It is fun to imagine driving a bot in those dark forbidden areas such as covered pipes, crawl spaces, attics and anywhere the imagination takes you. Add a camera and explore, inspect and discover. My project for The Hackaday Prize 2017, The Inspectorbot, was great fun to build, plus I learned a lot about controlling a robot through WIFI with a webpage and live streaming multiple cameras in near real time. I also learned that those crawl spaces are bumpy. In this year’s project, I plan to build a four wheel drive robot with four legs that will fold out for walking in rough terrain. Hopefully the new bot will be able to take a bot in the crawl space and beyond. Wheels are easy to control and fast but are not so good on rough terrain. Legs are great for rough terrain, but require a lot of motors and a feedback system to know what position the leg is in, if the leg is touching the ground, and with how much force. Along with a lot of motors is the need for a lot of motor drivers. If the bot has six legs, it can use static balance with three legs on the ground at all times. I want to use a four legged design so I need to develop a dynamic balance system which will require an accelerometer/gyro chip. The main controller will be a Raspberry Pi with a camera that will blue tooth to a special motor drive board I plan to build as another project. Control will be through a WIFI connection with a webpage. And just for fun, I plan to make the Raspberry PI camera module detachable to allow the “head” to be placed on different bot bodies. I love sci-fi inspiration! The project will also be fully open source.
- Design and build the legs and shoulders.
- Set up Raspberry Pi as a webserver with server side PHP script.
- Design and build motor driver board with at least 16 h-brides and 16 analog inputs for feedback from the joints.
- Find, purchase and test an accelerometer for balance.
- Find, purchase and test pressure sensors for the feet.
- Source parts motors potentiometers etc.
- Write a program for transforming between wheels and walking mode, also for balancing and various walking gates…This is going to be fun!!!
*License GPLv3 unless stated otherwise for all software. License details available in the GitHub repository.*
*License CC 4.0 unless stated otherwise for all hardware. License details available in the GitHub repository.*