Improving a hexapod design

[JC] built himself a hexapod based on a project he found on the Internet. It worked fairly well, but was mechanically weak and prone to breakage. He set out to improve the design and came up with the unit seen above. It uses three servo motors to control the six legs, and walks quite well as seen in the quick clip after the break. It’s not quite as agile as the little acrobatic six-legger we saw yesterday, but the movement is quite pleasing and it’s capable of moving forward, backward, and turning. [JC's] post is four pages in all so don’t forget to seek out his links for the construction, linkage, and servo control pages to find concept drawings, cad designs, and his thoughts on the process.

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Single-motor walker for Santa-Pede Challenge inspiration

This LEGO hexapod uses just one motor for motion. In the video after the break you can see that what [Valetnin Bauer] accomplished is almost magical, using just 210 parts. A central drive shaft uses worm gears to transfer motion to each of the legs. The limb mounting technique results in a sort of rowing motion that closely mimics what you’d expect to see from a biological hexapod.

We thought this might provide some inspiration for the Buy Break Build: Santa-pede challenge. Sure, using LEGO is a lot easier than reusing Santa parts. But a lot can be accomplished with a little creativity. Another point of inspiration might be this one-motor walker that should be a snap to adapt to the challenge. Better get going, just twenty days let until the project deadline!

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Hexapod controlled by Android and iPhone

This video is a blatant example of having too many high-end toys but we love it anyway. [Robert Stephenson] is controlling a rather awesome-looking hexapod via a Bluetooth connection to his HTC Hero. The app allows on-screen selections to decide which portion of the robot will move as a result of accelerometer data from the handheld. The only thing we saw that was missing is a camera feed to the phone.

But this hack doesn’t stop there. The Hero can be used to host a WiFi network while still connected to the hexapod. The second half of the video shows an iPod Touch connecting via WiFi and controlling the bot. Now head on over to the laser cutter to start that hexapod build, and finish up by getting elbow-deep into some Android development.

Report from ESC Silicon Valley 2010

Ah, the heady aroma of damp engineers! It’s raining in Silicon Valley, where the 2010 Embedded Systems Conference is getting off the ground at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center.

ESC is primarily an industry event. In the past there’s been some lighter fare such as Parallax, Inc. representing the hobbyist market and giant robot giraffes walking the expo. With the economy now turned sour, the show floor lately is just a bit smaller and the focus more businesslike. Still, nestled between components intended to sell by the millions and oscilloscopes costing more than some cars, one can still find a few nifty technology products well within the budget of most Hack a Day readers, along with a few good classic hacks and tech demos…

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Apod, an update

Apod walks!  If you recall, last year we discovered Apod, the creepy lifelike hexapod creation made by [Zenta]. At that point in time, it basically just shifted around nicely but didn’t do much walking. Well, [Zenta] has been hard at work since then and now Apod is fully active, walking, running, and serving drinks with smooth motion. Want to learn more about how his inverse kinematics work? Check out this thread.

[thanks Weaz]

Mondo Spider

This vehicle is aptly named the Mondo Spider. It’s not from some apocalyptic movie, but seen here at Burning Man. Like a lot of Burning Man exhibitions, it was built for the joy of the build and with a rather extreme budget: $15,000. We’ve embedded one of the many videos after the break, as well as a few of the hardware details.

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Dexterous hexapod clarification

This tip was submitted by [Mike], with the original information seen in this post. When I passed the story along to our writer [Mike Szczys] I didn’t send along the entire email conversation. This bot is noteworthy because it has taught itself to walk. In the build log you can learn about how it has created its gait and altered it based off of the vision. There are also some great pictures of prototypes there too. While we can all agree that it isn’t as impressive looking initially as the A-Pod, remember that it wasn’t programmed to look impressive.