by Daniel Albert
Ever since I started working with bipeds, I have dreamed of building
a full size humanoid robot.
Unfortunately, there just aren't any kits around. I believe this is because it's just
not that easy to build a stable biped. Even small bipeds suffer problems of
stability, processing control, power consumption, and mechanical slop. As we
scale up the size, we scale up the problems and the cost.
Today's typical small bipeds (height range
of about 8" to 18") cost approximately $400-
$2,000. Custom-built models for larger sizes
even under 36 inches can easily hit $10,000.
Human size bipeds typically cost many
hundreds of thousands to many millions of
I set out to show that it is possible to
build a full size biped that can slowly walk
for well under $10,000.
Is there a low cost, simple solution to
build a full size biped robot without a huge
capital investment and a group of rocket
I would like to remind all of those who would say "No,
there isn't" that in the 18th century, John Harrison — a self-educated maker of wooden clocks — built the first very
accurate ship's chronometer and won a 10,000 pound
(that's old British money) prize. Highly educated scholars of
the time refused to acknowledge him because he didn't
have a formal education. So, don't despair if you are not
highly trained in the "rocket science" disciplines. Success
follows determination and the "Never give up, never
1. Theory of operation. Balancing with load cells,
lightweight feet, limb processing board.
2. Mechanical design. Weight distribution, foot linkage,
belt driven gear box, power system.
3. Distributed processing. Multi-processor control
system, distributed communications.
4. Walking. A synergistic fusion of static frames and
I've made some changes to the traditional bipeds that
are seen on the market today.
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