One very inspiring YouMagine community member is JJRobots. They make super fun robots such as an open source air hockey robot and an open source self balancing robot. This is just the kind of innovation we’d love to support here at YouMagine so I interviewed the team to find out what they’re up to.
What is JJRobots?
We are two electronic hobbyist who really wanted to share the ideas and knowledge with everyone who loves DIY robotics. JJrobots want to… fill the gap that exists in the DIY world, in which you need to have an electronics/ computing background in order to start a project. JJrobots is oriented to the MEDIUM skill level “maker”, we want to provide them with useful, affordable and flexible electronics that you can use for a lot of different projects. B-robot and the Air hockey robot are just two of a big list of projects we are developing right now. The following project will use the same electronics we are currently selling now in our shop.
Why did you start it?
The idea of JJROBOTS born nine months ago when I, Juan Pedro, working and living in UK, told Jose (my partner here) to open a web page to host the projects that Jose had been publishing in other blog and make it easier to people to make them by themselves (and create a platform to grow with new projects).
JJROBOTS is a blog with information about the projects, documentation, build manuals, schemes, a “how it works” section, and an online SHOP for the hardware parts (electronics, plastic parts…). Our goal is that people have fun making their own robots and, at the same time, learn how it all works. ALL will be OPEN, shared and documented. There will be a growing community behind with forums so you could get help from us and from other users.
We want that people take our projects as a base, and feel free to hack/modify them to the limits!
B-ROBOT is a good example. Starting from the design Jose published last year, we have been improving it in many ways. We have created a new electronics shield for an Arduino Leonardo, instructions, building manual and schemes. The code is now much simpler and better documented. This project is very FUN and ,as you can see in the video, the control is WIFI excellent too! (Kids love the robot)
This is an unique gadget that you could make by yourself (DIY). This is not a toy, it is a robot that uses good motors, quality electronics, and sophisticated control algorithms.
Our idea is also to reuse most of the components involved in the early projects in another future projects. For example, the Wifi module (which is not cheap) will be used soon in more projects (subscribe to jjrobots to keep you updated). You are investing in electronic components that could have several lives (motors, Arduino, wifi…)
Over the years we have realized that people love the open projects that we have been publishing here (B-ROBOT, arduspider, Air hockey robot…) but people have problems to reproduce them. Now there are no excuses! Everyone will have available all the parts and documentation to let them be successful!
Why do you share your designs on YouMagine?
I wanted to use YouMagine since I bought an Ultimaker 6 months ago and I knew about the existence of this website. I do love my 3D printer (now printing with FLEX PLA which has skyrocketed my “maker” capabilities!). This is a very good platform to spread the project.
How does your balancing robot work?
There is information here. But as a short brief:
“B-ROBOT is a remotely controlled self-balancing Arduino robot created with 3D printed parts. With only two wheels,B-ROBOT is able to maintain his balance all the time by using his internal sensors and by driving the motors. You can control your Robot, making him move or spin, by sending command through a Smartphone, Tablet or PC while he keeps the balance.
B-ROBOT reads his inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes integrated on the MPU6000 chip) 200 times per second. He calculates his attitude (angle with respect to the horizon) and compares this angle with the target angle (0º if he wants to maintain balance without moving, or a positive or negative angle if he wants to move forward or backwards). Using the difference between the target angle (let’s say 0º) and actual angle (let’s say 3º) he drives a Control System to send the right commands to the motors to maintain his balance. The commands to the motors are accelerations. For example if the robot is tilted forward (angle of robot is 3º) then he sends a command to the motors to accelerate forward until this angle is reduced to zero to preserve the balance.”
Why make an air hockey robot?
Everything started when Jose (my partner and friend) built his 3D printer. First, the possibility to design and build our own parts and second, how could we hack the components of a 3D printer to make something different?
Jose´s daughter loves the Air Hockey game and we love robotics so one day an idea was born in our mind… can we construct…??… Mmmmm …. it seemed very complicated and with many unresolved questions (puck detection??, robot speed??), but that is also part of the fun…
What do you hope to achieve with JJRobots? Why do you think its important to teach kids about robotics?
Well, we are loosing the contact with what lies beneath technology. You can buy an Iphone and play with its tactile screen but not know anything about how this device really works.
How does an industrial machine detect broken cookies during the packaging process?
Hacking can be performed only when you really know how a thing works. We want to “hack” ordinary stuff and create cool things showing how it is done. We want to let kids (and adults!) to do it by themselves and by asking for a helping hand in our webpage´s forum.
How large is the company?
Just Jose and I (Juan Pedro). Each one have our own jobs beside jjrobots, so right now, these ideas can not feed us, we will need to find time for this exciting project.