Scanning Robots

Post any marterial related the future technology of laser scanning.
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Scanning Robots

Post by jcoco3 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:10 am

It's about time we had a thread dedicated to robots that can scan. I have seen some that are fully automated, some that are simply remote control and even some fictional accounts that now occupy a large portion of my imagination, but all are intriguing. I think it would be good to just talk about how they could help and collaborate about implementations. Please post anything that is "remotely" related :lol:

Here are some of my favorites:
The Recap Robot from Autodesk
recaprobot.png
This tracked thing of beauty from Joe Beeching's group
3331_a.png
The Scan-Copter's version 1&2
ScanCopter1.png
ScanCopter2.png
The Ricopter
ricopter_01.jpg
and the Prometheus scanners that haunt my imagination
Prometheus_UK_2473.jpg
8589236219a4770c575149dea3ee4f60.jpg
My apologies for not listing them all, so please feel free to add any and discuss their qualities.

A couple of years ago we were asked to scan an acid unit, but were not allowed to enter due to the hazardous conditions. We had to make dozens of scans from the exterior that would have been simple to capture from just a handful of interior scans. We have had a couple of other projects that were also challenging captures due to structural safety issues. This prompted me to build a robot of our own, but it is still an evolving creation.
I am not much for naming inanimate objects, but by request and for the ease of communication meet JANR-Jonathan's Annoying Nerdy Robot
JANR.png
The idea was to create a generic base platform that could be easily modified for different application, such as controlling a car or boat or adding tracks, wheels and various sensors/scanners. So far JANR is capable of being remote controlled via a common RC controller while in visual proximity. This allows it to be used as a simple remote control tripod, and allows us to re-position the scanner and activate the Faro scanner via WIFI. It also has a simple 5.8ghz analog live video feed, a mobile phone using Microsoft Lync for video calls, and a PTZ ip camera that allows us to see in all directions. This has allowed us to perform what I would consider telepresence scanning, but more importantly it has allowed us to consider the thought of remotely controlling and scanning from a far...very far :geek: With a 4g hotspot a small netbook, a servo controller, and a myriad of software we have been able to test this idea. We were able to pilot JANR from 10 miles away and drive it approximately 600' down a neighborhood roadway, albeit with a significant amount of lag. It was similar to what I imagine a mars rover would feel like. In the office we tested this remote scanning operation. Piloting it from my workstation we were able to move it from room to room controlling the scanner and robot over the internet while simultaneously uploading the scans to OneDrive then downloading them to my workstation, bringing them into Scene and registering them via cloud to cloud. It was certainly a strong test of our multitasking abilities, but it was very successful none the less. Here is a screen capture from my workstation while the chaos ensued:
TelepresenceScanning.png
We are looking into other simpler, smaller and more reliable methods of remote control, and we have investigated the use of Arduino, Android, IOS, GPS based controllers like the Pixhawk. David Zip also suggested the new Windows 10 raspberry pi which looks very promising, any other suggestions are welcome :)
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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by hoho » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:20 am

respect!

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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by dtmcnamara » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:47 am

Ive been wanting to build something similar for some time now that would allow automatic scans in dangerous places, but I just dont have the money to do it. Before I left GA Tech I worked with a group of people that were building drones to automate simple fast photogrammetry surveying. It wasn’t anything special, but we wanted to make sure when we threw a project at the drone it would capture all the images needed on the first flight saving time and ultimately money. We had a Faro scanner on campus as well, but for some reason the school wouldn’t let us test putting it on one of the drones, I wonder why? LOL

Before I graduated we talked about making a Rumba style robot that we could put the Faro on to automatically scan the campus with, similar to the AutoDesk bot they send around AU. We wanted the robot to have a charging station that it would come back to when they battery was running low and automatically re charge making it truly 100% automatic. We started to design it and work with some mechanical, electrical and software engineers on campus but then I graduated and don’t know what came of it.

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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by dtmcnamara » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:10 pm

Also, just as a FYI, if you want to use a Raspberry Pi for controlling the bot take a look at this:

http://www.gertbot.com/

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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by jcoco3 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:48 pm

Thanks Jan :)

David, you don't have to spend a fortune to build just a remote control tripod. My robot has a great deal of unnecessary things on it like the arm and extra cameras. I don't think I have more than $1500 in it total...just a great deal of time.

