OpenLeg – The Open Source Robot Leg

There’s an old saying about standing on the shoulders of giants, but how about doing so with an open source leg? Well, your robots might do so at least, thanks to OpenLeg, a new open source project for building robot legs. Created by [Joey Byrnes], this started out as a senior project for a course at the University of Illinois. The idea is to create a robot leg that others can use to build four-legged robots that can amble around the neighborhood, much like those built by Boston Dynamics.

The project is off to a good start: the sample videos that [Joey] has produced show that the prototypes of OpenLeg can produce a variety of motions, from literal kick-boxing moves down to a more conventional walking gait. It is mostly 3D printed, with a few bits of carbon fiber adding strength. The leg is driven by a large 50 Kv motor designed for electric skateboards driven by an ODrive controller that handles most of the complexities of driving a big motor like this and handling the kinematic and other complex stuff. The idea is that you could eventually just plug the design into your own robot and set it walking with a few lines of Python, but that’s still a ways off.

We’ve seen a lot of quadruped robot projects recently, from James Bruton’s OpenDog to Alphred from RoMeLa at UCLA, but more is better for projects like this. Especially with projects that take a more modular approach so you can pick and choose for your own Sarah Connor hunting devices.


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