Femisapien mods - Let's the fun begin!

39 posts / 0 new
Last post
Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture
Femisapien mods - Let's the fun begin!

First modding experiment with Femi at this weekend was successful:

I had replaced her red wrist LEDs with a blue ones (you need a 3mm diameter LEDs to fit) and they just work fine!

No additional circuits, just simple resoldering of LEDs (like in a Roboquad's head)!

Now I am seeking for a 3mm (ultra)violet LEDs for more stylish look.

P.S. To GWJax and Robosapien2-4mem8.

Last quick question about LED replacement:

Can (practically) such a direct replacement of a red LEDs with a blue ones (without recalculating and replacement of current-limiting resistors located somewhere on the original PCB) cause the overload of the circuits, powering the LEDs, being potentially dangerous to them? Or is it completely safe?

(I am concerned about my Femi's health after my "surgery" ;)

 

 

 

Nocturnal
Nocturnal's picture

The LED's most likely have a current limiting resistor in series with them (probably on the circuit board). Changing out the LED for one of a different rating should not damage Femisapien (unless you damage it while changing the LED's). The replacement LED, on the other hand, may be dim due to lack of current, or it could be rather bright (and die after a while) from excess current.

roschler
roschler's picture

Video please when you are finished. :)

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Thanks, Nocturnal! That is exactly what I had expected. Just wanted to make sure. In my case blue LEDs seem to light just normal. Certainly not dim and (for my eyes) not too bright/overloaded.

To Roschler: Can not promise a video (I don't have a videocamera, and I am not familiar with converting video to .flv and posting it on YouTube), but photos - for sure! Just must find a 3mm violet LEDs or decide how to fit a 5mm ones (already bought these).

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Today I am finished a LED eyes for Femi.

Behold!

Isn't she nice?

Now, I think, it's a time to investigate her power system for powering my planned add-ons...

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

 

Here I will take the power (primary motor power) for my add-ons. Unfortunately it's voltage varies widly while motors work. In my case (not-so-fresh alcalines) it varies between 5.6 and 4.8 volts.

Definitely, in future I will need some voltage regulator. And unfortunately, stabilized +5v cannot be produced from this (maybe +3v)...

Rudolph
Rudolph's picture

Shai Alyt NEMO said:  And unfortunately, stabilized +5v cannot be produced from this (maybe +3v)...

 

Sure it can (I think). As an example, check out LadyAda's MintyBoost.

She used to use the MAX756, which can step as little as 0.7 VDC up to 3.3 or 5 VDC. Now that she's redesigned mintyboost, she's got a wad of those '756-es at her store for three bucks each.

Now she's using the LT1302 which is apparently significantly more efficient. It can take as little as 2 VDC and output 5 or 12 VDC (5V at 600mA).

Note: I've not actually used either of these before, I can't vouch for their output voltage stability. They are supposed to be voltage regulators though.

roschler
roschler's picture

Very cool Shai Alyt NEMO! It's amazing how a simple addition like eyes really spices her up.

I am sending you a plate of virtual flarn. :)

Kosh
Kosh's picture

If you have a Palm Pilot kickin around, the program Robosapien Bench works real well with Femi, made her do all sorts of things I'd otherwise have not seen her do.

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Kosh said: If you have a Palm Pilot kickin around, the program Robosapien Bench works real well with Femi, made her do all sorts of things I'd otherwise have not seen her do.

You have always been here? ;)

Thanks for an idea, but I have no Palm. Instead  I have  two PPC's: old (but fully operational) Casio Cassiopeia E-125 (MIPS CPU) and a new Asus MyPal A696 (XScale CPU).

Maybe there is a version for Windows CE or Windows Mobile?

I have tried to control Femi from A696 using RSvI codebase for NoviiRemote software. 90% success. Most commands work OK, but some - simpy ignored by Femi. I have tried to re-read this "strange" codes from a real RSv1 remote (in a toy shop) but to no avail. Femi executes all commands, sent from a real RSv1 remote, but ignores some of their "copies", sent from PPC. It looks like NoviiRemote can't read this codes correctly from the RSv1 remote.

Kosh
Kosh's picture

Shai Alyt NEMO said:

Kosh said: If you have a Palm Pilot kickin around, the program Robosapien Bench works real well with Femi, made her do all sorts of things I'd otherwise have not seen her do.

