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Robotics development *

Programming and development of robotics

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How to make a robot? What is first

Level of difficulty Easy
Reading time 3 min
Views 4K

I develop robots, and I'm often asked, "How to make a robot?" and "Where do you find information and what resources do you use?"

If you don't know where to start and want to create your own robot, this article is for you. In it, I will try to explain the process and also share the first steps you should take.

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Total votes 2: ↑2 and ↓0 +2
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Making an Encoder Cable for Servosila Brushless Motor Controller. Testing in Direct Drive mode

Reading time 2 min
Views 853

In this video, we are making a cable for connecting a quadrature encoder to a Servosila brushless motor controller, and and then running a servo motor in Direct Drive mode. To make the cable we are using a cable assembly kit that can be purchased from the internet store. Alternatively, the components for the cable can be bought in other places. The part numbers are given in the controller's datasheet.

The cable assembly kit consists of a connector and a set of wires with pre-crimped socket blades. If you have a crimper tool, you can also attach the socket blades to wires by yourself.

Lets open a datasheet document that comes with the brushless motor controller. Note that each connector has its first pin clearly marked with a "1" sign. Conventionally, the numbering of pins is done in such a way that there are rows of odd-numbered and even-numbered pins.

The quadrature encoder's electrical interface has 5 wires in total. Positions of the pins of each of the wires are given in the table. The socket blades need to be pushed into the connector until you feel a "click". The blades lock into the connector's sockets. Optionally, primarily for cosmetic reasons, you may want to add a heat-shrink tubing to your cable.

The brushless motor controllers come in two distinct forms, a circular and a rectangular one. Both models are identical in terms of capabilities, features, firmware, and external electrical connectors.

The connector has a locking mechanism that keeps it in place. I soldered a mating connector to the other side of the cable - a connector that my brushless motor needs. Note that your motor will likely require a different connector, or no connector at all. It is always a good idea to test an end-to-end integrity of the cable and its connectors. Lets buzz the wires using a multimeter. The cable is ready.

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Total votes 5: ↑3 and ↓2 +1
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UAVCAN HITL UAV Simulator for PX4

Reading time 2 min
Views 2.5K

Hi from RaccoonLab, a team of enthusiasts in field robotics! We want to share our true-HITL UAVCAN-based simulator for PX4.

We believe a unified UAVCAN bus for drone onboard electronics will become a mainstream approach shortly. Our simulator is already based on UAVCAN (in opposition to UART-MAVLINK) and emulates exactly the same messages as real UAVCAN-sensors.

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Total votes 2: ↑2 and ↓0 +2
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Controlling Brushless Motors from Windows

Reading time 4 min
Views 1.4K

In this video, we will look at how to connect brushless motors to a Windows computer via USB. We are going to connect a network of Servosila brushless motor controllers to the computer. The other option is CANbus interface, but we will look at CANbus in a dedicated video. A regular USB cable is used. Note that the USB cable is not used to power the controller and its motor.

The first brushless motor controller in network appears to Windows as a Virtual COM port. Once connected via USB, it can be found in a general list of devices in the Window's "Settings" window. Up to 16 controllers can be connected this way via a single USB cable to the same control computer or a PLC. If one of the interconnected brushless motor controllers is connected to a computer via USB, then that particular controller becomes a USB-to-CANbus gateway for the rest of the network.

If your computer happens to have more that one serial port, you may wish to check a COM port's number assigned by Windows to the controller. Then, you pick this COM port in a drop down menu in the Servoscope software, and click Connect. If the COM port is not listed in the drop-down menu, click the Refresh button. If everything is good, the controller appears in a list of devices. Double-click to open up a control and configuration window.

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Total votes 5: ↑3 and ↓2 +1
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System-on-Chip bus: AXI4 simplified and explained

Reading time 20 min
Views 25K

Protocol AXI4 was developed for High-bandwidth and low latency applications. It is designed to allow communication between master and slave devices. Master is typically a DMA or CPU and slaves are DRAM controllers, or other specific protocol controllers: UART, SPI, and others. Sometimes one component can implement multiple instances of this protocol. Usually, a prefix is used to differentiate between multiple AXI4 interfaces.

For example, Ethernet MAC can integrate DMA and slave interface used to command MAC. MAC can accept commands on the slave interface that contain data about the location of the next ethernet packet and MAC can start fetching this packet using the separate master interface instance.

This article was motivated by common design mistakes AXI4 designers make when they are designing their Digital IP. (Looking at you Xilinx)

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Total votes 10: ↑10 and ↓0 +10
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Controlling Brushless Motors using Raspberry PI

Reading time 5 min
Views 3.1K

In this video tutorial, we will control a pair of brushless motors from a Raspberry PI computer. We will use one of the computer's USB ports to connect a network of brushless motor controllers. We will power the computer, the controllers, and the brushless motors using a single battery, similar to a autonomous vehicle design.

