Chumby controlled mechanum wheel robot

[Madox] gutted an Insignia Infocast to use with this robot. Insignia is Best Buy’s house brand and they partnered with Chumby to make their Infocast line. If you can find a used or clearance model it’s a great way to get yourself and embedded Linux board for a project like this one.

The body and wheels are 3D printed, with design files available at [Madox's] Thingiverse page. The mechanum wheels work amazingly well, using seven bearings each for smooth operation. The body itself includes a holder for two groups of batteries. One of those battery packs powers the Chumby board while the other is used to power the four servo motors responsible for locomotion. To simplify the electronics [Madox] chose to use a USB servo drive which only set him back about $20.

We’re not sure what the USB dongle on top of the robot is used for. We’d guess it’s a WiFi adapter, since the machine sets up its own access point to act as a controller. But we thought Chumby boards had WiFi built-in. At any rate, check out the video after the break where you can see an Android phone driving the little bugger. There’s a flaw in the code that prevents side-to-side movement, it gets fixed after a video break at about 2:15 and everything is peachy after that.

Comments

  1. nomo says:

    I think the chumby comes with wi-fi, but Bunnie wrote in his blog that it is actually just an intern dongle.

  2. nomo says:

    I think the chumby comes with wi-fi, but Bunnie wrote in his blog that it is actually just an *internal dongle.
    /edit:spelling

  3. timg says:

    The chumby one (or infocast in this case) has a USB daughter card for the WiFi. So, yes, that’s what’s sticking out of the top.

  4. Kade says:

    when it moves sideways does it remind you of hammertime?

  5. Hydrox says:

    Wow, nice little build. I especially like the innovative wheels used to allow strafing. How well does it work on things like carpet?
    Oh and of course, the required “FIRST!”
    Thanks for all the cool posts hackaday, hopefully I’ll be getting an arduino soon :)

  6. Billy Zelsnack says:

    That’s just the internal wifi dongle relocated to a different USB port.

  7. The Cageybee says:

    Yep. Chumby had wifi. Provided by a usb wifi dongle connected internally.

  8. Trekker says:

    It’s a Ralink rt2571wf Network Adapter

  9. megalodactyl says:

    I WANT MECHANUM WHEELS SOO BAD

  10. JA12 says:

    This is going to sound just nitpicking but I try to make a relevant point…

    Robots and RC stuff should be differentiated because ..umm.. they’re two different things. It’s not useful at all to find 100s’ of RC vehicles if you’re building an AI of some level for your robot and try to find similar projects. Also, cool RC builds might take unjustified negativity from being “just a dumb robot”.

    I’m not commenting this because of Madox. What he has built is neat IMO but not once does he say that it’s a robot, anywhere. His build may well become one and that’s what I was expecting in the first place: Chumby+robot does sound promising.

    From wikipedia:
    “A robot is a mechanical intelligent agent which can perform tasks on its own, or with guidance.”
    “..common characteristic is that, by its appearance or movements, a robot often conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own.”

    • MS3FGX says:

      This has bothered me for awhile; anything that moves is now considered a “robot” on these tech blogs.

      I guess calling something a robot makes for more sensational headlines?

    • The Cageybee says:

      I blame ‘Robot’ Wars. Really pisses me off actually.
      However, in this case it may be that the guy’s just at an early stage of development. Let’s hope so, there should certainly be enough processing power left over to sort out some sort of autonomy.

    • birdmun says:

      I know over at letsmakerobots there are a couple members working with a chumby and a software package called MRL aka My Robot Lab built by one of the members. The software as I understand it offers a very generic set of building blocks from which one can accomplish many things.

    • birdmun says:

      Re: recoding for strafing.
      I wonder if the code wasn’t written for mecanum wheels in diamond format rather than the X that Madox used. By diamond and X I mean if you draw an imaginary line through the angle of the rollers, Madox’s setup will roughly form an X while I have seen some, like the fork trucks(fork lift), form a diamond shape based on imaginary lines through the angled rollers.
      I guess what I am trying to get at is, would a simple swapping of the wheels have fixed the problem as easily as recoding did?

      • Madox says:

        This was a second unit I built for someone else… I think I made a mistake when documenting the original code that I fitted the wheels wrong, then it became a case of ‘was the code wrong?’ or ‘was the documentation(comments) wrong?’

        I have posted but I’ve since put a webcam on now based on someone else’s improvement :)

  11. N0LKK says:

    “Everything is peachy”? No wonder an AARP ad was inserted… ;) Far out toy, especially the cattywampus movement.

  12. GCL says:

    And of course the Best Buy site does not have any of the things listed. I imagine that either they are all sold out by now, or even worse discontinued.

    Its still an interesting arrangement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 94,486 other followers