Creator Matt Bunting
gazes at his robot
and gives it scale.
All the IK software was coded by Matt and runs on
Ubuntu Linux. “I run the code through an SSH client on
either my phone or a computer,” Matt continues. The
programming language is C++.
The IK programming includes 3D balance gestures so
the robot can balance itself and move into balanced
positions as it moves. Matt explains the importance of this
feature and how he derived it: “If you see a coin and try to
STEER WINNING ROBOTS
pick it up, you don’t simply extend your arm
toward the coin. Rather, you bend and twist
nearly all your joints so that you can
comfortably perform the task. I decided to
implement this approach in the hexapod to
make it appear more natural and to allow
ultimate flexibility of all the joints.”
“I did this by imagining that real springs
are attached to the hexapod body with the
other end of each spring attached at the foot
location. Once the feet are spread apart, the
body would find the balanced position to
minimize the tension of all the springs. By
solving for the body location for minimum
tension, the body can shift when the foot
becomes too far away from or too close to
the body, increasing its flexibility.”
The first version of the robot performed terrain
adaptation where — using IK — it employed the camera and
optic flow calculations to gain knowledge of its
environment. Any image that appears larger in successive
images has a vector. The hexapod can use this information
to perform obstacle avoidance or step up onto obstacles
while keeping its body level.
In addition, this capability is a building block in
autonomous navigation, environmental mapping, and
exploring in which the robot uses vision information to
control its legs in certain ways, to build 3D maps of the
world surrounding it, and to navigate and explore in it.
Don’t assume that familiar arenas in robotics design
leave no room for discovery, innovation, and adaptation.
Even a basic hexapod can fool you! SV
Perform proportional speed, direction, and steering with only two Radio/Control channels for vehicles using two
separate brush-type electric motors mounted right and left
with our mixing RDFR dual speed control. Used in many
successful competitive robots. Single joystick operation: up
goes straight ahead, down is reverse. Pure right or left twirls
vehicle as motors turn opposite directions. In between stick
positions completely proportional. Plugs in like a servo to
your Futaba, JR, Hitec, or similar radio. Compatible with gyro
steering stabilization. Various volt and amp sizes available.
The RDFR47E 55V 75A per motor unit pictured above.
the robot’s designer
Cool robot design
Stratasys 3D printers
12 SERVO 09.2011