Hello everyone, This is my first blog entry on robots.net, but I have already been maintaining a blog at http://robotsaustralia.blogspot.com which mostly contains notes on my current robot Quadruped4. I will probably try to cut and paste blog entries here, or at least link to appropriate pages on my website http://robotsaustralia.googlepages.com .
Here is the most recent blog entry, before I took off on a month long holiday, so it's already a bit out of date!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007;
Time to post an update on what has moved forward with the Quadruped4 robot design. The PCB for the Dynamixel controller has arrived, and all parts for it as well, and also quite a bit of cad work has been done playing around with various options for the mechanical design of the robot.
Here is a photo of the PCB partly loaded. You can see the two Atmel Atmega micros, one is the AtMega128 and the other is the AtMega2560. On the far right is the outline where the WiPort WiFi module will go, with a few parts carefully fitting underneath it in just the right spots where there is some room.
I have also been working on the mechanical design of the robot, and although there is still much to do, and I am not fully happy with several areas, I think the robot will eventually come out something like the design pictured here. Note the WiFi antenna naturally positioned as a tail...
Earlier images I created for this robot didn't have the right cameras on it, whereas I have created a somewhat hasty model of the C328 serial camera modules I actually intend to use for this model. Also check out the shoulder joints for the legs, these use a custom bracket I have designed for the Dynamixel AX-12 servos which forms an offset hinge between two AX-12 servos. This function could be served by the Robotis offset hinge and flat plate bracket put together, however that would be bulkier and would not quite have the configuration I am after. The brackets form a left and right pair, and attach to each side of the AX-12. I will machine these out of nylon or similar material, and although the machining will be a bit tricky, I think I should be able to achieve it.
Here is another view of the design as it stands. I'm not sure of the top cover, it is really not needed, and I kind of like the idea of seeing the electronics etc, but it will offer some protection I suppose. I need to make plenty of asthetic improvements to the shape of some of these panels as well, the whole thing looks a little like a skateboard deck at the moment.
Anyway, this will be the last post for a month or so, as I am travelling to Italy for a holiday, so robot work will take a break too! When I return, I shouldn't expect it will take long before all the parts are loaded onto the controller and I can attempt the all important critical first turn on...