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.
The Phoenix is a very impressive hexapod robot platform. It has 18 servos which gives each leg 3 degrees of freedom and a BasicAtom Pro 28 for the brains. Interestingly, the design started as a personal project of a forum member on the Lynxmotion forums. It turned out so well, it has become an actual product. We’ve seen videos of these before and they always have some pretty fluid and organic seeming motion. They seem almost alive in this configuration. The only thing that might make them scarier would be to add Lou Vega’s decapitated head, well maybe that plus some really nice face tracking. In the video above, you can see where someone paired one up with a Wiimote for a pretty intuitive control scheme. Yeah, we realize the video is nearly a year old, how did we miss this one? You can see a video of it walking around after the break, and another controlled by a ps2 controller.
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It’s official: the Phoenix Lander has discovered ice on Mars. A few days ago, the lander exposed some bright white chunks of material while retrieving a soil sample. These spots have since disappeared over the following days, suggesting they’ve melted. An additional trench found a hard layer at the same depth as the original ice.
The spacecraft team has been dealing with some data storage issues as well and will be pushing a software patch soon.