The first motor is an outrunner type, a kind of what you would use for a vehicle propulsion. The bigger motor comes with a quadrature encoder which means it can be used as a powerful servo.

I made a cable to power my set up. On one end, the cable has a socket for plugging the battery. The cable splits into a two parallel parts to power the controllers, and the Raspberry PI. The bottom part of the cable further splits to power a pair of brushless motor controllers.
By the way, the controllers need 7 to 60 Volts DC. I put proper connectors at the ends of the cable, so that I could just plug it into the controllers.

Servosila brushless motor controllers come in rectangular or circular form factors. The controllers have USB and CANbus ports for connecting to control computers such as Raspberry PI.

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Total votes 6: ↑5 and ↓1 +4
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Tensodrone that do not break, and what does architecture, robotic manipulator and copter have in common

Reading time 8 min
Views 1.6K
We had ten broken drones in a year, test flights twice a day, three PhDs in the team, a prototype of sushi sticks and a desire to find a way to stop hitting drones.

Very controversial, very unusual, very strange, but it works! At the intersection of architecture, collaborative robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles. 

Introducing: Tensodrone™.

Tensodrone is a multi-rotor UAV of a new design with collision protection, made on the principle of tensegrity. This approach allows for the combination of the protective cage and the airframe in one structure, increasing impact resistance with less weight. The project is a vivid example of the interaction of various teams of the Center for Competences of the National Technology Initiative in the field of «Robotics and Mechatronics» established at the Innopolis University in 2018.
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Weekend picks: A closer look at ITMO University

Reading time 4 min
Views 1.3K
ITMO University occupies several prominent buildings in the centre of St. Petersburg. But residents and guests alike rarely get a chance to take a look at what’s happening inside them. Articles featured in this digest will take you on a virtual tour of our labs, as well as shed some light on the work underway within our walls.

Total votes 4: ↑4 and ↓0 +4
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Top 10 RPA Service Providers to Automate your Business Processes

Reading time 6 min
Views 5.9K
Adaptive service providers in Robotic Process Automation or RPA implementation domains are finding solutions to fill emerging service gaps in industries impacted by changes across the world at the macro-level. Traditionally, RPA is used extensively in manufacturing-intensive industries and healthcare industries. However, the newer world dynamics are driving immense adaptation and RPA use is evolving at a faster pace in services delivery as well.

Mainly business functions like outsourcing, financial services and insurance, banking, procurement outsourcing, Human Resources Outsourcing which used RPA in a limited way are being further adapted to drive exponential growth in RPA services verticals by service providers with a vision to build newer paradigms for Automated services. RPA service providers India are setting new trends, as they develop customized solutions for every industry player.

Analysts estimate that the Global Robotic Process Automation Market is poised to grow to $7.2 billion by 2025 at 32.6% CAGR (Research and Markets Report, 2020). Growth of CAGR for RPA in India is at 20% by 2025.

In the newer world framework, organizations need to make strategic decisions and consciously adopt higher technology platforms like RPA for higher efficiency, performance and cost effective ROI. For local businesses, finding the best RPA service providers is a game changer.

As the demand for robotic process automation increases market participants include Uipath, Automation Anywhere and Blue prism.

Here are some of the top globally trusted RPA service providers:

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GoROBO: an educational initiative from the ITMO University startup accelerator

Reading time 3 min
Views 1.3K
GoROBO is an ITMO University project through and through: one of the co-owners graduated our mechatronics MA program, and two other employees are current postgrad students.

Let’s talk about the educational environment they want to create, why they chose to build such an unusual startup, and what awaits GoROBO clubs in the future.

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Total votes 5: ↑5 and ↓0 +5
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Inside ITMO University: The robotics lab

Reading time 4 min
Views 1.7K
The Department of Computer Science and Control Systems at ITMO University houses a robotics lab. In this article we’ll take a look at the projects its staff is working on, and show you the machinery on site: industrial manipulator robots, robotic hands and dynamic positioning system testing equipment.

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Total votes 13: ↑13 and ↓0 +13
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How to milk cows with robots and make an industrial startup of it. The history of the R-SEPT development

Reading time 10 min
Views 2.4K

In 2017, the media heard a very interesting story about a startup that robotizes milking cows on industrial dairy farms. The company is called R-SEPT, and back then it received 10 million rubles of investment. But a year has passed, and there's still no news on what happened further. We contacted Aleksey Khakhunov (AlexeiHahunov), the founder of the startup, and discussed the development. It turns out that the whole year his team was getting the prototype of the robot into shape, and just a week ago they conducted their first field test on the farm.

Under the cut there's a story about a robotics student who grew up on his parents' farm, turned the University diploma into an industrial startup, as he collected the first manipulators with his friends, and then scaled up to the level of state programs for the robotization of agriculture. And the most important is how the iron hand of the robot and the machine vision are better than a living milkmaid.
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Total votes 26: ↑25 and ↓1 +24
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