spudbean

[1.0.x] RKE Kanadarm v0.11.0 - May 24

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Runge–Kutta Enterprises presents...

RKE Kanadarm

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Purpose: A set of Canadarm2 look-alike parts, for building your own robotic arms. Includes rotating joints, latching end effector and grapple fixture. (Moving parts requires Infernal Robotics.)

Download:

Source:

Features (also see album above)

  • Main Parts: LEE (Latching End Effector), PDGF (Power Data Grapple Fixture), Rotating joints (shoulder/elbow/wrists). LEE and PDGF are docking ports (they can only dock with each other).
  • Arm Parts: various sized poles for creating various sized robotic arms.
  • Can be arranged in unlimited combinations (Canadarm, Canadarm2, etc.).

How to use

  • The LEE and PDGF are docking ports. Once they are close enough together, they will dock together like any docking port would.
  • NB: The LEE and PDGF can't dock with the stock docking ports.
  • Use the Rotating Joint and structural arms (or your other favorite parts) to make a robotic arm.
  • There are two Rotating Joints, one that stacks or surface attaches via it's base, and one that attaches via the copper-coloured rotating part. If you attach a joint in the VAB/SPH and it remains "transprent", then try spinning it around to its other attach point, or use the other Rotating Joint.
  • Please "Known Issues" below regarding self-docking!

Supported/recommended Mods:

  • (REQUIRED) [thread=116064]MSI Infernal Robotics[/thread]: A recent version of Infernal Robotics (otherwise the rotors will not work).
  • (Optional) [thread=70161]Connected Living Space[/thread]: Kerbals cannot pass through the LEE and PDFG when CLS is installed.
  • (Optional) [thread=113111]Kerbal Inventory System[/thread]: The PDGF Grapple Fixture is grabbable in KIS. This is useful if you forgot to put in a PDGF when building your craft -- just send Jeb out there on EVA and attach a PDGF where you need it. Screwdriver not included.
  • (Optional) [thread=57603]RasterPropMonitor[/thread]: The LEE has a camera that will show up in RPM's external camera list.
  • (Optional) Docking: Docking aids such as [thread=43901]Docking Port Alignment Indicator[/thread] and [thread=54303]Navball docking alignment indicator[/thread] can help align your LEE and PDGF (since they are actually docking ports).
  • (Optional) [thread=59005]Active Texture Management[/thread]: RKE Kanadarm's parts uses a moderate amount of game memory usage. Textures are 512x512 and many parts reuse textures. If you are using many mods and running out of game memory then consider using ATM.
  • (Suggestion) [thread=93818]QuantumStrutsContinued[/thread]: A long robotic arm has a tendency to wobble in flight. Use a Quantum Strut or two to "lock" an arm into position.

Changelog:

0.10 (24 May 2015)

  • Now works with KSP 1.0.x.

0.10 (12 March 2015)

  • Added 4m and 6m structural arms.
  • The PDGF Grapple Fix is now grabble via KAS.

0.9 (11 March 2015)

  • Initial release.

Roadmap:

  • Please make suggestions!

Reporting problems

Notes and Known Issues:

  • Self-docking: Just like the real Canadarm2, your Kanadarm can have a LEE on both ends, and inchworm itself from one PDGF to another. When you undock a previously docked LEE, you may find the Infernal Robotics GUI doesn't control the parts correctly, or you may even experience other Kraken-derived behaviour. To fix this, simply reload the scene (e.g. by pressing F5/F9, or going to the Space Center and back). Seriously: if you are moving parts with Infernal Robotics and cause the vessel to dock with itself, reload the scene before moving any more parts.
  • As it says on the Infernal Robotics, Do not attach IR parts directly to docking ports. It will make your life miserable. You have been warned!. Remember that the LEE and PDGF are docking ports. If you run into this problem, there is a small spacer in the pack to keep the LEE and rotating joints separated.

Edited by spudbean
0.11 update

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gotta test this!

- - - Updated - - -

e: You should make the power grapple fixtures KAS grabbable, so you can move nodes about for the arm to inchworm where it pleases, and also to remove surplus ports.

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You should make the power grapple fixtures KAS grabbable

Brilliant idea, will be in the next release!

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No problem.

I've given this a quick test and I really like it. As this is how the candarm grapples things in real life, I can't believe it's been this long for someone to actually go "hey, why don't we do it like *this*?". Kudos to you sir.

Can I also suggest making longer arm structual parts? The 2m one is not quite long enough, maybe make pieces that are 4 and 6m too.

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Well done sir, I will try this ASAS.

Best. Typo. Ever. And cool looking mod. Maybe this will spurn me to try IR again.

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Can I also suggest making longer arm structual parts? The 2m one is not quite long enough, maybe make pieces that are 4 and 6m too.

I can do that reasonably easily. I was trying to balance in my mind having useful arms of various sizes, and not spamming user's Utility panel in the VAB with all my parts. I did make the elbow and structural arms PhysicsSignificance = 1 in their .cfg, which makes them like the stock Cubic Octagonal Strut -- super strong when stacked together (and afaict with no other down sides). So you can stack the current 2m arms together to make the lengths you want with little-or-no extra wobble.

But: an extra 4m and 6m part isn't spamming the part list, so yep I'll put it on the TODO.

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The Rotating joints dont work for me. They rotate on wrong axis,and the copper colored parts stay in their original position, so that (graphically) the whole thing brakes apart under rotation.

