modding:charger [TheDroidYouAreLookingFor]

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2020/03/30 13:09 · xanathon
modding:charger

3D Printed Vector Charger

Disclaimer: This is a work in progress and partial experimental. Aside from that I have no idea about CAD and created the charger 3D model in Cinema 4D, so there is most probably room for improvement. But you can do so, as can be seen here.

I release the charger under a Creative Commons BY-SA license (mention the creator Xanathon and link here), so you can modify it and offer it to others, as long as you release it under the same conditions. I cannot give guarantees of any kind that this will work for you, so try this at your own risk (but I actually did print the charger, so at least that should work). ;)

Idea

I had a spare Cozmo charger and thought that it could be utilized to charge a Vector that I got from Ebay without a charger. Cozmo's charger, however, is a little too small for Vector and it is missing the home icon the robot needs. Since I own 3D printers I thought that I could create a charger case myself and put the contacts and cable from the Cozmo item into those. So I fired up C4D and went through the creation process (which was a challenge, because C4D has only very limited measurement capabilities and is no CAD software, the Dimension plugin by Salvatore Maesano was a big help).

Evolution of a charger

I constructed the bottom plate so you can insert the strain relief of the original flat cable into it and jam the board with the feather contacts so it holds loosely. If you screw the bottom and top pieces together it holds nicely without the need for any further mountings.

Bottom plate (click to enlarge)

You can print the bottom and top parts with a 3D printer of your choice. If you use a FFD printer: I printed test versions at a layer thickness of 0.3 mm and did the final print with a layer thickness of 0.2 mm and that is good enough in my opinion. But you are of course invited to try other settings. If you have a 3D printer you most probably know the best settings for your model anyway. :)

There are small holes for screws, those are somewhat generic and you either may want to modify those depending on what screws you use. In addition if you use screws with conical heads you may want to add recesses for those in a CAD application or just add them with a tool after printing.

You can then just insert the Cozmo charger cable and contact plate and screw the two parts together. I also glued the rubber pads from Cozmos's charger onto the bottom of this new one.

Yellow is only halfway impressed about this

You could even mount LEDs behind the backplate to illuminate it and help Vector to find home if it is dark. I will probably try something like that in the future.

Problems

This works fine insofar as Vector sees the home icon and tries to drive onto the charger. In the image above I laminated the home icon and the black and white stripes that should help the robot to align himself on the charger, before I taped them onto the device. But it does not work with the aligenment stripe, I guess that the laminated surface is too glossy and befuddles the sensors. So I tried another approach with insulating tape:

This seems to work better, but not always, sometimes Vector tries to drive diagonal onto the charger and seems not so “see” the stripe. So I guess this needs some more experiments but should definitely be solvable. If you have any insights or suggestions for improvement, please feel free to comment this page.

Another possibility may be to print in black PLA instead of white and just add a white stripe (but the white filament was already in the machine so I used it).

I also glued the rubber pads from Cozmo's charger to the underside of the new one to prevent sliding and that works quite fine, but depending on how slick the surface is you use this on you may need to put additional weights into the new charger to make it a little heavier. But there should be room enough for that.

Files

In the zip file llinked below you find the two stl files you can 3Dprint and the home icon (you can scale that to the exact size you want it and then print out to stick it onto the backplate).

charger_final.zip

Have fun printing, Xanathon

Discussion

Comments are moderated and do not show up immediately

Oliver State, 2020/10/09 14:06
hi,

just a quick question, how did you dismantle the cozmo charger for this one?
did you have to destroy it?
and has this charger been successful since this post?

thanks

Ollie
Xanathon, 2021/03/17 09:30, 2021/03/18 08:53
Yes and yes.

The Cozmo charger was not "destroyed" but dismantled.
Malcolm Dixon, 2020/12/06 01:36
Hi this is great little project, I bought two vectors from ebay with one charger and how they squabble over the charger lol. I was about to make a vector charger using C4D which isn't the best for this job but its what I have when I came across this design I thought I'd do it as a project and put it on my youtube channel. https://youtu.be/EUuKpQbSbHI I tried printing the top in PLA but it started curling and made a huge spiders web, so I ended up printing the top and bottom on my ROBOX using green ABS (don't ask me why they use green lol) its come out very well, I resized the charger icon in QuarkXpress and printed it and one of the vectors went to it, I need to put it to the test.

Let me know it you want the Quark file for your zip.

The other issue I really want to solve is fixing the COZMO display I have three with trashed displays showing just dots.
Best Regards

Malcolm aka #fixed1t
Xanathon, 2021/03/17 09:31
I used C4D designing the charger :)
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modding/charger.txt · Last modified: 2020/04/23 09:22 by xanathon