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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Robot Base Mechanics

Finally after much filing, cutting and drilling the 4 legs are assembled to the robot base. As mentioned in other posts and to summarize here the base is made from an Epson printer cover and each leg is built from 3 Futaba S3004 (or in some cases S3003) servos. It took some time to get the whole mess to this point, mostly because of other life things getting in the way, but now that it is done (partially) I can take a break and focus on the electronics.

When positioned carefully the legs can support the weight of the assembly and be stable without falling over and without power. I am considering using this position as a generic starting position to power up from but having the base sit flat on the floor might be better. With the base sitting flat on the floor the challenge would be to get the legs under control and the entire thing to stand up. Once standing up of course getting it to walk without falling over would be next.

At this point there isn't a lot left to do mechanically other than routing the servo cables so the don't get tangled as the legs actuate. While I am doing that I'm going to be looking into servo controllers and the software needed to control them. Initially I'm planning on just having a "serial to servo" converter on the robot with an umbilical connecting it back to a computer and a power supply. I'll use that set up to debug most of the motion and work out walking. The eventual goal will be to have a processor board with batteries on the robot so it can move autonomously but until I can figure out how to make it move a remote PC to control it will be easier. Why do anything the hard way?

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