EDIT: a picture says more than thousand words, so:

untitled-1tzjck.png

EDIT: no, all fine when out of VAB!

Edited by InsaneDruid

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They rotate on wrong axis

Thank's for the screenshot. Yeah that is a bug in Infernal Robotics with any "rotating" part who's rotation is off-axis. But: it only does that in the VAB, if you take the vessel out for a spin you should find the part rotates correctly. If the problem exists out on the launch pad, please let me know.

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Stupid Question time: Do we NEED both the LEE and the PDGF to be able to grab two thins, or can this grab things without the need for the PDGF?

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@spudbean: thanks for the reply, mate! On the pad, all is working perfectly. So nothing wrong, besides me ;)

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Stupid Question time: Do we NEED both the LEE and the PDGF to be able to grab two thins, or can this grab things without the need for the PDGF?

Good question. The LEE and the PDGF are technically just docking ports, and you need both for them to grab together. You can technically dock two PDGFs together, or two LEEs together, and for aesthetics it is the LEE and the PDGF that should dock together. Note that the LEE and PDGF are different "types" of docking ports to the stock docking port set. Just as you can't dock a Clamp-o-tron to a Clamp-o-tron-Jr, you can't dock a LEE/PDGF to any of the stock docking ports.

I'll update the forum page above with a "HOW TO USE" later tonight.

(Just some further rationale on the docking ports: There are other approaches I could have taken with the LEE. For example, I experimented with the Magnet function from Kerbal Attachment System. A Magnet does make it easier to grab any old thing (which is useful), but a Magnet doesn't weld two vessels together like a docking port and hence you wouldn't be able to do the end-of-end inchworming to move a robotic arm from one position on a space station to another. Because if you change scene or even timewarp then KSP doesn't really deal with the Magnet very well. This inchworming was an important usecase for me, and I also wanted to achieve a similar aesthetic to the real Canadarm which does in fact require a PDFG latch. If you find the LEE/PDFG pairing a problem, you could try just using the KAS Magnet at the end of the RKE arm instead of the RKE-LEE.)

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Updated for v0.10:

  • Added 4m and 6m structural arms.
  • The PDGF Grapple Fix is now grabble via KAS.

Thanks for the suggestions and support, everyone!

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Unlike every other attempt I have made to make a robotic arm with IR, this is the only one that did not wobble like mad except for a bit of wobble at the arm end with the dock ing node. I think a quantum strut might even sort this..

Also can you make a basic rotatron in your pack's style?

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I'm glad you are having some success with these part!

Also can you make a basic rotatron in your pack's style?

Yeah I can do that. I think you are after a "wrist roll joint" yeah? (e.g. along the axis of the arm). I've also been thinking of making an Canadarm-1 style "Elbow Pitch Joint" too (e.g. like the wrist roll and elbow pitch in http://www.ieee.ca/millennium/canadarm/canadarm_parts.jpg)

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I'm glad you are having some success with these part!

Yeah I can do that. I think you are after a "wrist roll joint" yeah? (e.g. along the axis of the arm). I've also been thinking of making an Canadarm-1 style "Elbow Pitch Joint" too (e.g. like the wrist roll and elbow pitch in http://www.ieee.ca/millennium/canadarm/canadarm_parts.jpg)

I would love you forever! And if I could give you more rep I would...Downloading immediately! (Also, thanks for the in-depth reply, I wasn't expecting so much detail)

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That sounds super dude, both the wrist roll joint and the elbow pitch joint. Have some rep!

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Hi very nice mod but i have a little problem:

aSJ5ouX.png

i tried for 20m but not connected... RKE-LEE Latching End Effector with RKE-PDGF Power Data Grapple Fixture.

What i can do or what i wrong ?!

PS. please make if you can a video tutorial. build and grabbed some parts.

Edited by Viruzzz

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Hi very nice mod but i have a little problem: i tried for 20m but not connected... RKE-LEE Latching End Effector with RKE-PDGF Power Data Grapple Fixture. What i can do or what i wrong ?!

I'm sorry you struggled to get the two parts to connect. I think the problem may be that the LEE and the PDGF are not close enough to 90 degrees aligned (e.g. see here http://imgur.com/U8EfOtA ). I've probably made the docking parameters too precise. I will try and improve that in the next release, so it is not so hard to dock.

If you want experiment, here's a change you can try: find both pdfg.cfg and lee.cfg in your GameData/RKE_Kanadarm/Parts directory. The acquireTorque and acquireForce values are currently 0.5. Try increasing them to 2.0, and restarting KSP.

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i had changed from 0.5 to 2.0 i had aligned (i tried to be very close) PDGF with LEE but is the same not connected.

The camera is not help my if is close with PDGF on LEE i see the inside of ship.. i suggest to put indicator on camera with LEE approximation. like Navball docking alignment, and light.

Edit: Later i will rework on Kanadarm the rotation of PDGF is missing maybe this is cause for not not connected, harder for my. the new version will be have rotation for easy PDGF manipulate.

Edited by Viruzzz

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i had changed from 0.5 to 2.0 i had aligned (i tried to be very close) PDGF with LEE but is the same not connected.

Is it possible for you to send me your save file (KSP/saves/SOMETHING/persistent.sfs)?

Also (you've probably already tried this): try right-clicking on both the LEE and PDGF, sometimes only one will report the docking.

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