CYCOGS Stories



Find some interesting CYCOGS® company Mobile Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Stories of Interest .  The CYCOGS® company owns and or controls the copyright of all material in this website.  The content of the “Stories” portion of this web site is still under registered copyright protection.

CYCOGS AI Robotics stories and information are facts not fiction.

The CYCOGS Story.

The CYCOGS® company arose from the desire to make a better world and help our fellow humans using  AI Robotics  technology.  We at the CYCOGS® company have always found AI Robotics technology appealing, with hardware, software and integrated control systems particularly fascinating. 

While many people go through life ignoring technology, few routinely and continuously study it.  You may find yourself in a technology disadvantage if your usage and exposure is just using a couple apps on your smart phone and hanging out watching sports.  If you keep this trend up, new technology developments will become “scary magic”.

Pyramid

The CYCOGS® company has positioned itself on a long-term business plan.  We have seen many AI Robotics companies come and go, and we feel sad when the great ideas they had are lost or damaged in order to reach the next quarters bottom line.  Much of the technology and uniqueness of these companies is then lost.

Vulture

Some have criticized the CYCOGS® company for its rate of progress, but we are still here!  We still strive to use technology to help our fellow humans to make a better world, plus generate increased profits.  Our skill sets developed into robotic computer control and automation of real-world devices.  It was just a matter of time for the technical convergence to arrive.

The Big Robot Story.

The CYCOGS® company robotics got its direction from the need and desire to manufacture and sell a very capable mobile robot system.  We decided to make this an indoor robot with exceptional capacity.  One of the early CYCOGS® company decisions was on mobility.  How to make the robot move and be a useful " mobile" robot.  Walking may be fine for some, but it is inefficient, with much “infrastructure” dedicated to walking and not falling down.  Walking weight carrying capacity was a major limitation.

Walking RobotLegged Tracked Robot

Tracked mobility movement was too bulky and inefficient, and lacks the ability to perform precise movements.  This left us with wheels.  Wheels  have been used in the past for thousands of years, and will be used for thousands of years more in the future, for many good reasons.

Egyptian ChariotNose Gear

The CYCOGS® company is developing for a robot that can perform real work, is mobile, and is able to lift and move things, similar to a typical human’s capability.  Obviously a 50-pound plastic robot with more in common with toys was out.

Toy Robot

We decided to design and build a Medium Sized Robot (MSR).  The next big issue was doorways.  Being able to transverse doorways then limited the maximum physical size.  Long car like designs were out.  You have to go up.  Using this as a guideline, the best shape was a tall round robot that provided the most volume for its size and environment.  This unfortunately made the use of robotic arms a complex problem.

Tall Robot Doorway

For further details on the CYCOGS® brand Medium sized robot (MSR), please see its product page here.

The Hi2WAM story.

With the CYCOGS® company robot defined in bold strokes, how can we make its mobility requirements a reality?

Differential Mobility could work, using two big wheels, always tippy, going front to rear.  Not very stable, and would result in high floor loading on those two wheels.

Differential Drive Steering

Synchronous Mobility is nice, using three wheels to define a plane.  Almost perfect!  But using synchronous robot mobility has a limitation.  Synchronous mobile designs cannot move in certain ways.  Synchronous mobility equipped robots cannot pivot on a wheel, nor rotate its body.  If you have a robotic arm picking up some item, with no ability to orient the wheel geometry for best weight distribution, your robot may be tip-over prone.

Denning Synchronous Robot

Mechanum wheels are not very useful in this case also, too much maintenance, vibration and floor wear/damage, and the list goes on.

Omni-Wheeled Steering

The solution to this problem is to use the wheeled holonomic mobility drive type and its enhanced movement abilities.  Holonomic mobility can mimic the motion capabilities of the differential and synchronous drives, plus more!  Holonomic mobility type vehicles are able to move in any way the robot needs.  This mobility ability also enables a robotic arm equipped mobile robot to rotate its body, putting a wheel under / closer to the load.  Such abilities allow the tip over issue to be managed.  Now using a  three  wheeled holonomic mobile robot is a great solution to this mobility problem.

We wanted to keep the robots  floor loading weight  lower to minimize the buildings floor wear and avoid damage.  You can drop the per-wheel floor loading in half if you use double the number of wheels!  With the three wheels equally spaced in the robot, doubling the wheel count gives you six wheels, and if driven,  six-wheel drive!  Using six wheels also allows the use of smaller diameter wheels, and a resulting smaller volume, compared to larger two and three-wheel designs.