You have always been here? ;) Thanks for an idea, but I have no Palm. Instead  I have  two PPC's: old (but fully operational) Casio Cassiopeia E-125 (MIPS CPU) and a new Asus MyPal A696 (XScale CPU). Maybe there is a version for Windows CE or Windows Mobile? I have tried to control Femi from A696 using RSvI codebase for NoviiRemote software. 90% success. Most commands work OK, but some - simpy ignored by Femi. I have tried to re-read this "strange" codes from a real RSv1 remote (in a toy shop) but to no avail. Femi executes all commands, sent from a real RSv1 remote, but ignores some of their "copies", sent from PPC. It looks like NoviiRemote can't read this codes correctly from the RSv1 remote.

This version I think is only made for Palm, it interfaces with the palm program Omni-Remote.

It's basicly a RSV1 remote, but allows you in a limited way to make scripts, I'm using it on an old Palm m515. Yes alot of the RS1 commands don;t make her do anything but beep, but the directional, and most of the limb movment commands work fine, I can increase and decrease her Volume and everything, mind you most of those commands are labled as other RS1 funtions that are seemingly unrelated.

In relation to the PPC, I have read there is software out there for the PPC to controle RS1, I saw a post somwhere of 2 guys using it to make RS1 play soccer, they had the pockey PC's attached to an RS1's head as if it was his brain.

I'm waiting for the updated robodance software though, hopefully it will work with the new roboremote wowwee has put out. If that gets working fine I'm going to attach a small wireless USB webcam to her and play around with that skipe interface he has, pretty cool stuff that guys created.

and as to your question,  I'm new here ;)

here is the link

http://www.aibohack.com/robosap/sapbench.htm

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Sorry for the late coming on your project but Nocturnal had answered your question you had for me and 4mem8 so thanks Nocturnal for the quick response.. Your hack looks really good, I hope you took alot of pictures for an article of the hack as this is the first one I've seen. Good on it, I'm sure Commander Pete would love to have this added to the articles link if you do one.
I'll keep up with your mods now that I know you have a thread on it.

Jax

gugus651
gugus651's picture

giving eyes to femi is a great ,but I think that it'll be better if they were closer to each other. (if it's possible )

(try to continue this super femi hacking projectWink )

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Thanks to all, who encourage me on continuing with the Femi mods!
Definitely, I will not abandon this project.

But there was some problems with her (my mistake, which costs me the malfunction of her speaker and burnout of an S8050 transistor at the output of her sound system). But now she is OK again. Speaker is repaired (quite a precision job) and transistor found and replaced.

And what I want to tell you, fellows: never, Never, NEVER try to solder anything to the places on an electromagnetic speaker (especially the miniature one), where the wires of it's coil are soldered. This wires are really so thin that they can be broken or shorted at once (and nearly invisible)!

I hope to continue with her as soon as time permits. Stay tuned!

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Let's continue our Femisapien modding!

First of all, I want to introduce an object, I have used as a components donor:

Yes, it's an old and now useless (ISA bus) 14400 bps internal modem.The components, that had interested me are relays (yellow boxes, marked "2") and an opto-pair (marked "1"). I think lucky people, living in the countries where the RadioShack or a similar shops present can simply buy such a components there.

The realys may be useful for the planned future mods. Now we are going to use an optopair in the Femi's LED eyes control circuit:

It's LiteOn LTV817 (I think, anoter types also can be used) . Finding a datasheet for it  with a help of Google was not a problem.

So here goes the (quite simple) schematic, which will make Femi's eyes blink in time with her "voice" like a volume indicators, also (I think) it is possible to adjust it so that eyes will be almost unlit when the batteries voltage is too low (batteries depleted):

In this schematic Femi's LED eyes are powered from unstabilized main motor power (4.8-6v DC) and their brightness is controlled by speaker output signal via LT817 optopair. In fact the brightness of eyes is also dependant on motors activity, which can significantly lower the power voltage. 750 Ohms resistor is limiting the current through optopair's internal LED and 200 Ohms one - through the "eyes" LEDs. 3.6KOhms resistor is needed for maintaining the eyes semi-lit when there is no sound output. All nominals are just my own pick and can be adjusted to your taste, just remember not to exceed the maximum currents for LEDs and an optopair's phototransistor (multimeter is your friend! ).

