MakerFaire K.C.: Hexy, the $200 hexapod project

I’ve always loved hexapods. Unfortunately, the cost to play with them can be rather daunting. Hexy is seeking to make a decent impact on that by being only $200. Yep, that $200 includes everything but the computer. You get the entire chassis, micro controller, servos, sensors, batteries, etc.

I ran into [Joe] from arcbotics showing off a hexy at the maker faire and had a few moments to check it out. He showed off some slick motion and explained some future upgrades. It looks like they are intending to go to metal gears in the commercial version which might push the cost to around $250. At this cost, this robot is comparable to the Lego NXT systems.

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Cheap wooden hexapod frame greatly reduces cost

[Balline] really wanted to play with a hexapod but found the cost to be prohibitive. Being a mechanical engineer, he was able to fairly quickly come up with a stable 3 servo design that would allow him to experiment with the platform. He chose to use wood as the construction material to help reduce costs even more.  As you can see in the video after the break, his design gets around fairly well.  His cost for the whole thing, including the 3 servos, the basic stamp hobby board, the recycled batteries, and the frame, was under $100.

This is a great system to start with, though he unfairly compares the cost to the dancing ones he had seen in the past. C’mon, your bot ain’t no [Lou Vega]. It is still pretty cool though.

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[Jaimie's] Giant Hexapod project

Warning, this may be a duplicate post. We all agree we’ve seen this before, but can’t find it in our archive. If it is, sorry. If it isn’t enjoy one of the most awesome projects we’ve seen in a long time.

Meet [Jaimie Mantzel] an eccentric, and very hyper, individual. He’s done many projects, but this one in particular stands out as being quite ambitious. [Jaimie] is building a giant hexapodal walker that he can ride in. Dubbed simply “Giant Robot”, the 12 foot tall and 18 foot wide robot began construction in 2007. This individual is so full of energy, you’ll get tired just watching his videos. We’ve included, below, his introduction video as well as the video where his giant robot takes its first steps. Note that there are 67 videos of the build process. Unfortunately, as of the last video in January 2011, the robot is unfinished.

Don’t worry though, we know [Jaimie] is still alive. We saw him recently coming up with cool toy ideas.

If this has left you with an insatiable craving for a video of a fully functional giant walking hexapod octopod, don’t forget about mondo spider.

[Thanks Kamil]

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Meet Stompy, your new robotic overlord

In case you weren’t already depressed about not starting a summer project already, a couple of guys are building a gigantic rideable hexapod they call Stompy.

The project leaders, [Gui Cavalcanti], [Dan Cody], and [James Whong] have worked on a few crazy robotics projects before like PETMAN and BigDog. Stompy won’t be a military-backed project like the others (we sincerely hope), so they’re enlisting the help of fellow makers at Artisan’s Asylum to complete a 15-foot diameter, 1-2 ton rideable hexapod before the end of August.

Right now, the team is still in the planning and preliminary testing stages. So far, they’ve built a 1/2 scale model of one leg to figure out the control systems, and getting the repurposed forklift motor up and running. It may not look like much now, but we’re sure the team is going to have a very fun time building Stompy.

You can check out the updates and progress of Stompy on the Project Hexapod blog

Cardboard hexapod gets around with three motors

Here’s a lesson in doing a lot with very little. [Oldrobot] built this hexapod using cardboard for most of the pieces. He still had the box from his vacuum clear and it just happened to have a large black area the makes the top of the beetle look like it’s been painted.

The control board is from an old radio controlled airplane. Since RC airplanes used servos for flight control, it was a snap to hook up the three that make the bug go. One controls the set of middle legs which lift the body and change which of the propulsion legs are in contact with the ground. The other two servers move pairs of the front or back legs. It uses the same concept as this other RC controller hexapod, but much less time went into crafting the chassis and legs.

As you can see in the video after the break, the control scheme isn’t the most intuitive. But once you get a hang of which stick orientation affects each leg movement the bot ends up having fairly precise steering.

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Hackaday Links April 5, 2012

A Remote Sphero-Control Trackball

sphero drives car

Sphero is a cool little ball that can roll around under the control of a smartphone.  Although super-cool by itself, in this application it’s been hacked into a sort of trackball to drive a remote control car!

Arduino Voice Control

Arduino voice control

[Sebastian] Wrote in to tell us about this article about using the Arduino EasyVR shield to add voice control to your project. Worth a look if it your application calls for voice-control.

OpenBeam Tiny 80/20-Like Extrusion

openbeam extrusion

Openbeam is a Kickstarter project designed to produce an aluminium extrusion for building stuff.  Although we’ve seen lots of this kind of thing, the small 15mm profile is quite interesting, and it’s designed to use off-the-shelf hardware, which should save on costs!

Hexapod + iPad = Fun for All

hexapod-ipad

There’s not a lot of information on this hack, and the price or this hexapod device isn’t even listed, so we’ll assume it’s quite expensive.  On the other hand, it’s got a cool video of it being controlled by an iPad, so maybe it will give you some hacking inspiration!

USB Sound Card Write-Up

usb sound card

[George] wrote in to tell us about his USB sound card write-up. Before you think that this is a dupe of this post, he freely admits to building it nearly identically to the one previously posted. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but [George] is also requesting some feedback on his blog and the aforementioned post. feel free to let him know what you think in the comments.  Please be polite!

Sphere morphing hexabot now rolls around

[Zenta] has been building his MorpHex rolling hexapod for nearly a year now, and good things come to those who wait. After a ton of development and fabrication, [Zenta] finally has his mechanical jellyfish robot rolling and walking around.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen [Zenta]‘s MorpHex robot in action. A year ago, we saw the beginnings of the project with that included 25 servos mounted on a custom chassis. Last winter, the top hemisphere of the MorpHex was added, but rolling locomotion was still on the drawing board. A lot has changed since then, and now [Zenta]‘s robot can roll or walk across the floor.

From the video (available after the break), we see that [Zenta] kept the one degree of freedom for the panels on the upper cylinder. He’s thinking about making the MorpHex more symmetrical; just copying the plans for the bottom hemisphere onto the top, for instance. This plan would allow the MorpHex to roll in a straight line, so we can’t wait to see what [Zenta] cooks up next.

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