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Shellmo Community
05-20-2014, 11:03 PM
Post: #1
Shellmo Community
This thread is for thoughts regarding building a "Shellmo Community." Open source projects are only as good as the community that supports them, right now we have 3 very active members. Unfortunately this isn't sustainable.

I suggest we discuss and make some strategic decisions in the near future.

Some ideas to get us started:

Hand holding. The easier we make building shellmo robots the bigger the community will be maybe..

Models. If we share meshes we can encourage modifications at the cost of possibly creating confusion (part counts + multiple versions).

Cross linking things. I think the way I handled my mods to the repwalker ra04 by posting a single thing with tweaks to a single module and heavily cross linking to the sources is the proper way to handle this and mitigate "trashing" thingiverse with confusing parts. I am open to discussions here though.

Thoughts?
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05-22-2014, 06:17 PM (This post was last modified: 05-22-2014 08:48 PM by steamboat.)
Post: #2
RE: Shellmo Community
(05-20-2014 11:03 PM)jmccartney Wrote:  ... 3 active members. Unfortunately this isn't sustainable.
I suggest we discuss and make some strategic decisions in the near future.
If there is no customer/demand - there is nothing to discuss ;-)

So as ever we have some things to do:
- ask ourself what we expect from this open source project
-> getting ritch
-> become a famous MAKER
-> have fun
->...

need a unique outstanding product which attracts people
-> which people
-> features of our product
-> easy to source and to build product
-> not to expensive Chinese stuff is cheap and the benchmark
-> I think "we" don't have the name to be exclusive?

building a strong community
-> what is this
-> what can be attractive to other
-> what is strong - many people - good relations - trust?

So this are only my first thoughts about that but I have to go to the doctor now...

Rainer
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05-22-2014, 09:22 PM (This post was last modified: 05-22-2014 10:03 PM by steamboat.)
Post: #3
Why do I like Shellmo
To find out how we could find more Shellmo friends, we have to think about why we joint this group. From this we can analyze what the unique features of this project are. Next we can use this to advertise Shellmo with success.

I like this project because of the nice friendly Shellmo shell and because of the centipede gear. I was always attracted by this automates with a relation to living creatures and a live like behavior. Of course I also have a Pleo at home.

I also was fascinated by the possibility to control shellmo via BT and the Android phone because something like this was in my mind for some month already.

Next are the eyes because eyes are fascinating and creepy.

With my RA04 RepWalker and the eyes I created easy to print modules but we still don't have an attractive shell to make the people love Shellmo.

One thing why people maybe love Shellmo but will not join us is the complexity of Shellmo. You need a 3D printer (or lots of money for shapeways) Assembling skills, programming skills on Arduino. Hardware wiring skills. Android skills. Sourcing skills...

I love complex projects and have a little background of all this stuff - so that's why it is a challenge for me!

Yesterday I went to the Hannover Arduino group. 6 guys in the age of 30 - 55 which are interested in electronics and programming. They told me RA04 is cute with it's eyes. We had some discussions about sensors to make him feel and find the right way - but that was it.

There are hundreds of robot platforms outside. If you have build it - what to do with it? We have to find reasons why to build it and what for you can use it afterwards.

I just stumbled over the pinoccio product: https://pinocc.io/ here the friendly Pinoccio in the logo attracts me. Next is the idea of independent low power consuming "things" which can live and interact wireless. Great Idea - great promo in the MAKE magazin - but now you can pre order a Starter kit with two units for 197$ ... I would love to "litter" a lot of this creatures around my house to get some info - but not for this price.

Hardware sourcing is the next thing if you want to make it popular. Sho has made some invest in gear motors and BT modules but don't know if he ever will sell this even if he give this away without surcharge (because he is an idealist...) On other hand people expect from you to get complete sets of all parts (like for my digital calipers) but don't want to pay a surcharge for packing and fixed capital plus the risk never to sell it - like me with the Pinoccio...

All this are no solutions but brain food for you...

You always can learn from the winners - what is the plan, the system, the structure which makes the success?

Arduino and RasberryPi are great projects because they are "enabler" for your ideas. Wide used and not build for one purpose.

Pleo was/is a cute toy with hard and software engineering highlights plus the life like habbit based on psychological studies. http://www.pleoworld.com/pleo_rb/eng/index.php Today you get a Pleo for 130 € - lots of electronics and hardware for little money!