Quick Parts list:
Used wheelchair motors(24v) and wheels $200(ebay)
OrangeRx RC transmitter $60
OrangeRx RC receiver $20
Talon-SR speed controllers(2) $130
12 volt SLA batteries 7Ah(2 for 24v) $40
24v to 5v voltage regulator $5-$15
12v or 24v charger $15
Misc. wires and connectors $15
Enclosure $0-$30
Hardware and brackets $15-$50

Total under $600

You could probably make this even cheaper if you did not need the horsepower that the wheelchair motors offer. JANR is strong enough for me to ride while pulling a wagon full of equipment.

If you want to go automated the price will go up up dramatically, but I question the feasibility of a unmanned terrestrial laser scanner wandering around without a pilot unless it is a very well designed and reliable system like some I have listed above. Even I am a little concerned about it rolling off a cliff or it malfunctioning and performing a death spiral, which JANR has done...without the scanner on it :lol:
That gertbot looks like a perfect addition to the pi. Right now I am using an old netbook and a Micro Maestro. I like the easy scripting features and I have figure out a way to send it forward, left spin, right spin, reverse commands using the WASD keys on a remote computer. It is also very easy to re-program on the fly remotely if I need to go slower, faster, or initiate a motion sequence. Maybe the pi+gertbot will offer the reliability and simplicity I am after.

Also I found more scanning robots to add to this list:
legoscanner.jpg
3D-Documentation-User-Meeting_1_kl.jpg
d_foto_08.jpg
large_upload.jpg
irma_3d,_performing_a_scanning_job_in_ostia_antica,_italy.jpg
Irma3DwithThermalCamera.jpg
story-mine-aaron-morris-phd.jpg
Wish I had some better pictures of Aarron Morris's bots. I got the privilege of meeting him at the last Faro conference while I was playing around with JANR and he had the decency not to laugh and to say that it was cool, which I greatly appreciated :D
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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by dtmcnamara » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:01 pm

I was talking more about the price of a scanner
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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by jcoco3 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:11 pm

Oh! Sorry, I am bad about assuming everyone here has a laser scanner. That would definitely increase your cost :lol:

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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by dtmcnamara » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:27 pm

jcoco3 wrote:Oh! Sorry, I am bad about assuming everyone here has a laser scanner. That would definitely increase your cost :lol:
Just a little....and its a little too much to try and hide the purchase of one from the wife....for some reason I think she would notice that much money missing

Aaron Morris's bot is the recapbot correct?

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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by jcoco3 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:56 pm

I believe so, and the one at the bottom with Aaron posing next to it in the tunnel. I don't know how much of each was his own creation or if they were team efforts, but I know he knows robotics. I got to hear a few interesting stories while when we met about past robotics projects. I hope we get to share more stories in the future.

I have been hoping that software using the inexpensive primesense sensors would get to the point that they would be sufficient for large interior building scans requiring minimum accuracy requirements, but there seems to be a threshold for size that eliminates them from competing with terrestrial scanners. I really like the DoubleRobotics device because of the ease of control. If interesting to see if we could combine this with a small sensor like the Xtion, and successfully capture typical rooms and hallways in an office building by driving/spinning it around. With a package that small we could ship it in a box to clients, scan remotely, then have then ship it to the next site when scanning is complete. Only thing missing is a finger to push the buttons in the elevator ;)


youtu.be/Oan9TMb47Do
I test drove one a while back and it is so easy anyone can do it.

We have entertained the idea of delivering JANR to large indoor site like a warehouse and conducting the scans remotely by day and charging at night on a dock. We are just waiting on a project to come along that would be a good fit.

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Re: Scanning Robots

Post by dtmcnamara » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:53 pm

Have you thought about wireless induction charging on the bot yet? I know when we were talking about doing ours we wanted to find a way to charge the unit without anyone having to actually go out and touch the unit, mainly becuase people can/will forget to plug it in. We were designing a magnetic aligned induction charging system, similar to a smartphone wireless charger, that would connect when the bot would drive under it and align with the help of the magnets. Once the charge was complete we designed a servo to pull the magnets away from the charging port releasing the connection and allow the bot to get back on its way. The nice thing about induction charging is that there is no need to worry about position of the connector, the bad thing is that its slow compared to traditional plugs

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