Welcome to the Pistonrobot website. The website is mostly here to discuss the Pistonrobot so that people will know about it and perhaps to persuade a group or corporation to create the Pistonrobot.Download Pistonrobot walking 44mb mp4 (551 downloads) Download KeyShot Walkabout 2 laps mp4 124 mb (527 downloads)
I think if we allow hydraulic cylinders (pistons) to be the motive force item for a robot, that this choice best allows a robot to have a human form and to behave (move) as a mimic of a human being. I think this ability of the robot to mimic human motion is exceptionally important on the topic of a balanced bipedal walking structure. As one attempts to make a balanced walking bipedal device, two large problems arise immediately. Problem 1) How exactly does one want this device to look? How are the creators of this device going to answer the multiple questions of just how is this device put together, what is the proportions of its limbs, what kinds of joints will it have, what is the range of motion of each of these joints, etc.?
I see this problem as the physical design questions problem. Problem 2) How are the designers going to choose which motions the robot will use as it solves the problems of how to get itself walking from a stable standing stance, how will it just walk along on level ground, how will it change its direction of walking, how will it perform recovery or compensatory motions to react to the event of the robot beginning to fall over?
It seems so clear to me that all of the fundamental and difficult design decisions that flow from the questions and problems of the previous paragraph are so easily answered if we decide, as the designers, that we are simply going to mimic the human form. Thus, for all the design questions that come up, all we have to say is, (for questions of what physical form should we give to the parts of the robot) “Well….what is the physical structure that is used in humans?
Or, once the physical robot exists, our answer to questions of what programming are we going to use so the robot can respond to the situation at hand, we can simply say “Well…how do humans respond to this movement problem?”
I wanted people to be able to create a pistonrobot or perhaps just some parts of a pistonrobot to see how this “mimic a human” approach could be done. I feel it would also help to demonstrate to people just how simple everything becomes if we can follow fairly carefully the design principle of “mimic a human.”
Unfortunately, while I feel the “piston” or “hydraulic cylinder” structure serving as the motive force item of the pistonrobot is exceptionally helpful, I understand that working with hydraulic cylinders adds a significant level of complexity and expense. I decided I should design a Linear Actuator that could serve as an electric substitute for a fully “fluid-under-pressure” hydraulic cylinder system. The main advantage of the Linear Actuator approach is that a Linear Actuator is less expensive and less complicated than a hydraulic cylinder and with a Linear Actuator, the only power source that needs to be present and functioning is nothing more than electric power.
So I am showing here my design of two different Linear Actuators. I named the first one as the “Simple Linear Actuator.” I named the second one as the “Sophisticated Linear Actuator.” The main feature of the Simple Version is that (I hope) my design allows inexpensive creation of a functional Linear Actuator so that people can investigate the concepts of the pistonrobot with an inexpensive, simple, easily understood, and easily implemented Simple Linear Actuator.
The main feature of the Sophisticated Linear Actuator is that it allows one to have a pistonrobot that can function just as if it had true hydraulic cylinders, but it does not have the complexity and troubles associated with true hydraulic cylinders, such as: fluids under pressure, piping, valves, hydraulic media, leaks, fittings, seals, pumps, motors for pumps, etc.
I did want this Sophisticated Linear Actuator to have very impressive capabilities so that there would not be limitations forced on the pistonrobot from using a Linear Actuator instead of a Hydraulic Cylinder. I am hoping that a pistonrobot with the Sophisticated Linear Actuators could be a robot that could exactly mimic a pistorobot that was constructed with hydraulic cylinders.
I decided the best way to introduce and describe these Linear Actuators in a manner where people could really understand how they work and people could create one of these Linear Actuators was for me to create a set of videos that describe these Linear Actuators. These videos are of the mp4 type. I have uploaded them to my YouTube channel.
I placed them on YouTube because they are large videos. The video discussing the Simple Linear Actuator is 2 hours long and is 2.33 gigabytes in size. The video discussing the Sophisticated Linear Actuator is one hour long and is 1.37 gigabytes in size. I know that many people prefer YouTube so that they do not have to manage files of this size. I also feel there could be people who want these mp4 files to be present on their own computer so that they can refer to them as video files that they physically own.
