Project choices and the mission
As stated in the summary, my goal is to provide an open solution to the bipedal walking problem, in order to give others a starting point and source of inspiration. This includes hardware designs, drawings, assembly plans, a BOM and the full software stack to make the robot walk. The repositories will be updated as I continue the project, so you will also have access to more advanced features / the full humanoid when I get to that part.
The original reason for starting to learn about humanoid robots was that I wanted to develop better and safer rescue forces for any kind of natural disasters or situations where humans risk their lives to save others. This is the long-term goal and I'm still in the early stages, but I at least wanted to share my vision and motivation for this project. The bipedal platform I am currently developing will be expanded with an upper body soon, but I figured the walking part is already a project in and of itself.
As you will find out below, the project is split up into Hardware and Software, both of which are elaborated on below in a mostly chronological manner. First some explanations, though:
I did extensive planning of the hardware building phase, including assembly plans, drawings for all parts of the servo and simulations / FEA for all servo parts using Ansys Mechanical, as well as a detailed BOM for every part in the servo. This is also where you will find cost estimates, if you are wondering about that.
What I like about this, is that anyone can take this code base and do whatever they want with it, and I think I would have liked that a lot when studying this, especially for the following reasons (in no particular order):
- The robot being simulated has full CAD, drawings and assembly plans shipped with it, meaning anyone can replicate the design.
- I tried parametrizing everything I could. Inertia, mass and distance in all 3 coordinate axes of each leg link, gait frequency, step height and length, walking height, all this is variable in real-time or in a few seconds. The same applies to the equations of motions of the leg itself, they are also kept fully modular within the Jupyter notebook and allow for very quick adjustments. I have personally already used this to check what leg setup performs better.
- Complete freedom about where to go from here. Be it merely changing the leg parameters / kinematic structure or even rewriting controller portions, many interesting variations can arise. In my opinion, this is also very valuable because it gives "users" a chance...