Its been over three years since last i stop by this site. Honestly i forgot all about it. My bad. So for a long overdue update on my hexapod project:
After years of designing and redesigning both the mechanical and the intelligence i have arrived at a solution that does what i wanted it to do.
Its a hexapod, 2DOF per leg. The head has 2DOF also which is an important part of the intelligence.
The head contains ultrasonic and light intensity sensors. It goal in life is to move forward looking for the strongest light source it can find, while avoiding physical obstacles using the ultrasonic sensor.
The logic is implemented in a Microchip controller (PIC18F4520). Its a serialized approach the AFSM subsumption architecture as proposed by Dr Brooks in a series of articles(collected into book form, "Cambrian Intelligence")
The goal of the project was always to create a "lifelike" machine, or a "Creature" to use the artificial life term. The ultimate test for my project was to demonstrate it to some students of mine, without any robotic know-how or understanding of its construction to gauge their reactions. It was a delight to see some of them basically wanting to "play" with it like a pet, jumping in front of it to make it turn away from them (introducing obstacles for the robot to navigate around. The ultimate satisfaction for me was to hear some of them comment that they felt "sorry" for it when it got stuck in a corner and could not find its way out.
In conclusion; I have uploaded two videos on Youtube, and I have a website with some pictures and some short description of its design. Neither is of very good quality but they give some basic representation of my work.