Furby also want to be your toy friend. But with less mechanical and software complexity then Pleo. http://www.hasbro.com/furby/en_US/ Furby also has apps for your phone or tablet: http://www.hasbro.com/furby/en_US/discover/app.cfm

Other is Aibo [Image: 4_0_support_breakdown.asp]
for instance.

Should Shellmo be something like that - what is different? ...

Rainer
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05-23-2014, 03:36 AM
Post: #4
RE: Shellmo Community
Rainer, I think your exactly right.

This is 100% hobby/fun for me. I have no desire beyond that.

I think its important to know that I am doing the vast majority of my work on Shellmo type things for myself. I spend a little time making things easier to share with others, but really in the hope that it comes full circle if you know what I mean.

I don't have some grand dream the we are doing some work for the benefit of humanity.. I just know if, lets say the Repwalker RA04 is more widely accepted than by two people then I will probably have access to cool additions in the future, so I share my things hoping that others will share theirs.

That being said, I don't have a huge interest making these things really really easy because the person that doesn't have a 3d printer/access to one, and doesn't have basic microelectronics skills is probably not going to build one/ not even think about releasing mods that could benefit me.

This might all sound selfish, but I think its important to know where we stand.

---
I am not sure there really needs to be such a unified hardware/software plan. It just doesn't seem worth the time to me, for Sho that could be different. Basically control the thing how you want with whatever you want...this is how we did it...this is how people are doing it...there are tons of combinations of parts etc etc. A basic "form factor" set type of connecting hardware is all I care about so I don't have to redo prints constantly as features are added.

I really don't ever plan on spending more than $30-50 US at the most total on any one creature, I can't imagine needing more than that honestly. I would rather have more creatures running around than one expensive one.

Pinocc.io is neato, just too expensive for me.

---
Rainer what you say about projects that are "enablers" for ideas, is probably the ideal for Shellmo.

Set a few basic chassis dimensions and have a bunch of add ons. Decide Lets say use m3 screws, standard and micro servers, one particular gear motor. Standardize that to reduced dev cost on our part and just build add ons as we need them personally, if people want to get involved and add on to it then fine.
---

What spurred this whole thing was the difficulty I had assembling the eyes. Its not that they are complicating, its that there are places that things need to be one direction and its not obvious without instructions or consulting the screenshots very carefully.

I thought if we post some standard documentation so people who are skilled like me, but would rather put the eyes together in 10 minutes instead of 20 two times would be great.

It seems like a lot of these things are self feeding fires, but getting it started is hard, Repwalker RA04 has 1 build beside the developer. If it had lets say 3 builds, people are more likely to build it, more the builds more likely people join the bandwagon, build more mods that we ourselves could use...etc etc.
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05-23-2014, 03:40 AM
Post: #5
RE: Shellmo Community
I'd also add that investment in getting this to be more widespread at this point beyond for our own use is probably pre-mature. We can't even get the people from the FB group to post in the forum or build out designs as they become available. Right now we should just do what works for us while trying to stick to some very very basic standards..ie. chassis/drive..etc etc.
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05-23-2014, 04:21 AM
Post: #6
RE: Shellmo Community
(05-23-2014 03:36 AM)jmccartney Wrote:  I think its important to know that I am doing the vast majority of my work on Shellmo type things for myself.
...
I don't have some grand dream the we are doing some work for the benefit of humanity..
This I agree with you

(05-23-2014 03:36 AM)jmccartney Wrote:  That being said, I don't have a huge interest making these things really really easy because the person that doesn't have a 3d printer/access to one, and doesn't have basic microelectronics skills is probably not going to build one/ not even think about releasing mods that could benefit me.
That is true, but in Germany for instance there are not so many 3D printers around and Germany has only 1/3 of the population of the USA. So not that many potential users here.

(05-23-2014 03:36 AM)jmccartney Wrote:  This might all sound selfish
Selfishness is a big force (and behind most big things...)

(05-23-2014 03:36 AM)jmccartney Wrote:  I am not sure there really needs to be such a unified hardware/software plan... Basically control the thing how you want with whatever you want...
For me it was attractive to get a quick access to the BT-Android control. At first I thought there would be more content to learn from - Now I am programming this by myself - sometimes you only need some others where you get the heart from to start something.

