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Icosatetrapedal robot

24, Icosatetrapeds have 24 legs.  This robot, built by [Monica Anderson] back in 2005 has 24 pneumatic soft legs. The motion is fantastic, like watching some kind of sea creature walk. Though it only goes about 1 meter per minute, we just couldn’t stop watching.  The compressors were scavenged from some military equipment designed for nerve gas detection, and the brain is a mac mini. The rest is just valves, solenoids, wood, and tube.

[thanks Tom]

Comments

  1. deathventure says:

    That’s great. It definitely reminds me of the bottom of a starfish creeping along the sea-floor.

  2. deathventure says:

    Also, that’s an interesting use of a mac-mini.

  3. ca5m1th says:

    An excellent start to having our own Luggage (from Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series).

  4. Tetrafluoroethane says:

    I have seen a lot of different leg designs in my time, but that is a new one. Very novel Monica. And what a pain the solenoid routing looks like it must have been.

  5. osgeld says:

    wild stuff, but a mac mini as a brain? little bit overkill for solenoid control

  6. nave.notnilc says:

    I wonder how much weight it could support, considering the number of legs/distribution of weight.

  7. medix says:

    @osgeld: Not if you have bigger plans for the future than just solenoid control. This is one case where under-estimation of future design possibilities is definitely *not* overkill.

    Very cool design.

  8. osgeld says:

    ok sure lets all toss 6-700$ pc’s on or robots, i am sure theres a future use of a walking platform with dvd and 4 gigs of ram

    I cant believe I have to defend a over kill statement on a site that whines whenever someone uses an arduino to control something.

    but a mac mini is A-OK?

  9. medix says:

    Chill out. I didn’t say the Mac was the *best* choice, but just perhaps it was the platform that this individual knew best? Perhaps it was a spare from work?

    Why is it that you have to nitpick over something irritatingly stupid when the design of the overall platform speaks for itself? Did you not watch the video when she mentions AI algorithms? I’m fairly sure you need some beefy hardware to make that work efficiently (if at all)..

  10. deathventure says:

    Cramming an eventually growing AI is possible for it, would take quite a bit to cram a complex AI like that into an arduino. As the video stated, she’s into AI programming, so it may be a possibility. Would a small linux based SBC suited your tastes more?

  11. Osgeld says:

    I wasnt nitpicking, I stated a single line thought which was countered by “jeez man why not” and someone made the phone call to get the Hackaday trolls out from their bridges

    so excuse the fuck out of me, its a neat idea, executed with chunky hardware that yea could be substituted with an arduino and a wireless connection, just like it doesnt need 900$ industrial vacuum motors (and yes I know they didnt cost that much)

  12. deathventure says:

    Ahh, that instant, use an arduino answer that everyone so loves. Not even completely sure what else she’s doing with the system, or possibly future plans of it.

    Not to mention noting she did build it in 2005 when the arduino was still in its own infancy stages.

    Already the arduino is crippling the idea of hacking in general, because it’s becoming an answer vs a tool in an expansive arsenal.

  13. osgeld says:

    which brings us right back to just strap a 700$ computer on its back therefore if it did nothing else but sit in the closet at least its prepared for future task’s

    or as I put it the first time, a mac mini is overkill

    dont care if its an arduino or a fpga, and since when does hacking include custom fabrication for every single aspect of a project, that sounds like a project not a hack

  14. deathventure says:

    nobody said hacking includes custom fab for every single aspect. I for one still use project boards, as well does several others. The idea is that arduino isn’t the answer for everything, but rather a tool that should be used for some things, but it’s becoming the quick answer for a lot of people, instead of thinking things out and furthering their own ideas. Here’s a thought, maybe she strapped the mac to it cause she hasn’t gone into mcu programming?

  15. medix says:

    @osgeld: Sorry mate. I don’t mean to jump down your throat, but it seems that you troll on here just as much as anyone else.

    I could care one way or the other (I’d have used an PIC18F4550 myself). It’s an amazingly simple concept, and none of us came up with the idea, so it is what it is and let’s leave it at that.

    I’ve got a rather large (and heavy) robotic platform (still unfinished) that I planned to outfit with a mini-ITX running debian, mostly to see if I *could*. It also happens to use two $1200 harmonic gear boxes that were *free*. Overkill? Battery life? Shitty.

    Really, who cares? You don’t like it? Build a better one! Show off what *you’ve* got..

