18 Mar 2008 RoboDo
I'm using my blog as a notebook... to keep track of the ever
changing idea that may one day become real. I suspect that
what I write is so far below what some here are doing that
it seems laughable. Much of it is probably unworkable, too
complex, too simple, or just plain wrong. Writing this stuff
helps me understand by exposing what I don't understand.
I got sucked into this biped robot thing when I stumbled
upon a video from one of the Robo-One competitions. It was
rather amusing, actually. The 'bots stood (sometimes)
flat-footed, in a normal standing stance, and sometimes
flailed away. As often as not, their own exertions caused
them to topple. Huge lags between moves showed serious flaws
in the control scheme. THIS was the current world
My inner engineer recoiled in horror. A quick look at the
bots themselves revealed that most of them were unable to
assume a proper fighting stance. What the world needs,
thought I, was a robot that can learn Kung Fu.
The new bot, dubbed RoboDo, would need to have an autonomous
fighting mode, and this itself presented a problem. Did I
really want to create a 2' high terminator?
To win, my bot would have to lock onto a target, close to
striking range, then deliver an attack... all under its own
command. Clearly, safeguards would have to be devised.
It should be possible to place the fighting routines on a
flash card, and only insert the card during actual
competitions or when "training" the bot. (Ok, a 2' bot with
very limited battery life isn't going to take over the
world, but we don't want him mauling the dog.)
So it seems possible.
Mechanically, the bot isn't all that difficult. I have most
of the details more or less worked out, and am confident I
could build it. I don't have the funds to build it all at
once, and frankly, don't have the expertise required to
But I can start somewhere and learn as I go. I have an
overall idea of where I want to take this project. I'll
probably end up getting one USB servo controller and a few
servos and building an arm or leg or something.
Maybe I'm just not smart enough to be intimidated by
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