Hexapod Robot Terrifies Humans and Wallets

hexapod

[Kevin] brings us Golem, his latest robot project. Golem is crafted not of clay and stone like his namesake, but of T6 Aluminum and Servos. We don’t have a banana for scale, but Golem is big. Not [Jamie Mantzel's] Giant Robot Project big, but at 2.5 feet (76.2 cm) in diameter and 16 lbs (7.3 Kg), no one is going to call Golem a lightweight. With that kind of mass, standard R/C servos don’t stand much of a chance. [Kevin] pulled out all the stops and picked up Dynamixel MX64 servos for Golem’s legs. Those servos alone propelled the Golem’s costs well beyond the budget of the average hobbyist. Kevin wasn’t done though. He added an Intel NUC motherboard with a fourth generation i5 processor, a 120 Gigabyte solid state drive, and 8 Gigbytes of Ram.  Sensing is handled by gyros, accelerometers, and an on-board compass module. We’re assuming from the lack of a GPS that Golem will mainly see indoor use. We definitely like the mini subwoofer mounted on Golem’s back. Hey, even robots gotta have their tunes.

Golem is currently walking under human control via a Dualshock 3 controller paired via bluetooth. [Kevin's] goal is to use Golem to learn Robotic Operating System (ROS). He’s already installed ubuntu 13.04 and is ready to go. [Kevin] didn’t mention a vision system, but based on the fact that some of his other robots use the Xtion pro live, we’re hopeful. We can’t wait to see Golem’s first autonomous steps.

Comments

  1. Matt Bunting says:

    Wow! Never thought someone would make a hexapod that cost more than mine!

  2. Less money than sense says:

    $6000 worth of servos? Holy mackerel.

    Good job nobody’s seen a spiderbot before, otherwise this might have been a total waste of time and money.

    • XOIIO says:

      Yeah, why bother to do something you enjoy if someone else has done it.

      You like breathing right? Eating? well other people have done that, so what’s the point? You should just stop.

      Either that, or don’t be a douche.

    • Kevin Ochs says:

      I understand your perspective. Though I have had a blast designing, coding and building this project over the past four months in my spare time. It has been a great learning experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

      Cheers,
      Kevin

      • Adam Fabio says:

        Thanks for standing up for yourself and Golem, Kevin – This build is awesome! The main reason I emphasized on the Dynamixels in the writeup was to stress that these aren’t ordinary servos – least someone try to replicate this with low cost alternatives.

        • hugowesseling says:

          I’m doing a lower cost (around $1200) similar hex. Uses analog metal gear servos and an odroid U3 (galaxy S3 processor) for the vision recognition stuff.

          It’s still a huge bunch of wires due to the power supplies, but now it runs completely of the 2S lipo.

          When it’s doing something interesting, I’ll post it to hackaday.

      • blujay says:

        It’s a waste of a Haswell chip, period. Get that chip doing something, I don’t know, useful: then we’ll talk.

        • Kevin Ochs says:

          As the write up and comments say this is a platform for my development with ROS (www.ros.org) and I was sharing my progress of the build itself thus far. I needed something with a bit of power for the vision processing and ROS and this fit the bill.

          Cheers,
          Kevin

          • What kind of vision processing did you have in mind?

            I’m still thinking of trying to get some kind of monoSLAM working for my hex, but for now it’s all AR marker based localization.

    • 0xfred says:

      When you’re doing something as a hobby (rather than a commercial product) then then end goal is that you enjoyed doing something. It wouldn’t matter if it had been done loads of times before and this hexapod never even moved a leg. If he got $6000 worth of fun out of it then it was a total success. No different from spending $6000 on a mountain bike if that’s what you’re into.

      Having said that, I don’t think I could have justified $6000 myself!

    • Well I have never seen one a NUC on board. I see this as a very interesting project using ROS. This bot has a lot of computing power on board. I really hope to see more from it involving AI. Maybe add Sphinx for some voice recognition? The cost doesn’t matter people since you are not footing the bill. I know people that spend that much on a boat, motorcycle, or beer.

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    Say what you want about the investment, it’s an _impressive-as-hell_ build.
    When I have the resources to do it I build to my tastes and desires too.

    Super mega cool! Now make it talk, because I’m a sucker for talking robots! ;)

    Really quite awesome

  4. Adam Claassen says:

    That robot has more power than my laptop, which actually doesn’t say more about my laptop than that robot. With all that power, can it climb stairs? With a dualshock, you could have a button that puts the front two legs up some stair height in the air. Then it goes into a mode where you use the d-pad to move forwards and back on two legs. a shape button could be assigned to each pair of legs in this mode, press once to lift up, press again to extend fully. This would work by lifting front, extending both back, move forwards. Then extend front, raise center, move forwards so middle legs are above the step as well, and lift, etc… I think I need my own giant hexpod. And $6k.

  5. juno says:

    Waiting for a Ghost in the Shell spider tank:

  6. Blue Footed Booby says:

    This is still my favorite hexapod video:

  7. Toni says:

    But can your bot jump? Everybody wants to see a spider that jumps. :)

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