Holonomic Dual Wheels

But CYCOGS had a balance and collision problem.  Our tall robot needed to lean or correct its stance for uneven flooring and floor transitions, especially in doorways.  And when the robot arms lift a heavy object, a means to  shift the center of gravity  (CG)  would be helpful.  Plus, we wanted to  measure the load on each wheel  for tip and balance monitoring.

Incline UnStableIncline Stable

Hi2WAM highHi2WAM low

The CYCOGS® company solution was to design an  active suspension system  to adjust the height of each wheel pair.  We now have height control, with an active suspension!  We know we could build it into an integrated base, but that base would be complex and routine maintenance would be slow and problematic.

Hi2WAM

So, we designed each wheel pair as a removable wheel assembly module, and gave the holonomic wheel assembly some local intelligence and control and called it the CYCOGS brand Hi2WAM .  This  4-  DoF  design opened up the use for the Hi2WAM in other designs. Such as one Hi2WAM equipped vehicle ranging up too many wheeled devices.  Have a lengthy item to move, and you want to keep it evenly supported?  Use as many Hi2WAM’s as it takes.

Hi2WAM

For further details on the CYCOGS brand Hi2WAM, please see its product page here.

For a tutorial covering the CYCOGS brand Hi2WAM, please see its education page here.

Hi2WAM

The WA Story.

When the CYCOGS® company developed the Hi2WAM, we knew the wheeled form factor needed a compact motor and compact gear reduction.  Nothing like what we needed was in existence.

The CYCOGS® company had to develop our own wheel drive system.  We needed the dual wheels as close together as possible, yet independently driven.  Sounds easy, just take an electric motor, some gears, bearings and a wheel and your all set.  Try that with a  compact short axial length design!

WA Wheel Gears

Some may think,  “just use a Harmonic gear reduction and a short motor”.  Nice thought, if you don’t mind ending up being 10-14” inches wide.  We did it in  under 4” (about 95mm)!

Wheel Assembly thumb Wheel Assembly thumb

In order to accomplish this, CYCOGS developed a novel, redundant, hypocyclic gear reduction that is embedded in the wheel hub and used a unique iron core-less motor.  This is a CYCOGS® company exclusive item, just like the Hi2WAM it was developed for.  When we developed the Hi2WAM , selling the sub compact wheel assembly was not on our radar screens.  But demand was there, and it is now a CYCOGS® brand product, the Wheel Assembly (WA) .

The SNARM Story.

With the robotic mobility issues under control, the CYCOGS® company pondered what about the robotic arms?  We needed to have robot arm capacity to manipulate objects, lift heavy loads, and have a large compliant working-envelope plus be able to fit on or into our robot.  Furthermore, we needed two arms.  With our tall robot, where would the arms go?

The CYCOGS® company studied many robotic arm types in our quest.  We started backwards from the goals and specifications we had outlined.  We knew we wanted two arms, with useful load capacities, good arm speeds, compliance in human environments, a huge working envelope and the desire to locate the arm in or about our mobile robot.  Again, we could not find anything that would work.  No one has ever created Robotic arms that fit our needs.  So, back to the drawing boards.

Robot Arm

Standard industrial arms had the capacity and speed issues sorted out.  But these arm types provided a bad fit for our working envelope, power use, size and weight requirements.  Absolute arm repeatability is not much use as the mobile robot could be shifting on a carpet or moving across the floor or changing its attitude.  This mushiness in its environment is not good for robotic arm repeatability or accuracy.

The CYCOGS® company had finalized plans on a good Medium-Sized mobile Robot (MSR) with a round body. The robot’s mobility was holonomic, so we could position the arms by rotating the body. But if the arms are located on the outer perimeter of the mobile robot, the arms would be in the way.

With protruding robotic arms, the robot would be limited in its mobility in tight locations.  And the robots job requirements required the use of two arms at once, limits any fixed mounting locations.  We could make a shorter robot and place the arms on the top.  Top mounted robotic arms would allow limited arm access if something was on the floor, and that still had the problem of using both arms at once for some tasks. What to do?

We pondered what kind of mobile robot chassis would solve this?  After much R&D, CYCOGS developed a chassis with a lower power mobility section, a hollow central support  “column”  and a top electronics / control section .  Once we had the chassis design problem sorted out, our new chassis design enabled us to solve the two arm and the working envelope issues.

