven't fully settled on what kind of functions I want to implement just yet.  Now on to some of the progress and changes with the current version of IRA.

    The biggest change is the eye mechanism.  The concept of a single was something that I really wanted to implement and it would be the driving factor for a lot of my design decisions causing them to accommodate the eye.  Initially I considered either a simple digital eye or a mechanical eye assembly seen in a lot of animatronics.  I didn't feel like I could get the level of character that I wanted from a digital eye so I decided to go for a mechanical assembly.  Although more complicated it seemed more life-like.

    While doing research and looking at designs I originally was inspired by Will Cogley and a lot of his designs. and I attempted to design and build some eye mechanisms to fit in the form factor I had in mind.  But I couldn't really figure out the best arrangement.  This might possibly be to my own desire to design things as small and compact as possible.

    While looking at other things on youtube unrelated to IRA I found this video by 3D Things where they build a 3d printed spherical joint mechanism based on a design from this research paper pertaining to the development of a snake-like robot.  3D things and a commenter had similar thoughts to me about using it to make an eyeball mechanism and I wanted to try that.  I used smaller metal gear servos and decided not to use the gear reduction as I felt that would be unnecessary for my application.  Below you can see my firs rough design of it just to see if I could get it to work.

    You can see in the video that it is very rough.  But I achieved the goal of just seeing if I could make it work.  There is a lot of empty space within that I may use to hold sensors or other components if I can't manage to make it any smaller.  Next is my second version of the eye.  I didn't make many major design changes besides putting a bit more thought into assembly and reducing material where possible.  I will be printing this out soon and seeing if I can get some smoother movement out of it.

    I am also working on figuring out the assembly and mechanism for the petals as well as where all of the electronics will go.  At the moment I intend on using a Raspberry Pi Pico and a servo driver board.  Later down the line I want to include a Raspberry Pi Zero or something similar if I can get my hands on one.  That concludes all of the major updates for now.

  • IRA 2.0 Update 9-22-2021

    Kendus Tisdale-Jeffries09/22/2021 at 16:26 0 comments

    I have encountered a few technical and logistical challenges which will prevent me from submitting IRA for the 2021 Hackaday prize.  My current computer's condition is getting worse by the day, making nearly impossible to do anything design related.  The good news is that I am building a PC and most of my parts have already arrived. I will continue developing IRA and many more projects once my PC is built.