May 8, 2007

A good way to go crazy...




Back on April 11, I wrote about the "NXT Black Book" written by Yoshihito Isogawa. If you take a close look at the cover of that book, you'll see a walker demonstrated.
The book does NOT provide the building instructions for this robot. What it does provide are 10 full-color photos of the robot from various angles. I was able to "reverse-engineer" this walker after a couple of hair-pulling hours - lots of mistakes and realizations and Ah-Ha moments. Finally, I was able to duplicate the walker.
Well, that was the good news. The bad news? I can't get the thing to actually walk. I've played around with this robot enough and have had it. I can't provide you with the building instructions because I don't know if that's legal or not. The author doesn't provide them, so you're forced to do what I did if you want to try and duplicate it.

What it comes down to is a robot that for all purposes APPEARS to actually walk, but doesn't. I've made appeals to the public to try and track down the author for a video or some technical help, but no such luck. I'm not saying the author doesn't have a real working-walking robot, but what I am saying is that if I've built the exact same robot from the photos, then this thing is just for looks. Maybe it's possible I missed some small secret part that makes the whole thing work, but I doubt it. If anyone else has the book, I'd LOVE to hear from you regarding if you were able to build the walker and get it walking.
I want to believe.

19 comments:

Jim Kelly said...

...and if someone says "Connect some wires to the motors" you'll get 20 wet-noodle lashes.

The wires were removed for better photographs.

Jim

Anonymous said...

Your not leaving NXT for a diffrent hobby are you Jim? I saw this when I clicked your name. http://sisjarcade.blogspot.com/

Rick Rhodes said...

Jim,

I think I mentioned that I bought this same black book. Since I don't know Japanese, the only thing of value to me in the book was the walker you tried to build.

When I heard that you couldn't get the robot to work, I said to my wife: "If Jim Kelly can't get it to work, there's NO chance I can get it to work". So I tossed the book!

However, there are some sharpies on this blog who could get this bot going, I'll bet.

Rick

Jim Kelly said...

Rick - I would LOVE for someone to prove me wrong and get it walking! I still think there's probably some secret trick to it, but as it stands, the motors turn the legs, but it just tips over.

Anonymous - No, I'm not leaving the Mindstorms NXT hobby... just trying to keep my other project separate.

Robolab 2.9 said...

The third motor in the back looks like it shifts the NXT? Maybe it's a COG shifter?

Looks interesting! I would try to build it if I had the book.

Robolab 2.9

Anonymous said...

Are you building your own arcade machine? Cooooooooool! I like your website and sound fx.

When are you going to finsih it?

Jake

222Doc said...

"and if someone says "Connect some wires to the motors" you'll get 20 wet-noodle lashes" lol

lol well its a black book brother to the infamous blue book of area 51 so that would mean it was created by alliens with a high degree of lego science. "the truth is out there" but its in Japanese. we may never know.

after reading the MadArno's LEGO Biped i am inspired to do a a major upgrade to my biped. in NXT only studless the goal walking up plano boxes. i might need some help from them alliens though, i may never know as well.

Jim Kelly said...

Hi, Jake.

Yes, it'll be a real arcade cabinet to play some of my favorite games. I get asked "What games will it play" a lot and the short answer is "All of them" :) Do a Google search on MAME and you can learn more. I'm a product of the 80's so you're sure to find Pac Man, Space Invaders, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Tempest, Tron, and more... woo hoo.

As for when it'll be finished - I don't really know. I've got some busy months ahead of me so I may not get much done on it for a while.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jim. Well good luck with it. I might try adn build one some day. I'm going to add your website ot my favorite sites so be sure to update it! Maybe some of your readers will also build one with NXT theme!!!!

http://www.bluerocketwriting.com/SISJhome.html is cooooooool!!!!!!

Time for dinner. Bye!!

Jake

NeoStormer said...

I don't really know how yours currently works (if the NXT rotates or not) and I don't really have enough time to build one since i'm busy working on a project with my NXT but I did have enough time for a small animation to show how it should work in theory.

http://neostormer.dynamized.com/images/bipedani.gif

It's only an animation from the back but it should be enough to help.

Paul NeoStormer (Owner and founder of Neostormer.co.nr)

Guy Ziv said...

Can you publish a few more images of your robot? Maybe this can help those w/o the book to unravel this puzzle. It seems to me that IF this robot walks the "secret" is in the order you move the motors.

Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

I wish I could find my old Japanese friend "Joda" Hideaki Yabuki. We used to translate manuals into each language for a Japanese company. He and I discussed everything and we spent a lot of time taking about R/C and MindStorms. See his LEGO pages at Joda MindStorms

We lost contact after we both moved and he changed jobs. If anyone knows his contact information, please send him mine or send me an email. My wife and I are planning a trip to Japan and I would like to visit with him.

Chris

Jim Kelly said...

I'll try and post a couple more images today. As the motor on back turns, the robot DOES shift to the left and then to the right. The problem is about 80% in the feet and 20% in the weight of the brick. I can force the robot to "walk" by moving the legs and angling the brick a certain way, but either the feet get caught on a flat surface or the brick's weight causes the robot to tumble over due to imbalance.

Jim

Jim German said...

First off you clearly can't play Tron on your MAME cabinent until you install the proper Tron Joystick and wheel controls as well as a blacklight.

Regarding the bot, perhaps the reason for the lack of building instructions was due to the bot not acutaly working.

Jim Kelly said...

Jim, that's a VERY good possibility (regarding the bot). I would LOVE to see it walk, though... it's very cool to look at. Danny's got one in the works that I'm also looking forward to seeing...

Regarding my MAME cab: I haven't ordered my joysticks yet, but there is a guy who is selling copies of an authentic TRON joystick - he made a mold of an original and produces knock-offs in original blue and also in red.

For me, I don't want to dedicate the space to a joystick for just one game. I'll find a way to make it work though - I'm considering creating an "add on" panel that can clip on and support games like Tron that require special controls.

As for the spinner, yep, I'm putting one on the control panel. I don't think it will be possible to control Tron's arms and fire without it.

Andy said...

Jim, on the outside of each feet, you could try to add a beam on that so it dsn't tilt so much to each side when "walking". Maybe it would work then. Just a thought...

Andy

222Doc said...

You know I was looking at the same Andy. I think they build that so it does ballance on the outside of the foot if jusy set on it. The trouble with that design, might be the motion creats momentum. It may just keep going and fall over when in motion. I had to regultate that momentum in two ways on my biped; use the ramp down feature of the new mini move blocks to the leaning motor, put the opposite foot in motion to counter the "leaning momentum".

I wonder if the opposite foot could do the same in this build? but that design leaves little to adjust sice it basicaly is just tipping over. make foot widder on the out side might help? not easy to make a biped with only three motors. I would guess it wont turn very easy as well.

Jim Kelly said...

I'm fairly certain I could modify it to actually walk, but my goal is to try and get it to walk as it is constructed.

I'll wait a few more days and then maybe do some tinkering.

Jim

Anonymous said...

i found a robot that actually walks but is uses the rcx. you will to modify it for the nxt.

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