Roboceratops: A Robot Dinosaur That Defies Extinction

roboceratopsInspired by a childhood love of dinosaurs, [Robert] set out to build a robotic dinosaur from the Ceratopsian family. After about a year of design, building, and coding, he has sent us a video of Roboceratops moving around gracefully, chomping a rope, and smoothly wagging his tail.

Roboceratops is made from laser-cut MDF and aluminium bars in the legs. That’s not cookie dough on those legs, it’s upholstery foam, and we love the way [Robert] has shaped it. Roboceratops has servos in his jaw, neck, tail, and legs for a total of 14-DOF. You can see the servo specifics and more in the video description. [Robert] has full kinematic control of him through a custom controller and is working to achieve total quadrupedal locomotion.

Inside that custom controller is an Arduino Mega 2560, an LCD, and two 3-axis analog joysticks that control translation, height, yaw, pitch, and jaw articulation. For now, Roboceratops receives power and serial control through a tether, but [Robert] plans to add an on-board µC for autonomous movement as well as wireless, a battery, an IMU, and perhaps some pressure/contact detection in his feet.

The cherry on top of this build is the matching, latching custom carry case that has drawers to hold the controller, power supply, cable, tools, and spare parts. Check out Roboceratops after the break.

13 thoughts on “Roboceratops: A Robot Dinosaur That Defies Extinction

  1. I’m not old enough to know for sure but I’d say the movements of this robot appear very lifelike. The laser cut wooden skeleton lends a lot of realism too. I can’t wait to see the walking algorithm working. He’s done a great job with the movements so far, I bet the quadrupedal locomotion will be a tricky challenge, what with the weight shifting and timings that need to be just right.

    Fantastic work so far [Robert]!

  2. Well done – it’s good to see so much thought put into how the animal itself would move and balance rather than just getting the servos to make it skitter about. This is as good as any special effects shop would do.

  3. Another one for the very much needed “cute robot” category.

    Maybe this guy could get a job working for those How To Train Your Dragon arena show people, as this is familiar level animatronics just on a smaller scale.

  4. My expectation was that it would move around. I didn’t see it walk.
    Great build ideas and very smooth annimatronic motions. Relative little servo noise, but the background music may have covered that up.

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