Here are the url addresses of these videos on my YouTube Channel:Download mp4 video (1.37 gigabytes) title: Linear Drive Whole Video (4 downloads) Download mp4 video (2.33 Gigabytes) title: New Intro Section The Simple Linear Drive Parts 01 thru 16 (10 downloads)
I feel that a reliable, simple, accurate, and easily understandable method to “sense” the extent of retraction-extension of a piston is just essential in order for pistons to be feasible as a method to provide motive power to a robot. I decided to describe this new sensory system via a set of 5 minute videos that piece-by-piece put together how this sensory capability will be created.
This link will take you to a page of this website that lists these videos. As I create the videos, I will upload them to this page on the website. I also try to get them uploaded to my YouTube account. When you go to YouTube just type in Pistonrobot and all the videos should show up.
Well…. a New Year is here (2019) so I thought to add a brief note of what I’ve been up to. In October, 2018, I thought I would take a few months off from the robot to work on a Flying Machine. I think The Flying Machine is interesting to consider. This particular Flying Machine is designed around a heavy lift function. My design interest is to create a Flying Machine that has enough lift to be able to carry a person or a payload that weighs about as much as a human being or even a little bit more than that. Perhaps a payload in the range of about 300 lbs. When I looked at my design for this Flying Machine, I thought is was just fun to look at and that the design is a cool idea for a toy for the Holiday Season. Hahahaha… nothing ever gets designed in the amount of time one thinks might be needed. Anyway, it never made it to the finished toy stage by the time the 2018 Holidays were here.
I’m still working on it.
More about the Flying Machine is at the page named:
All to follow. Stay tuned! pg
I also took a year off to create arms for the pistonrobot. Its interesting, an autonomous robot needs to have very central to its creation an ability to get itself back to standing balanced and upright in the bipedal pose after it falls down. Because, particularly as the robot is developed, it’s gonna’ fall down a lot! Anyway, I realized that arms are so important in the process of giving protection to the robot to try to prevent damage as it is falling over, and also to help the robot to go through the motions and actions that allow it to get itself from “down on the ground” back to “standing up.” So I gave it arms and they have a significant range of motion in all axes as will be needed and they are robust and have a lot of potential force that they can exert. All of this is needed, it is weird to me that this topic of stance recovery is not really featured much in autonomous robot discussions. Anyway, I got one of the “New” pistonrobots and sent him outside to pose in front of the trees to show us all his new arms, and I asked him to give us a wave, and I even got a little smile. I thought the image was cool, so here it is. More to come.
Of interest, I discovered that (at least to me) as I created images of the Pistonrobot really just for the purpose of helping to show whatever feature of the Pistonrobot that I was describing at the time, that, well…..it was a surprise to me, some of the images are just pretty to look at. So I have parts of the website that are mostly present to display the Pistonrobot images and set the website up so people can download these images.
I found that I could make sets of 3D drawings where I incrementally alter the position of the Pistonrobot, make renders from these 3D drawing files, and then “string” these rendered images together to make videos that, again, as a great surprise to me, have the appearance of videos of the Pistonrobot moving around, and there is not even a physically real version of the Pistonrobot! I am just fascinated by that and I give some space on the website where I discuss how these videos were created.
I also discuss other topics of interest to me at this website and these topics really don’t have much to do with the Pistonrobot or robotics, but they are topics that I think are interesting. These topics are arranged in their own section.
I sometimes create images via Sketchup and/or via renderings of Sketchup outputs. These images are scattered around the website. I will also from time to time put a few of these images here on the home page, mostly because I feel they are just cool to look at. Some are related to the Pistonrobot and some are about other topics.
I feel the images are always better to view in their large format. I create them as large size images, but one cannot just place large filesize images on a website because websites will bog down and frequently stop functioning as they try to open images bigger than about 3 mb. These images are created by rendering Sketchup 2018 Pro drawing files. I use KeyShot v7 to render these drawing files. I think there is interest in people working with their own version of KeyShot to see how they can create Pistonrobot images. KeyShot can do its rendering by using a KeyShot package file. I offer some of my KeyShot package files for free download
at this page of the website: https://pistonrobot.com/free-downloads-keyshot-package-files-other-topics/
I finally figured out a way around the problem of how one could offer people large file size images so they could download them and then look at them. I discuss this in more detail including some large filesize images free for download on this page of the website: Pistonrobot webpage about large file size images
Now that I’ve figured out how I can offer large file size images for download, I hope to just keep adding more. My plan is to add them at that page I showed above. Enjoy !
