I have $ but not time. Looking for hackers with time


#1

Hello VHS. First message here, please be kind. :slight_smile:

There’s a project I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid. It involves tons of servos, 3D printing and at least some software.

I’m frustrated. I have the ability (CompSci degree + robotics background) and $ to do the project, but I don’t have the time. Heck, I should be writing code now instead of writing this message (I blame/thank alcohol for my transgression).

I’m looking individuals who would be able/eager to do the following (on my $):

  • design and print possibly complex parts on a 3d printer
  • assemble/dissassemble prototypes
  • wire up lots of servos to a controller board and run proof-of-concept tests
  • (eventually) assemble, program and document new type of open source robot (in ideal world, co-publish a paper)

While I can’t pay for time, I can buy all the parts necessary and would provide high-level mockups of what I want (note: not 3d models - just pen and paper!).

What you would get out of it?

  • Play/work with (and VHS keep? or you keep?) lots of brand new robotic electronics
  • Name associated with cool new robot type

What would I get out of it?

  • Fulfillment of childhood dream
  • Design files/schematics of robot parts; code
  • Name associated with cool new robot type

Does this sound appealing to anyone in the general sense? There are different phases of proof-on-concept that would be required, each building on the work done before. Initial phase would be in 2D space with a simple design and limited number of servos. Then a test with a large number of servos. Then a test in 3D space with different design and a limited number of servos, etc etc. I’d provide all electronics required (except computer/laptop).

Does this interest anyone, or a group/team? Or am I totally out to lunch?

Thank you for your honest feedback,

Matthew


#2

What is it about your concept that makes it cool? Or new? Is there nanotechnology involved somehow?


#3

Hi Matthew! Welcome!

Honest feedback:

Most of the VHS members are very much in the same boat - Hard jobs, and some mechanical or developer education, and then they come to VHS to unwind and work on their own fun projects.

What you’re describing sounds a little like “a job with no pay”, so I’d suggest a slightly different tactic.

If you’re going to go full disclosure, then post up your project, describe it, and offer some materials. Here’s an example recently where that’s worked out really well. You get someone excited about it, and maybe someone will adopt it and run with it as their own :slight_smile:

Another option is to offer up a job position, with pay. Here’s an example where that worked out, although it’s less open, and therefore less obvious.

The final, third option is to chip away at when you have time! This is the category that most of us fall into. I have a couple projects I’ve been working on intermittently for almost three years. It’s super satisfying when these get completed.

And remember that I’m just Some Dude! It is possible that I am way off base on this analysis, it is just something that I have observed, being part of this community.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you’re successful! :slight_smile:

If you keep a log of it on these forums, we can chime in with helpful advice, and also live vicariously through you.


#4

I think it was a good introduction to the project as to his expectations, probably a good model. He can gauge interest from that. But lack of interest may be lack of certain specific details. Otoh since he lacks time he doesn’t want to do a lot of writeup. So what specific up front info should he give ? For example, what scale of robot is this? Will I be able to carry the learning experience to my own motorized projects ( respecting his turf of course, and not just running with it as my own, which would be embarrassing to anyone and to be avoided).
I would wonder what wattage rating are the servos at issue, for example.


#5

Hi Mat

Depending on the project would be interested to participate, can provide help in 3D modeling (solid-works), i have mechanical engineering background with lots of metal fab experience.

Art.


#6

Like many, limited $ and time, but sounds like something I’d be interested in. VHS hasn’t had many group projects lately…

Happy to facilitate opening the space for a face-to-face meeting of those interested.


#7

Looks like something @xquared may be interested in.


#8

Hi Everyone.

Thank you for all your replies. Sorry for the delay in my replies (now and in future). Free time is not something I get a lot of (hence my request).

Replies in order received:


Rob: What is it about your concept that makes it cool? Or new? Is there nanotechnology involved somehow?

You’re right - “cool” is subjective. Nothing fancy like nano technology - it’s just vanilla engineering and electronics, and math.

The project itself is a new type robotic tentacle/elephant-trunk. Existing implementations have many drawbacks. (I started writing out a long paragraph about them but realized I could go on for hours about the various existing options - something more suitable to be discussed over beer or coffee)

Jarrett: (on VHS members being in the same boat)

Good point. And thank you for your honest feedback. I guess I had imagined/stereotyped the typical hacker/maker as someone with a lot more free time than me (and thus able to spend that time making things).

Jarrett: on doing a “someone should” post

Interesting idea. Don’t really want to go that route just yet, esp if I’m purchasing all the hardware/machine time. I’d like to actually be involved in the process at some level, vs just donating the idea to the world without first testing it. My ideal idea of the project being finished/ready-for-the-world would be having a video of the final working mechanism, along with open source plans/code so others could then get up and running very quickly. It’s not something I intend to hide from anyone, esp if being done at VHS (obviously).

Jarrett: Another option is to offer up a job position, with pay

Maybe if I can’t find anyone interested I’ll start looking at this option, though that has it’s own set of complications (esp if using random gig economy people/services).

I was kinda hoping getting to keep $1000+ of hardware would be reward enough, but I suppose I could pay for time/effort and then keep the hardware myself.

The final, third option is to chip away at when you have time

If I could buy time I would in a heartbeat.

Rob: Otoh since he lacks time he doesn’t want to do a lot of writeup.

Correct. Ideally would be meet in person /w diagrams and talk it through, then just advise as needed. But as you say, might be forced to do a writeup anyways.

Rob: what scale of robot is this?

First iteration would likely be human leg sized.

I be able to carry the learning experience to my own motorized projects

Proof of concept would likely be 9g servos, USB controller board, 3D printed parts and some other hardware. After concept proved, then we’d very quickly need a good understanding of robot kinematics (even if to use pre-made software libraries, as 12+ DoF get’s tricky fast).

Art: Depending on the project would be interested to participate.

Do you like robot snakes/tentacles?

JDMc: Happy to facilitate opening the space for a face-to-face meeting of those interested.

Thanks! I’m actually on the island for a week and then in Toronto for a week, but come August I’ll be back on the mainland.


If at all interested please do ask more questions. It might be a few days before I reply, but I’ll eventually get time for them.

Thank you,

Matthew.


#9

Cool. Have you done a graphical simulation? Inverse kinematics is a keyword that springs to mind for some reason. Seeing this thing actually do something via animated cad model would be exciting.