I'm walkin here

A project log for Cardware

An educational system designed to bring AI and complex robotics into the home and school on a budget.

Morning.StarMorning.Star 11/22/2017 at 09:540 Comments

I've finally managed to puzzle out the gimballing for the limbs to the point where I can address them from either end of the chain.

I discovered it wasnt possible to mirror the mesh internally to handle standing on the opposite foot, as I'd planned. It became a nightmare involving such tricks as defining the second mesh inside-out, with anticlockwise polygons, but the gimballing then was reversed too and I gave up, I cant get my head around that.

Instead, I've defined the robot from the left foot, which, when it isnt being stood on, calculates its position backwards from the other foot and then rotates the entire model to make that foot face downwards. Providing all the interstitial rotates are symmetrical, the feet remain parallel to the floor and the sum of the servo angles all add up to 180.

This is highly useful, because it applies with the limbs in a position to step up onto a platform as well as with both of them flat on the floor... Using this information, I've defined a series of poses for the limbs that I can interpolate between and get smooth motion, I've called these seeds, and all the robot's motions will be defined using them.

Here is a full seed set cycled around. I've tilted the display so the part rotates are clearer, but this isnt included in the world coordinate system yet and the position jumps. I'll be refining these, and adding Z rotates for the hips so it can turn. This adds yet another calculation for the far foot position in the mapping system and I'm not there yet.

The next task is to add footprints to the world coordinates, which will enable mapping and platforms, but first I have to integrate the balancing routine and switch that on and off periodically. The seeds are intended to bring the system close to balance, so that I can also use inertial forces later in the development. This will be a matter of timing as well as servo positions; currently I'm working on mapping mode, where it has to determine if there is floor to step onto and thus balance on one foot.