Week 2: Its heating up

A project log for My Journey of Building a Performance Quadruped

Building a brushless quadruped for under $1000

Peter BuckleyPeter Buckley 05/03/2020 at 06:300 Comments

       Ok, im gonna redact my statement from the last log where i said i was gonna code these robots myself. After taking a look at James Burton's Mini Dog V2 code, i was dumbfounded by not only the complexity, but the sheer size of the code. It has now been made clear to me that no matter how many free online course with quirky professors i take (Harvard CS50), i still lack the experience to code something as complex as this, but i think i may be able to adapt other peoples code to work with my bots. Luckily, Paul Gould recommended me to a great source of information and help from the many kind and brilliant people on the o-drive discord. Now speaking of help here is where i need some. I am wondering if anyone has developed code for the Spot Micro project using an Arduino mega with a simple walk and gait. 

        I would like to mention a very cool project known as SpotMicroAi. Now this guy, Fran Ferri, is doing some extremely cool stuff involving an NVIDIA Jetsam nano and raspberry pi 4 board, and if you have not already you should definitely go check out what he's working on. Their are about 3 forms for this project, but from what i can find the most active is on slack. Now this is super cool but not really what im looking to do with this "learning" robot. The boards used are expensive and raspberry pi is definitely something im not comfortable with. 

       Lets talk servo choice. Their are pretty much two options people use for the spot micro. The very cheap, and very common MGN996R's or the more expensive, and harder to find jx-servo CLSHV5932MG.Now the cls servos are better in every single way. The're faster, strong, and way less likely to burn out. But at 25 bucks a servo, they are in brushless motor territory. Buying 12 of them would blow half my budget. Not to mention to get that 25 dollar price, I would have to buy them from china and they would take a month to come. So instead I bought the servos notorious for burning out on these robots, the MGN996R's. I got 12 of these servos from a us seller for 56 bucks shipped. Eventually i will add a BOM with  prices and links to the sellers i purchased all the parts from for both robots.

      Finally, im talking about actual, physical, advancements i have made. They aint much... First of all, i changed that pretty awful, low resolution, and eye hurting banner to a much more fitting and high res one. I plan to change the photo of the spot mini cad to my actual spot mini once the physical assembly is done. Speaking of the physical assembly, i am still printing the parts. I ran out of petg on the same day as the last log, and just got the new spools today. I estimate I should have thing thing fully put together next weekend. A lot of the parts for this are not very well optimized for 3d printing without supports so i may remix the original thiniverse files. 

      The big robot. While i am not concrete on this final project i have been talking to a very nice guy in the community who is making a V2 to his previous robot leg and integrating it into a full quadruped. More details are to come on this but the reason why i like his project so much is because its beautifully designed, and uses pretty much the best price to power motors you can buy which are electric skateboard motors. These motors, while costing the same as the more commonly used large drone motors, offer much more power. While im not sure if he wants me to mention his name or the projects name as it is not yet released to the public, i couldn't help but give you a hint on what awesome things are to come.

      One final thing id like to apologize for is my bad grammar and spelling, but thanks for reading!

Checking out for now,