The additional load to audio output, presented by this circuit can be ignored, as 750+ Ohms is much more than 16 Ohms of a speaker. 

Here is, how it looks in reality:

 

 200 Ohms resistor is placed in the head near the LED eyes.

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Getting ready to move the mic. with mic. amplifier to the Femi's head, or "The Femi's new lips":

The mic. is going to be placed behind the mouth opening (drilled, then slightly extended with a small triangle file and a knife).

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Good job! I can't wait for my femi to arrive so I can jump into some fun in modding her after the rip-down of course..

Jax

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Today I had one more time tinkered with the mic. amplifier for Femi.

Changing 300KOhms resistor to 510K slightly adds the sensitivity but still not enough to reliably talk with Femi from the 1-1.5m distance with the normal human voice volume.

Surprisingly, two-transistors schematic had showed even less effect.

Looks, like I am stuck with this matter.

Maybe it's bad idea to rely on the original  mic. power (circa 2.36V DC) and it's time to think about additional power to the amplifier. But I am concerning about the risk of a burnout of Femi's audio-input with (potentially) over-amplified signal...

Any suggestions from the community?

 

GWJax
GWJax's picture

How about using those audio amps for hearing at a long distance, Like the spy listeners. Just a thought! plus you can adjust the sound volume down on then so you don't over amp the MCU.

Jax

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Thanks for an idea, GWJax, but I do not completely understand you. What "spy listeners" you are talking about? Guess, it a some sort of "spy" toys?

And so, it means buying something not very cheap, which may or may not fit to my need. I prefer (while possible) to use (for free!) what ever electronic components I already have or can extract from my collection of now defunct and/or obsolete electronic trash.

P.S. Finally, I got it! You are talking about that self-made (and half-legal) micro-audio-amplifiers-with-radio-transmitters, allowing one to remotely receive and listen on generic FM-receiver the talks in nearby room, where such a "spy device" was preivously placed in a hidden location? Of course, I have seen these schematics (and my experimental audio-amplifier for Femi indeed is based on one of them), but they (their audio-amplifying parts) need to be heavily modified because such "spy-listeners" generally use a 9v "transistor battery" (like 6F22) as a power source and have no need of "two-wire" connection of amplifier, where audio-output is combined with power circuit.

GWJax
GWJax's picture

There are different ones that you wear in your ear, I'll see if I can find a good circuit that you can build from scratch, I'll check in my database and get back to you on this.

Jax

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Thanks, Jax! It may be interesting.

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Now the +3.3v voltage regulator for powering the mic. amplifier and future add-ons:

+3.3 v voltage regulator chip placement (SGS-Thomson LF33CV). I hope, it will not be considerably hot, as it will never be loaded at it's maximum of 1A current. So I decided not to bother with a heatsink.

Final voltage regulator with two capacitors (10 mkF on input and 1000 mkF on output) hotglued in place.

And once again, the power and the mic. additional wires on the  manboard:

Next step - the more powerful mic. amplifier...

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Today I celebrate a big success in my Femisapien improvement project. 

Microphone amplifier is finished! 

The use of additional +3.3v power source (see above) and a separate wire for audio output had dramatic effect on the amplifier's efficiency. Another significant change was a use of KT3102 (BC546) transistor insted of a KT315 (2SC1815). These changes allowed me to reuse an original Femi's mic  and achieve a HUGE audio signal amplification. Indeed, it's a total overkill, hence 16KOhm resistor on output. Without it in 3 meters of a working PC (not very loud) Femi's wrist LEDs in "Conversation" mode are lit almost constantly! So, the reserve of sensitivity is more then enough and can be easily adjusted to your taste.

 

The circuit above makes my Femi easily responsive to a normal human speech in 2m range.

In reality the circuit looks as follows:

And here it is, sitting in place. In fact, the amplifier board (with power and output wires soldered) was first sticked to a double-sided sticky foam tape (it is under the board) and then secured in place with a bit of hotglue (Be very careful here!). An additional 3 wires (+3.3v, 0v, Output) was threaded through the neck.

And now it's a great time to go to sleep and dream of the further Femi's improvements. 

Stay tuned!

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Nice work!! I just got my Femi yesterday and she is still in the box and of course a photo op must be done during the removal of the Femi. I need to make room on my bench so I can rip her down to every screw and gear that she has. An article will follow after the completion of the rip down and then the modding will take place for changing the speech, At lest that is the plan. I'll open up a new thread when this is ready for conversation and adding mods to her So I don't take you thread off topic.

