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  1. #1

    South western Michigan
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    Default Next large robot

    I've started the design work on my next creation which will be a bit different than the last few I've built. This robot will be a Hexapod based on a circular body. Each leg will have 3 drive motors and will use a design similar to the old Odex I (look it up if the name isn't familiar!). All moving parts will be on bearings or bushings, there will be 24 per leg. Linear actuators drive two axis and the third uses a large gear motor.

    I built a wooden version of one leg to validate the design,clearances and interferences. The CAD drawings were finished last night so the next step is cutting out the aluminum stock. Then it all goes into a CNC mill to make the parts!

    I'm using Parallax parts as much as possible but some things like the linear actuators were ordered elsewhere. The HB-25 motor controllersl are used to drive the 12 volt motors and 6 custom propellor boards will be used to control the legs. These controllers will be networked together with a master prop board running the show. The goal is to get the mechanical parts for a single leg together before the end of the year and have the basic individual leg programming completed before spring. I expect the final weight of the robot to be around 125 pounds and it will stand up to a maximum of around 4.5 ft.

    The rest of the legs will follow shortly after that (nice thing about a CNC is that design changes are easy to incorporate and reproduce!). I plan on using Rodney Brooks's behavioral programming ideas for this robot. So I have a lot of studying to do. My big goal is for it to be able to climb stairs with a minimum of input from myself. If I can do that, then it will be a success for me!

    This is actually my second Hexapod using this basic design but with access to better machining (CNC) capabilities and more modern electronics I expect to have more success this time around (the original was built in the 80's and had very limited capabilities)

    I'll add photos as I go along if anyone is interested.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Next large robot

    Absolutely interested!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Next large robot

    Sounds very interesting! Can't way to see this progress!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Next large robot

    I'm interested in the progression of your project, DiverBob. The whole description is interesting. Share as much as you can, as you proceed.

    Ken Gracey

    Ken Gracey | Parallax Inc.| Direct
    : (916) 625-3010 | www.parallax.com

    Follow me on Twitter

  5. #5

    Default Re: Next large robot

    Fantastic, DiverBob! I was a huge fan of Odex 1 back in the day and yours is a huge and noble effort. Def keep us in the loop on this major undertaking. My own efforts are much smaller these days: I'm still messing with OBC's simple "one servo robot" challenge. Gotta do something useful with the dozens of dollar Chinese relays I've been accumulating. Not hoarding, Ken. There's a subtle difference!

    For the uninitiated, see http://www.theoldrobots.com/odex.html

  6. #6

    Default Re: Next large robot

    Hello DiverBob,

    If I remember correctly I think I talked to you about your first hexapod robot at the second UPENE show. Sounds like your new project is going to be cool and I'd enjoy seeing pictures of your progress. Are you going to put a dome on the head like the ODEX robots? I have sources for those if you need some.


  7. #7

    South western Michigan
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Next large robot

    Thanks for the encouraging words!
    Almost done with the CAD drawings, will convert them to G code for the CNC mill (I have a Tormach 770 for those that are interested). Most of the hardware will be custom built for this project. I am taking vacation all next week so I should be able to get a lot done. I'm also investigating aluminum anodizing, that would give the whole project a very nice look!
    I was inspired several years ago when I subscribed to Robotics Age magazine when a 1984 edition featured the Odex I. It was far and away more complex than anything I had attempted up to that point but I knew I had to try. The learning curve was steep and the price even steeper, but I finished a basic version back in the early 90's. Unfortunately it wasn't a complete success (it ran but only under full human control, the controllers I built and the available software wasn't up to the task -also all my money was going into this one project for several years!) due to a number of issues both mechanical and electronic. I blew my budget on it but it got me interested in metal machining and mechanical engineering.
    The propellor expo got my interest in robots going again when I saw the progress others had made and how far the level of controls have come. I believe my new design will overcome most of my earlier issues and computer control has come a long way! I'm using the propellor chip as the controller, it's put the 'fun' back into programming for me.


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