Creating a kick ass worm robot out of inexpensive servos
I messed around with the controller some more today and got it a bit under control. It's not moving in any direction very fast... but it is moving!
There are two main gaits that are coming into form here. They are both shown in the video below. The first one is more of a wave moving THROUGH the worm and the second is more the wave being the ENTIRE worm.
I have another idea as well that I haven't tried out yet as well. This is more of a classic inch worm movement. I think it will actually work the best because it's the closest to an actual step. These first ones I'm working on are just cool.
I got the fastening hardware set up with 4 of the servos today and did a test run. Let's just say I'm not going to upload any video yet :/
I definitely underestimated what it would take to get a sine wave movement going through the servos. Basically the resolution is limited by the number of servos in the chain. With my current setup I'll get a 4 bit sine wave. Yayyyyyy!!!!
This isn't what I had originally planned but we'll see how it goes. I also have another idea for a movement method so I'll be implementing that as well.
The fastening hardware doesn't hold the servos together SUPER tight which will likely become more of a problem in the future. I'll have to invest in actual brackets if I can't come up with a good idea for the current setup.
I ordered the fastening hardware today from a local company after a false start with McMaster-Carr (won't ship to individuals... wat the hek). I should be able to pick it up within the next few days and have a prototype together by the end of the week. I'm not concerned about the software or electronics being difficult to get setup.
On another note, I'd like the video I make about this robot to be super cool. It shouldn't be overly technical or dry. It should be fun and accessible to a wide range of people. The joy of robotics shouldn't be limited to the people who understand the engineering behind it. Obviously battle bots exists and there was that giant robot duel thing which appeal to a larger audience but I don't think those get to the core of what robotics is really about.
Robotics is really about autonomy. A device where every little movement is controlled by a person isn't really a robot, it's just a device. I don't mean autonomy just in terms of vision; I mean in terms of movement as well. A device that expands the mobility capabilities of machines is definitely a robot.
I would like to help share the core of robotics with the rest of the world.
I'm aiming to keep this as simple as possible. I don't want to use any fancy brackets or hardware. Just servo horns and some basic nuts + bolts.
I have a custom Arduino based controller from a previous project that I'm going to use for software. I plan on taking a lot of the code from the previous project as well.
Battery wise I don't need it to run for more than 30 mins so hopefully I'll be able to keep it pretty small. I don't have an exact capacity in mind yet.
The plan is for the robot to be 8 servos long or about 50 cm. The movements will be really cool :)