Keep up the great work and if I find something that may be useful to you I'll let you know.

Jax

roschler
roschler's picture

@Shai Alyt Nemo,
Fantastic stuff. One suggestion, you might want to find a new web site to host your images. Google's browser "Chrome" pops up a Malware warning in regards to "babylon5-dot-org-dot-ua". There may be other users of that site doing bad things and that's causing the warning since it's probably tied to the domain and not your images.
This really bums me out because Babylon 5 is my favorite sci-fi show of all time.

Here's the warning Chrome pops up. I've neutered the links for obvious reasons.:

"Warning: Visiting this site may harm your computer!
The website at www-dot-babylon5-dot-org-dot-ua appears to host malware – software that can hurt your computer or otherwise operate without your consent. Just visiting a site that hosts malware can infect your computer.
For detailed information about the problems with this site, visit the Google Safe Browsing diagnostic page for www-dot-babylon5-dot-org-dot-ua.
Learn more about how to protect yourself from harmful software online."

Here's a link to Google's malware diagnostic page for that site.

-- roschler

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

to roschler: Thanks for a warning! I'll try to fix this problem as soon as time permits. I am pretty shure that .jpg files cannot contain any malware as they are not executable by operating system. But .html files on this site indeed was once (an maybe again?) infected with some unwanted javascript code. In fact it was one of the reasons (together with spam-bot-flooding of a forum) for a site shutdown.  I think it's a problem on a  hosting server, which I cannot contorl. I was simply once allowed to host my site here for free. Don't think, I am willing now to pay the money for hosting of this (dead Cry) project elsewhwere. BTW, does a Robocommunity site have a feature for hosting of an images, attached to users' posts?

to Jax: Congratulations on purchasing a Femiaspien! It would be great to see your "Femisapien autopsy" article. Hope, that after the scientific investigations she will be assembled back Wink. BTW, how do you plan to change her speech? By replacing a ROM (I don't think it's a Flash) where her sound samples are stored? I have a bad feeling that this ROM lies somewhere inside the BigBlackBlob...

Hint: To begin disassembling Femi, first take off her panties Surprised (nice joke from WowWee)!

I also have some dreams/ideas for her further modifying, maybe you can suggest some hints.

1. Did you hear about the interactive art installation named "Oneness" by modern japanese artist Mariko Mori. Among the other art objects, inspired by both ufology and buddhism there was a group of stylised alien figures (http://www.artnet.com/magazine/picturepostcard/Images/mori5-8-1.jpg), which, when hugged by a humans came "alive" (with their big "hearts" starting to "beat"(flash) ) . I dream of a something like this for a Femi. A flashing LED "heart", which frequency changing on human touch. To make it real a (simple, compact, powered by 3V and sensitive enough) touch sensor circuit is needed. Can you suggest a schematic for it?

2. It would be great to make Femi PC-connectable and working like a Chatterbot. Or like "window-sitter" anime girl (like MaCoPiX http://rosegray.sakura.ne.jp/macopix/index-e.html), just incarnated in plastic body. Simple way - she may be just an original audio-speaker with flashing eyes. Complex way - she have to make some moves, synchonysed with "spoken" audio-files from PC. Any suggestions here?

 

MrScott
MrScott's picture

Shai Alyt NEMO said:  BTW, does a Robocommunity site have a feature for hosting of an images, attached to users' posts?

 

Photo hosting on RoboCommunity?

Yes, it's available, and pretty easy to get images uploaded.

Once they're uploaded you can either display them inline within a post, or create a gallery.

I wrote a short article describing just how it's done.

http://www.robocommunity.com/article/12722/How-To-Upload-Pictures-and-Po...

 

Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture

Just fixed the images in thread.
Hope, they can be useful for someone.

Nihongineer
Nihongineer's picture

Has anyone had luck with a USB hack? Maximum PC posted DIY instructions for how to power most anything with USB. I think you might need to run one to each leg to get the voltage for six batteries though.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/get_your_hack_on

Nihongineer
Nihongineer's picture

Has anyone had luck with a USB hack? Maximum PC posted DIY instructions for how to power most anything with USB. I think you might need to run one to each leg to get the voltage for six batteries though.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/get_your_hack_on

Pages