Saturday, January 13, 2024

A more RUGGED robot platform for Exploration

continuing on the these of robotic design, with the help of AI (robotics) tools... 

 It seems our last attempts resulted in an unexpected robot! The broad pink and white stripes, soft lighting, and big goofy grin resulted in a "Total Adorable Robot".

Extra Adorable, Totally Not Evil Robot

However, I do not think that that Robot would survive very long in the Sonoran Desert!  There for, back to the discussion, and lets add some design that would work in a sandy, rocky region:

The first in the conversation, when reminded that the robot needed operate in rocky or sandy environments, it added broad wheels in an awkward arrangement.  I could imagine this also as a treaded solution. The bigger innovation perhaps is having the sensor platform as a (potentially) pivoting top component over the drive chassis. The streamlined frame looks like it would handle wind storms much better. The front sensors and display may need some protection and covering. overall, this is a much more robust robot.  But where is the manipulator arm?

The next variation of the prompt placed the robot in an icy, rocky environment and requested it have a manipulator that inspects geology:

The wheels of this Robot are considerably more realistic. It is also quite plausible that this robot would fall over. If you examine closely, there is a suggestion of the manipulator arm jutting out between wheels, but it gets blended into the axel and is lost. 

The next request required that the manipulator be the focus of the image.

This version has even more rugged wheels and a top structre that looks like it could support a wide variety of payload. The manipulator arm is placed in a difficult position, but looks robust and effective.

The Rugged, Wheeled Hexapod:

What if the Wheels of the robot were replaced with rugged manipulators with wheels? The robot could crawl over rocks. Here is a potential variant:

I like this concept robot a lot. It would require very strong actuators and some compliant joints. By having some wheel motion capability at the end of the manipulators, the robot could roll and climb in difficult terrain. The top structure has the appearance of a turret, to move to present its sensors in all directions.

There is a lot of potential with a robot design like this.

For those interested in learning how OpenAI's ChatGPT and DALLE-3 work, the last three images were all generated using the exact same prompt. Here you can see how variation is introduced when executing the same prompt.

and once again:

A robust, medium-sized exploration robot designed for rugged terrains, now uniquely featuring six multipurpose manipulator arms, used for both agile movement and examination. The robot has no wheels and moves by crawling on these manipulator arms. The body of the robot is adorned with broad pink and white stripes, presenting a friendly appearance. It has smooth, rounded contours, similar to an animal-like form. A digital display on the front shows a goofy grin, adding to its welcoming demeanor. The manipulator arms are made of strong, lightweight material, matching the robot's color scheme. These arms are intricately designed, demonstrating their flexibility and dexterity as the robot crawls across a challenging landscape, using them to navigate as well as examine geological features. Soft, warm lighting and clear branding with labels like 'Research Robot' and 'TOTALLY Not Evil!' are included in the design, with a focus on the unique functionality and design of the manipulator arms in the rugged environment.

Interesting what might actual make these images unique.  Once rendered it would be almost impossible to re-render the exact same picture.  See for yourself how very different they are drawn, given the same instructions.

Of course, they are all supposed to have six arms, and the last two only have four! They are also each supposed to have "Research Robot" and "Totally Not Evil!" stickers on them. It seems we stil have some more learning and progress to get DALLE3 on task, even when it was in a moderated thread with ChatGPT.

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