Little Walker

lilwalker

This little walking robot caught our eye. We’ve seen tons of 4 legged bots, but the design on this probably took more effort than the electronics. The design is radially symmetrical, it can walk in any direction, turn in place, and even walk upside down. The electronics weren’t forgotten though. This little bugger manages to pull a half our of use out of each battery charging. It communicates wirelessly with a custom dual Wiimote Nunchuck setup via XBEE modules. You can find much more technical details in the captions of the pictures. We’re not positive what processing power is hidden in the bot itself, but we know there’s an Arduino in one of the nunchucks. This might be the brains of the operation leaving the hardware on the bot simply to control the servos. We really like the arc-reactor-esque power display.

Comments

  1. blizzarddemon says:

    Reminds me for some reason of the spider bot from FF8. Awesome job!

  2. David says:

    This is sweet

  3. Agent420 says:

    Headcrab!

    cool though ;-)

  4. fourth says:

    wait – three comments and no derogatory remarks on project execution or documentation?

    obviously a glitch in the matrix.

  5. captain obvious says:

    @fourth,
    shhhhhhhhhhhh. you’ll wake the neckbeards.

  6. jamesy says:

    so cute :3

  7. strider_mt2k says:

    “It’s a walking eye, hank. They’re all the same.”

    -t.s. venture

  8. C.J. says:

    I would LOVE video of this thing in action.

  9. Franklyn says:

    They should get a video up

  10. supaduck says:

    It looks to me like a Dragoon from Starcraft.
    MY LIFE FOR AIUR!!

  11. chango says:

    That leg design is awesome! I hope the author posts some more details on this.

  12. Agent420 says:

    @fourth
    I think the inclusion of an arduino may have preempted some of the backlash ;-)

  13. Richard says:

    I want…

  14. ellindsey says:

    Hello. This is the creator of the robot in question. Quite surprised to see so much interest in my little toy. I will try and get some video of it walking up soon.

    To answer the question in the post – there’s essentially no processing being done in the robot, just a Pololu board which takes serial data commands from the radio link and translates them into servo pulses. All the processing for walking and leg movement is done in the arduino I crammed into one of the nunchuks.

    This version of the robot I’ve been working on for about two years, on and off, as a fun side project to take along to gaming conventions and such to entertain people with. Building something that can put in severah hours of walking time over the course of a weekend without destroying itself is actually pretty challenging.

  15. macegr says:

    Does the 120mA drain of the power indicator affect the battery life much?

  16. ellindsey says:

    Not so much, the main battery drain is from the servos. The servos can draw peak currents of over an amp each, although the average current draw is a lot less.

  17. C.J. says:

    @ellindsey

    Have a blog with more info?

  18. Stunmonkey says:

    I am not surprised at the lack of negative comments – this kicks ass. Again not my thing, but its overwhelmingly obvious a lot of thought, development, and time went into making this.
    In other words, someone gave a shit.

    If it were just another altoids tin with an arduino and a cheap servo duct taped onto it, you can bet your shorts there would be some snarky comments, but this kind of thing is what hackaday is for people.

  19. catzburg says:

    30min = half hour
    half our = ?

  20. barry99705 says:

    @catzburg
    half our= hers.

  21. k0ldBurn says:

    @stunmonkey- Exactly, this is what hackaday is about. This isn’t just a blog about someone who spend a weekend screwing around with an arduino, it’s a real project that someone cared about.

  22. Cl says:

    Is that a FunnelIO?

  23. Stunmonkey says:

    @k0ldBurn

    I’m glad at least someone feels the same way. I really love well thought out projects like this or the paintball turret, and there are a lot of them happening. I’d like to see more covered here.

    More projects like this one!

  24. ellindsey says:

    A quick video is up now.

    @C.J. – not yet, but I’m putting one together soon.

    @Cl Yes, that is a funnelio in one of the nunchuks.

  25. Caleb Kraft says:

    @ellindsey,
    WOW, that video does not let us down. Great gait, smooth transition from flopped to walking again.

  26. nebulous says:

    Awesome little critter, loved the flopping motion too.

    Make kit. Sell. Make lots of money. :)

  27. PocketBrain says:

    It’s a Protoss Dragoon! I wonder if it has the photon cannon?

  28. TJHooker says:

    I bet the bill on the fabrication was scary

  29. Jeremy says:

    Wow, that has some really fluid movement. Can I make a design suggestion? I noticed the robot had lower mobility when on a smooth surface, what about putting rubber balls on the ends of the legs instead of what looks like brass?

    That is an awesome robot either way. I loved the flipping over.

  30. ellindsey says:

    I had rubber feet on an earlier version of this. I found that a hard surface like brass works better on carpet – the rubber had too much traction for the robot to walk smoothly. Rubber works better on a hard smooth surface, but I decided to optimize for carpet.

    I have put up a blog with more information. Link is on the photo set site and through my name here.

  31. japkin says:

    Very impressive. It looks quite fast and dexterous for a little robot!

  32. Jeremy says:

    Nice Blog and thanks for the response. I can understand what you mean. Optimize it for the environment expected. I didn’t realize you used spring tension on the legs. Good idea.

  33. TJHooker says:

    this infringes on the head crab patent

  34. clifdweller says:

    You could coat the brass with rubber on one side then have it flip over from one surface type to the other

  35. k0ldBurn says:

    I don’t think it looks like a headcrab, maybe the Dragoons from starcraft but not headcrab. People keep suggesting different foot designs, maybe the next model could have small tachikoma style wheels. Just free spinning wheels that wouldn’t do much on carpet but allow it to almost ‘skate’ over hard surfaces. It’s a thought..

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