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Skitter Tutorial - Situp Dances

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Making a situp dance!

Making a situp dance -- one where AIBO's arms are off the floor -- can be challenging.   Keeping AIBO's balance, making sure the servo's don't overload, etc...

Skitter now includes a library of dance snippets making situp dances much easier.

Goals for this tutorial:

ERS-7 owners please note certain steps differ slightly.

Let's get started!


1.0 Create Skit & Load the Music
 

(1) 


Start Skitter.    Create a new skit, or open one from before.

New Skit



(2a) 

ERS-110/210/220/310:
  We want AIBO sitting, so...
  1. From the Edit Menu, click "Select All".
  2. From the Motion Menu, click "Set Pose", then "Sit Position".
  3. Hit the Delete key to remove the blank motion.

Sit
(2b) ERS-7:  We want AIBO sitting up, so...
  1. From the Edit Menu, click "Select All".
  2. From the Motion Menu, click "Set Pose", then "Situp Position".
  3. Position orange cursor at time 63 (middle of blank motion).

Situp


 
(3)

For this skit, we'll be using a short MIDI tune.    Click here to download.      Save on your desktop, or somewhere convenient.

MIDI Icon


 
(4)

To use this MIDI file, go to the Sound menu and select "Replace Sound...".   Navigate to where you saved the tune & click "Open".

Tip:  Replace Sound works with wave files (AIBO compatible) also! 

Replace Sound



(5)

ERS-110/210/220/310:
   Select "Sound Start Time" on the Sound menu.   In the Frames box enter a value of 235.   The reason will become clear later.

ERS-7:  Enter a frames value of 63 instead.
Start Time

2.0 Open the Library

 
(1) 

From the "View" Menu, click "Library".    The library bar appears along the right border.

Library


  
(2)

There are a number of library categories, mainly for different postures.

Feel free to explore a bit.  It works just like Windows Explorer.   Click the + symbol to open folders.  

To preview folder entries, select then click the start button (below the 3D AIBO).

For more info on the library, see chapter 8 of the documentation.

3.0 Copying from the Library
 

(1)  


ERS-110/210/220/310:   In the library, open the "Posture Changes" folder.    Click on the "Sit_to_Situp_Dance" entry.  

ERS-7:  Skip to Making a Dance below.

Posture Change


 
(2)

Click the right mouse button, and choose "Copy" from the popup menu (or use the CTRL-C shortcut).   Do not use the toolbar Copy button.

Copy


 
(3)

On the toolbar button click "Paste" (or use the CTRL-V shortcut).    This pastes the posture change into the motion editor.  

Note:  Be careful not to move the orange marker afterwards.

The posture change takes 235 frames (for the 110/210/220/310).   Recall the sound start value we entered above.   They're the same!   Therefore, AIBO won't start playing music until he's sitting up.   ERS-7 owners used a smaller value, since AIBO started already sitting up.
Paste


4.0 Making a Dance!


(1) 

Now the fun part.   Open the library "Situp Dance Moves" folder.   There are lots of short dance snippets available there.   The snippets are mostly 1 or 2 seconds long.
Dance Moves




(2) Click on "situp_right2".   Use the right-click menu "Copy", toolbar "Paste" sequence, to append to motion editor.




(3)

Now append the following in order (same technique):
    situp_left2
    situp_stretch1 (1st time)
    situp_stretch1 (2nd time)
   
situp_shuffle1
    situp_right2
    situp_left2
    situp_chicken2
    situp_touch_right

Dance Motion



(4)

ERS-110/210/220/310 Only:
   We must transition AIBO back to sitting.    From the library "Posture Changes" folder, append "Situp_Dance_to_Sit".
Sit



(5) Now some finishing touches.   Add tail wagging & happy LED's.   Refer to tutorials one and two for a refresher if needed.

The tailwag wizard might cause minor speed warnings (servos drawn in red).   Not to worry.   Use "Fix Fast Servos" on the Motion menu to cleanup.
Dance




(6)

Save it!   You're done!   Congratulations!


From the Edit Menu, select AIBO Window.   Click the Start button & watch Aibo dance!

The completed dance is available here also:  110, 210, 220, 310, 7

Got a question?    Ask Dogsbody!
AIBO Window



5.0 Hints

(1)  The library "Situp Dance Moves" are in 1 second multiples.    Songs with a 60 or 120 tempo (ie: 1 or 2 beats per second) are easiest to use.  

For music with different tempos, try the Sound menu "Scale Sound" command to make music play faster/slower.   Alternatively, see the next hint to make the motions move faster/slower instead.





(2)
After assembling all your dance moves, use the Motion menu "Scale Motion..." command to better align AIBO movement & music.   Note you can easily make AIBO move -too- fast with this approach.

You'll almost always need to tweak dances after real world AIBO testing.  AIBO isn't 100% predictable and motion/music get out of sync.
 




(3) Sound files should not end before movement stops.    If necessary add silence on the end.   AIBO's sometimes twitch noticeably if sound stops during active movement.

In WAVE files, move the orange marker after the music & use "Insert Silence" on the Sound menu.

In MIDI files, add a very-low note after the tune ends (they are inaudible on AIBO).   Examine the tutorial cantina_aibo tune for an example.





(4) Some of the library dance snippets technically move "too fast".   The motion editor highlights servo movements in red.

When used sparingly this isn't a problem.  The servos in question aren't under load.   In fact, AIBO's own skits regularly violate the speed limits.   However, Skitter will prompt you to fix them when saving.

If you're concerned, from the Motion menu select "Fix Fast Servos".  
Too Fast

Got a question?    Ask Dogsbody!



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