And as you mentioned it would be nice to get an eye assembly plan to go forward faster - and get time to add things. So documentation is a big thing and if you don't standardize things and coordinate something with others it is time consuming to do this - and things can become outdated very fast...

To sum it up: If we document things to make it easy for other people to start with something they ever dreamed of but missed some pieces we could get more members - but this costs time what we maybe not want to spend...

(05-23-2014 03:36 AM)jmccartney Wrote:  Pinocc.io is neato, just too expensive for me.
Yes, an example what would be fine but not in a price range which you like to spend for a toy.

(05-23-2014 03:36 AM)jmccartney Wrote:  Set a few basic chassis dimensions and have a bunch of add ons. Decide Lets say use m3 screws, standard and micro servers, one particular gear motor.
That's true and it is important to have a flexible concept. I as an German engeneer would tend to overorganize it -for sure ;-)

(05-23-2014 03:36 AM)jmccartney Wrote:  It seems like a lot of these things are self feeding fires, but getting it started is hard
To do this with fire resistant materials could be frustrating. But on other hand if we are convinced of it, it also could start others. For me Thingiverse is a platform for people who want to give their Makerbot a right to exist. With Shellmo this would end after assembling the shell. So maybe we should attract other people also.

My Conclusion:
Let's have fun with our creativity.
Let's collect ideas what a Shellmo should be/stand for.
Let's discuss possible functions.

Let's help each other to realize this -and document this for others to save time and to come up quickly.

Let's see afterwards what could be attractive for "the world" and make a package out of this.

My test platform is the MAKER Faire in Hannover in 43 days. It is important to talk to people and learn to know about their "needs". For me this will be a milestone if and how I will go further with this project.

My first goals in the moment - get my arm healed and the Macropede on it's feet

Rainer
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05-23-2014, 04:32 AM
Post: #7
RE: Shellmo Community
(05-23-2014 04:21 AM)steamboat Wrote:  For me Thingiverse is a platform for people who want to give their Makerbot a right to exist. With Shellmo this would end after assembling the shell. So maybe we should attract other people also.
This is such an interesting comment. It might be a surprise, but until you mentioned it I did not really think about thingiverse this way. But now that you do, its seems so obvious..

(05-23-2014 04:21 AM)steamboat Wrote:  My Conclusion:
Let's have fun with our creativity.
Let's collect ideas what a Shellmo should be/stand for.
Let's discuss possible functions.

Let's help each other to realize this -and document this for others to save time and to come up quickly.

Let's see afterwards what could be attractive for "the world" and make a package out of this.
I think this is a great conclusion! I feel better now.
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05-24-2014, 03:15 PM
Post: #8
RE: Shellmo Community
About Shellmo Community I have something to share .
Below this is my opinion and the Process in Shellmo.

I'm one of the early members join this open source project .
At Frist I feel happy to see you guy make this place hot and Thank for this.

Normally I Thinking Shellmo is make a "Dream" more than is "Project"

Is a Fate and lucky can Join Shellmo
The Reason I join here is a mechanishm of Micropede ,moving interactive eyes,and the MCSA structure. This is really Cool.
and normally Talking about Robot normally people will think something like "wheel" type or "humanoid robot" Type. or Droine
Not too much Project is like Shellmo build robot base on Biology.

And One of the Important reason is About Sho.
A Good Project is build By a Great Person .And He is this Person.
I can saw He passion ,seriously,Ideal,Persist. and he alway share what he got to other without return

This is the First Open Source for me.
I'm a Web Developer .Before I join Here I have never touch any about electronic or 3d printer
and i have plan to learn microcontroller but Arduino Kit is hard to get in my country .and when i searching let me find a microcontroller can coding by Javascript. Calling "Espruino" this is really cool i have never think this before I can use my famous Programing language to control some electronic is really cool (after this I find out have a open source project using node.js to control the Arduino board )
Regarding this reason I have start learning how to use "Espruino" board with Shellmo.

Agree with James post in "Circuits" people will use whatever they have on hand .