  16. osgeld says:

    it would sound like she is just using the quickest answer instead of furthering her own ideas

  17. osgeld says:

    which is apparently just peachy as long as its not the magic A word

  18. osgeld says:

    “@osgeld: Sorry mate. I don’t mean to jump down your throat, but it seems that you troll on here just as much as anyone else.”

    no cheif, I made 1 half of a sentence comment, and people decided to jump on me like I just insulted their little sister, and I don’t troll but I am not going to lie down and roll over just cause some twit decides to blow my statement out of context

    “Really, who cares? You don’t like it? Build a better one! Show off what *you’ve* got..”

    I do all the time, just nothing recent

  19. amk says:

    That is definitely the coolest sounding robot I’ve ever heard.

  20. tehgringe says:

    @amk – Agreed. I loved the noise, shame about the ‘moody’music :P

    I loved the bitch fighting going on above. I can’t really comment much either way.

    I’ve used Arduino
    I’ve used prefab
    I’ve used a small PC
    I’ve started building a milling machine so I can ‘scrape’ my own boards (I say scrape as its likely to be less graceful than any ‘etching’ I may want to do.

    And I know I was not the only one thinking “please be a hot young chicky-dee” when the legs appeared in shot :P

    wankers.

  21. benb says:

    The flexible feet remind me a lot of the flexible manipulator mechanisms that Festo has demonstrated as part of their “bionic tripod.” It’s a very interesting application of a flexible manipulator.

    Also, I have to agree on the fact that the MacMini might not be overkill due to the fact that her research is in AI. What we’re drooling over as an innovative platform appears to be secondary to her real interest.

  22. benb says:

    festo link…sorry I forgot it…
    http://www.festo.com/cms/de_de/11522_11560.htm

  23. deathventure says:

    That festo arm looks pretty cool, but maybe fragile? I wonder how much weight it could handle, though it would probably be more geared towards sensitive material handling.

  24. localroger says:

    This is a great proof of concept. I think the next step would be to use shorter lengths of accordion tubing mixed with fixed tubing, in larger diameters to hold more weight with less legs and get the machine further off the ground. An arrangement with maybe 8 legs in a circle would then make more sense, and you’d be on your way to something that could walk around in grass and uneven terrain without getting stuck.

  25. Frogz says:

    ca5m1th
    just thought i’d let you know
    going postal(book 33) is being made into a movie this easter(for that matter, any brits know what date easter is? i can only find the us/canada date)
    and it WILL be available on alluc.org (if no one else posts it i will personally make sure of it)

    the robot needs to be encased in a green or pale translucent white shell so it looks like a giant grub type thing

    but anyway, for better luggage, go with a simple design

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyjzBW-HQrg

    hackaday posted something like this multiple times, i cant find the cool wooden 6 leg thing that was hand crank powered but just make a bunch of 3 leg sets(or hell, just figure out a way to arrange the control arms and attach as many as you want in a chain) for turning/control you just need to move certain motors at different rates than the others
    hm… if i had a chest i would try this….
    need to have the legs small enough to have like hundreds of them(as per spec) powered by little tiny motors and a small SLA(just put all the motors and stuff under a new bottom to the chest, preferably with removable wooden bin(s? it could be stacking layers) for easy maintence
    im thinking like hundreds of popsicle stick legs(easy enough to support a fully loaded chest with person riding it)
    every 3 legs will have a little tiny dc motor
    holy crap it is hard to find those little chinese motors in all the kids toys(dc motor lot found em)
    50 motors for $15, get uh… 4 lots?
    that’ll give you 600 legs, that should support anything you toss at it
    have the entire bottom on long threaded rods with brackets and bolts through everything
    bleh i need a job that pays every week so i can fund these fun projects!
    and it will not contain a SINGLE arduino

  26. omni says:

    speaking of solenoids, anyone know of an easy place to find them? or do I have to order them online?

  27. deathventure says:

    @omni, best bet would be online, but if you got a local electronics surplus or some kinda flea market locally, they are good places to get different items as well. We have a place called “Skycraft Electronics” here in Orlando. Most other people would think it’s all trash there, but it’s a haven for the modder/hacker/project users.

  28. sigtermer says:

    now imagine if that icosatetraped was three stories high, and heading straight at your building. all the while make that epic sound pattern.

    Reminds me of those AT-AT walkers, but more organic, and with 24 legs ;)

  29. H4ck3r5 H3ll says:

    WOW THATS COOL BUT THE CHICK… THE CHICK IS UGLY ASS H3LL

  30. t3q says:

    This would be a nice sidekick robot for Jack Bauer..

  31. Patrick says:

    Next thing Monica should build: a tripod for her camera.

    Seriously, folks. If you KNOW you’re going to be filming something to share on the web, there’s no excuse for not using a tripod. Get it, know it, use it.

  32. bhartley says:

    It’s a robotic sea urchin!

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