Carpet Monster

built by Joseph Birr-Pixton

Click on an image to enlarge it
* * * * * * *
Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors 4 Legs
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
N/A RC Servos
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
None None
Programming Lanuage Weight
None N/A
Time to build Cost to build
Three hours in total 10 or about $15
URL for more information
An experiment in walking, falling and gaits.

Well, it just walks forward!! So far a few emergent behaviors have been seen, such as making it's way around obstacles and scaring my cats!!

- Powered by 9V PP3 battery, via 7805 regulator.
- Two semi-hacked RC servos providing torque to legs.
- An NE555N timer chip and a 4017B logic chip providing motor firing pattern.
- Motors directly driven by two piggy-backed 74HCT245 driver chips.
- About 5 or 10cm per second, very much variable with surface.
- Legs and chassis made with two coat hangers; soldered with standard 40/60 solder at joints.

Parts used:
The Electronics and Motors:
1 * NE555N timer IC.
1 * 4017 CMOS Logic 1 of 10 counter IC.
2 * 74HCT245 octal tri-state driver IC.
1 * 7805 voltage regulator (5V).
2 * 3K3 0.25W 5% resistor.
1 * 47uF (micro farad) 25V Electrolytic Capacitor.
1 * 100nF (nano-farad) Ceramic Plate Capacitor.
2 * Radio Controlled servos OR 50 rpm gear boxed motors.
1 * PP3 9V battery with clip.

The Chassis:
Two all metal coat hangers.
5 * 200mm cable ties.
4 * pair of M3 machine screws and nuts.

Problems Encountered:
- The legs fall off if it falls off a surface.
- The leg stoppers kept on falling off. This was fixed by soldering a cross brace behind each of them. You can see this in the far front leg in the picture.
- The rubber end caps to provide grip just aren't grippy enough. This could be remedied with flat feet or softer rubber feet.

The website includes a guide to making your very own carpet monster!


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