Here’s one of those larger images that you can download (note I’m showing here the 3mb version so it won’t bog down your viewing of this page, the large size version of this image is 31mb).
Again, welcome, I’m glad you’re here and have a good time and come back again anytime. pg
Note: I also have a LinkedIn listing under my name: Patrick Gray
Note: I try to keep my most recent SketchUp drawings at my collection on the 3D Warehouse site maintained by Trimble for SketchUP drawings.
link: SketchUP 3D Warehouse drawings
link address https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/
I made an mp4 video showing internal and external rotation of the left arm. I made this video using stop motion techniques to create the video from still image renders from KeyShot v7.
Here’s the KeyShot package file you can use to see how I did this in KeyShot (of note, you will need KeyShot to open this package file (and I think you may be required to use the educational version of KeyShot, I am not sure on this point).Download 34mb This is a KeyShot package file named: shoulder int ext rotation video colors correct v9 int ext rotation v23 (180 downloads)
Once you get to the 3D Warehouse, in order for you to see my SketchUp drawings at the Warehouse, you will need to ask the Warehouse to search for my collection. The name of my collection at the 3D Warehouse is: pistonrobot
I’ve added some new images in the Turning Prayer section. I just thought they looked really cool, so I added them. They will go onto a TShirt at some point, I am still figuring out how to do this.
Here’s the front image of our next tshirt:
Here’s another of the Turning Prayer TShirts:
I wanted to show how the fuel injectors would heat up the air in the combustion chamber. So I just worked around to see if I could make anything that looks like 3D flames. Anyway, this is the engine that I am designing to be the power supply of the robot. I plan a YouTube lecture on it, the video name will be: Pistonrobot the Engine of the Heart
Here’s the actual Sketchup Pro 2019 drawing file for this new engine:Download 10mb This is a Sketchup Pro drawing file named: Engine All Parts v445.skp (130 downloads)
Here’s a video showing this engine running.
Here’s where you can download the video 53mb mp4 that I made showing this engine as it runs.Download 53mb This is an mp4 Video File named: Final-Engine-Sketchup-Images-Whole-Engine-plus-Closeup-valve-Plus-Keyshot-images-at-the-end-v1.mp4 (182 downloads)
But I’m not quite ready to start creating the video where it shows imagery of the gas flow, and the injection of the heated fuel, and the ignition of the fuel, but I thought the flames were cool, so I sent them up to the warehouse
and (as usual) this is a 3D drawing that has a lot more to show if you will download it from the Trimble 3D Warehouse site and open it on your own computer.
as it happens, the Little Guy needed to “bulk up” some in order to get that engine in his chest. Isn’t that always the case…..
I thought he looked pretty much OK with the big chest, if Pistonrobot is ever actually created, it will probably be the military that does it anyway…..
and they all look like that.
Amazon’s gonna’ let me sell Pistonrobot T’s via their merchandise site. I’ll see if I can get the Big Guy on a T. I don’t know yet, this stuff gets complicated really fast. More to come.
Welcome to all. We will describe on this site a bipedal walking robot and show the design and programming elements needed so that this walking robot could actually be constructed and can be made to walk. It’s gonna’ be fun, you just watch. The purpose of this site is to make it clear that such a robot could be built and that it will function just as it is described. We note that as of yet, the robot does not exist. Some of the important design features of the robot derive from the specifications listed above. We will have the robot to exist in a physical form that is very similar to the human. Since this robot will be a demonstrator that a robot can be created that exhibits the same type of balanced, graceful, fluid, and energy efficient motion as does a human, then we want to quickly stop the assertion that such a structure cannot be made and will not work. Shaping a robot so that it has a human form is ideal to meet this requirement for fundamental feasibility because one can contemplate the human form anytime one wants to, and one can see its form and motion. It makes no sense to look at the human in motion, and then assert that such a physical shape and form of motion is not possible. Of course it is possible, there it is right in front of you.
Updates about my work with Pistonrobot are listed at the page below: