Since I have a CnC machine, and I needed some practice with servo’s for my home automation projects, I decided it was time for a little “fun” project. Inspired by some forum-threads at www.trossenrobotics.com, I made a hexapod, completely from scratch.
All parts where drawn with AutoCAD. After that, the files got processed by Rams 3D Gold. The final result where files that where directly usable in ColiDrive, the application that drives my CnC machine. I Bought a 5mm thick acrylic plate, and milled / drilled all the parts out of it. (took me about 2 hours) The U-brackets where fitted together with “cloroform”. A dangerous product for inhalation, put perfect to get the acrylic plates a bit “weak”, so the pieces “melted” together perfectly.
In the pictures, notice the bolts, they do fit thightly into the plexi, without any glue.
You can also see where the plexi is “glue-ed” together with the cloroform.
For the “steering” of Andy, I cheated a bit 😉 I bought an SSC-32 card from lynxmotion. This is a card with an Atmel processor on top, that can control 32 servo’s. (Andy does have 18 servo’s) This card also does have an RS232 port. I connected a BlueSMiRF module from sparkfun. The BlueSMiRF module is a bluetooth to RS232 converter. So, I wrote some software with inverse kinematics in C# .NET, which does send out commands via Bluetooth. Those Bluetooth signals are picked up by the BlueSMiRF module, and converted to RS232 signals. Those signals are fet into the SC-32 card, wich on his turn, controls the servo’s … We have some plans, to extend Andy in the future, with extra sensors and onboard logic, to make him a stand-alone hexapod, with a mind of his own 😉
In the meanwhile, he is sitting in our garage, waiting to be upgraded …