The Reason for people love shellmo but why their not join us
1.complexity
2.Cost
3.Learning Curve

1.Agree with Rainer Shelmo is a complexity Open Source Project.
And Just like what Rainer mention this is a complexity Open Source Project.
This Project is require some skill like
a.mechanical ,
b.electronic,
c.programing ,
d.3D modeling,
e.Sourcing

Not many people have this kind of skill.
But if you get the heart from to start and discuss what you face i belive this not the "stone" to stop you.
I'm Lucky I have some experince working at factory before.
and before I become Web Developer I m a 3D architecture visualizer So i have some little skill for this.
except electronic part i really is a novice.

But when you star to making Shellmo you will learning all of this kind skill this is a chance to learning.
this few month I learning many skill for shellmo and special thank for Sho he share and teach me many.

when I start soldering i face alot a problem .Soldering two row Pinheader i have use more than one month times(of cource i only work at free)
I this process let me learn many skill. and i have write a long post in my blog.

Now i can start soldering and making some easy "Circuits" by my self.
still remember the frist time I make a "Circuits" for 293D chip(16 pin) to control two 298:1 Micro Metal Gearmotor .
is really a fun and get Knowledge . when i frist time touch the electronic part really no idea for this.why this wire need input here ....
in start I forget Connected wire to a ground .

This kind of Experience I will open some post and share in here.currect some Experience I only write in my blog(with Chinese language)need times to translate.
hope this can help the people are new coming without skill like me.

Actually I have View each of the Post in here and Facebook, but Sincere some topic is really Difficult to join because some topic is really complexity and professional.

2.Cost, Yes Building Shellmo is expensive for someone or some country people like me.

Regarding this Cost issue I know Sho will find out replace some low-cost part for current now.
example the bluetooth we can replace this with some low-cost bluetooth module.

And some part Shellmo required is not easy to get in my country .Like GearMotor,MotorDriver,BluetoothModule.
If i need to get this part ,for me only have one option is buy online.
so if we can make Shellmo with some part is popular and easy to find is great. i know this is not the easy different country have different thing

So if we can help other people to get the part this is great.
we can list down which shop is lower price and best quality . in my country one HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Distance Sensor is sell $10~$30
is really bad .

Talk about "quality" I have something to share when i start soldering I have purchase some chaper tools and regarding the bad quality the tools is delay my work whole month.

"Tool is like a Sword for a warrior " same like tools for maker .for Sho.

Only the Cost of the Circuits we need around $150 , So if we can make shellmo shield cost is important.(I saw you guy is discuss this. very great)
After this is the Most Important part 3D Printer. without this is really hard to step forward I think.
Actually I have purchase a RepWalker Set with Sho 2 month ago. And I have start modify Espruino with RepWalker.
One of My Idea is Using the Ultrasonic Distance Sensor and let RepWalker can walk around .I have done this but the Sensor and
Espruino Board I only can tape on RepWalker now.this is Ugly and not stable.
I know when i start this project 3D printer is really a tools must have. Yes we can Print our part online and find local who have 3D printer .
I have try this but the price is very expensive Print 3 RepWalker cost is enough for me buy one Reprap 3D printer.

And I have Discuss about 3D printer with shellmo and post here , save few month money finally I get my RepRap 3D printer.

I think 3D printer is one of the Part we need to discuss and improve.

Now i still assembled My 3D printer after finish. I will Post some experince and the process let the people who trying to get he frist 3Dprinter have a refer.

And I also will share my 3D printer to who is near me and interesting to join shellmo.

Goal for me now is assembled My 3D printer and understand the Arduino .
after this I will bring Shellmo to some Event in my country Hope to see more people to Join .

Sorry for this Long Long Post and My poor English
if I'm Wrong please correct me.




Shellmo Goal:
Many people choose Shellmo when they start to make a robot.
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05-24-2014, 11:05 PM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2014 11:13 PM by steamboat.)
Post: #9
RE: Shellmo Community
Hello Jack,

thank you for this statement/info. It helps all to learn more and think about the people who like to see, like to make or like to own a Shellmo. It would be great if more people like you would tell all others here which the intentions are to "care" about Shellmo.

PS:
I never thought about soldering because I did it with 5 years to keep my electric trains running. After your threat I know now that it can be an advantage if you have a unit with ready made connectors or with screw joints. You will start soldering anyway within this project but the possibility to start without soldering could be an argument.
-> Maybe we should have an easy starter board with screw joints only to keep things less complex - or better to say - easy to use?

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