Reviving Maxwell (and this blog)01 Apr 2020
It has been over 5 years since I last posted on this blog - but now seems like a great time to start posting things again!
We will start with an update on Maxwell, my longest running robot, which originally started as my Masters project at SUNY Albany. He's 9 years old now, although the only original parts are the laser cut base, the drive motors, drive wheels, and the the neck:
- January 2011 - Maxwell is created with an Arbotix, a series of EX-106 and RX-64 servos, Hokuyo URG-04LX-UG01 laser, a Kinect, and a massive Dell laptop.
- March 2011 - Maxwell gets an Emergency Stop.
- August 2011 - Maxwell wins the AAAI Small Scale Manipulation Challenge.
- December 2011 - Maxwell gets a vertical lift so he can reach the ground and the table. Around the same time, the camera got upgraded to an Asus Xtion.
- Summer 2012 - Maxwell gets upgraded to a MX series servos. I also wrote a three part article about this in SERVO magazine.
- Summer 2013 - Maxwell gets upgraded to use MoveIt.
- Fall 2014 - Maxwell gets upgraded to and Intel NUC and the Etherbotix controller, an ARM-based, Ethernet-connected replacement for the ArbotiX I was originally using. I also created lots of documentation so that Alan Downing from HBRC could build a Maxwell clone (ROSwell)
- Spring 2018 - Maxwell gets a parallel-jaw gripper (more on this below).
- Spring 2020 - lots of updates.
While the parallel-jaw gripper was physically installed on Maxwell some time ago, and the URDF had been updated, I never actually finished the software to control the gripper -- that's the project for later this week. In the meantime, here are some close up shots of the gripper: