Braker One was born because we need an inexpensive 3D printed backdriveable (compliant) robot actuator. If proven efficient enough, this technology can allow construction of biped, quadruped, hex walkers and even rolling robots. It is based on my other project: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4327799
There are many approaches to creating robotic actuators. Several of them are available to hobbyists. Servo motors are most common but they are not backdriveable (not compliant). Low gear ratio brushless motor actuators are becoming available but they are expensive and require sophisticated electronics to control them. Distributing power from a single power source through a transmission mechanism such as hydraulics or pneumatics is costly and complicated.
This project is a 2020 Hackaday Prize contest entry in the Conservation X Labs’ Open Challenge to Combat Invasive Species! I propose to use it as a chicken exoskeleton used to hunt Burmese Pythons in Florida and tag them with GPS transmitters.
Chickens are omnivores and have a natural instinct for pecking their beaks at crawly thingies. When placed within the exoskeletons they will be able to roam the everglades, find and peck at the pythons. Exoskeleton's augmented reality environment will present pythons to chickens as brightly colored earth worms. During pecking the exoskeleton will pierce the skin of the python, attaching the GPS transmitter. Since chickens are python's natural prey, they have an advantage as exoskeleton operators since their smell will attract the snakes looking for a meal.
This is a proven biomorphic design implemented in robots such as The Cockroach Controlled Mobile Robot shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA87IctQ17U In addition this is a low cost solution compared to programs such as the "Navy Marine Mammal Program".
Due to a large scope of work I will concentrate on the mechanics for this project. Creation of a GPS tracker injector, a haptic device and an augmented reality interface for chickens will be left for a later implementation.
I am going to work on the robot in the following stages.
1) Creation of a single leg mounted on a stand with 3 joints and a single geared AC or DC motor without brakes to test the efficiency of the 3D printed mechanism.
2) Creation and testing of Eddy current or electro-mechanical brake/caliper mechanisms.
3) Completion of the second leg of the bipedal walking platform.
4) creation of 3D printed joint position, load and other sensors based on FiberGrid technology described here: https://hackaday.io/project/167317-fibergrid
5) Implementation of a simple sensor fusion and a walking gate algorithm.
Braking actuator which takes care of the mechanics, is one of many technologies I have been working on for creating affordable robots. Electronics were replaced by my FiberGrid optical sensor framework (https://hackaday.io/project/167317-fibergrid). Control system will be based on my distributed computation framework distributAr (https://hackaday.io/project/167317-fibergrid) simulating an Artificial Spiking Neural Network. The reason I choose a SNN as control architecture is described in my paper "Perception and time in Artificial General Intelligence" (https://github.com/rand3289/PerceptionTime).
All of these ideas are FAR OUT OF THE BOX. I do not expect you to agree with everything I am doing in these projects, but if something clicks, I am looking for constructive feedback or questions. PM me on hackaday or email me firstname.lastname@example.org