The result, the CYCOGS® company developed the hybrid-rotating snake arm platforms located inside the robot!

Snarm

With this robot design development, one type of robot arm fell into place. The multi-segmented snake arms! Normally these snake arms are long and not at all suitable for storage or mobile robotics use. With our rotating platform, the arms simply curl up upon the rotating platform! Thus, the arms can be stored inside the robot, no major parts sticking out!

The CYCOGS® company then developed our own arm design, and realized we had the perfect force drive for it.  Our dual wheeled, Holonomic Wheel module (Hi2WAM) uses very compact redundant hypocyclic gear reduction drives used in the Wheel Assembly (WA) and Orientation Drive.  We just modified the wheel assembly / orientation drive for the snake arm gear reduction drives and created the Compact Gear Motor drive (CGM)

Compact Gear Motor side view

SNarm working envellope

Now CYCOGS has an internally stored, dual-hybrid snake arm system, plus with a huge 365-degree floor to ceiling working envelope!  Additionally, the system is compliant, and strong enough for use around humans such as picking someone up off the floor and putting them into bed.  We at the CYCOGS® company, feel our Hybrid Snake Robt Arm is the ultimate in robotic arm capabilities, even better when coupled to a mobile robot!  We named it the CYCOGS® brand Snarm!

For further details on the CYCOGS® brand Snarm, please see its product page here.

Snake Arm Snarm

For a tutorial about the CYCOGS® brand Snarm, please see its education page here.

Our CGM Story.

The Compact Gear Motor (CGM) design was initially developed for the CYCOGS® brand Hi2WAM product.  We needed a compact motor and gear reduction to ensure the orientation of the dual wheels for steering purposes, as some movement types required absolute controlled movements, and any floor slippage or obstacles could throw off the movements.  We had developed the Orientation drive and the Wheel Assembly (WA) for the Hi2WAM, and found these designs small size and capacity was perfect for this orientation positioning.  The electric gear reduction drive was not really a separate product yet.

Compact Gear Motor side view

As you may have read from the SNARM story, we also needed a compact gear motor to move the segments of our snake arms, Traditional gearing, including harmonic gearing was still too bulky, and with our compliant arms, absolute repeatability and zero backlash was not an issue. We had developed a compact gear motor based off the WA for orienting the Hi2WAM’s wheels, and found that with some modifications, we could use the same basic drive on the snake arm segments. With an eye to using common parts, we had created the CYCOGS® brand Compact Gear Motor (CGM) product now found in the Hi2WAM and Snarm systems.

Wheel Assembly thumb Compact Gear Motor top view Hi2WAM

The SRing Story.

The CYCOGS® brand MSR robot (Medium Sized Robot) needed to perceive its world.  Many traditional robots have one, two or more video cameras that are ether fixed, or have limited movement.  We pondered this sensing problem.  CYCOGS has a very capable holonomic robot in the works that can move in any direction, had dual hybrid snake arms, and we wanted exceptional sensing capabilities.  With the  holonomic   ability to move in such motions as in a rotating translation  “Frisbee Glide”,  (think of putting a camera on a spinning flying Frisbee to watch its forward path)  we had a problem.

Snake Arm

We could throw a gazillion sensors all over its body to cover every angle, or decouple the sensors from the fixed body by rotating the sensors.  Some sensors are inexpensive (cheap) and some are very expensive (IR cameras and LIDAR sensors) and if we rotated the sensors, we had a means to expand a sensors  field of view  (FoV).

Sensor Rings

Thus, the CYCOGS® company developed a rotating sensor platform! This sensing capacity allows the robot to perceive its environment in any direction.  The sensors can be controllably positioned at any rotation angle and can be positioned to study an area of interest, or a continuous rotating scan of a room.  We decided to use two sensor rings to keep track of the two Snarm robot arms as they are capable of independent movements.  The rotating sensor ring expands any sensors view, coverage and lowers the overall cost due to this  “sensor magnification”.  This became the CYCOGS® brand Sensor Ring (Sring) product.

Medium Sized Robot

This concludes the story of some of our design choices. We feel this is the best solution available. Stay tuned for more stories.

The CYCOGS® company has other stories we will want to talk about.  When we are ready, we have some very interesting stories to add covering AI-Robotics and CYCOGS developments.

Contact:  Send questions and comments about this web site to the CYCOGS® Contact.