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robot bipeds (split from tutorial post - admin)

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Arislan:
I'd like to see some tutorial involving actuators, "muscles" and the like for more antropomorphic robots.
For example, I'd love to get some general info on creating a biped that actually climbs stairs!
I would think that would require sensors on the feet to detect the steps?

Gopher:
First off, actuators is a broad term that includes traditional things like motors, servos, and solenoids as well as newer things like SMA's (such as Muscle Wire(tm)). Current SMAs are relatively weak, slow, and inaccurate, making them poorly suited to humanoid bots.

Bipeds are both very complicated and expensive. A biped that can climb stairs is even more complex. I may be wrong, but I think it was only fairly recently (about 5 years ago?) that one of the early versions of Asimo became the first humanoid bot to be able to effectively handle stairs at all. Of course, 5 years is a long time in the world of computers and robotics, but the point remains. You can buy humanoid bot kits, but as far as I know none are tall enough to even be physically capable of climbing a normal set of stairs, never mind the balance issues it raises. Well, you might make them crawl up stairs, but I don't think that's what you had in mind.

I'm not meaning to discourage you, but you need to understand that sophisticated humanoid bots are still the domain of the relatively hard-core, both in mechanical and software engineering. If you still want to tackle it, by all means go for it, but keep in mind this is not an exhaustively covered field, so you can't expect people to be able to walk you through the process. The people who could are busy building revolutionary new humanoid bots of their own.

Arislan:
Gopher, thanks for the reply. This is what I had in mind:
http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/leglab/robots/m2/m2.html

Unfortunately I don't see any detailed schematics on the site. Maybe because it wasn't finished. Their actuators look really cool, although the design appears to include a few redundant ones. They do have a photo of their actuator disassembled, I wonder where they got that motor.

Admin:
as gopher said, you dont want to use artificial muscles for bipeds . . . use servos only!

search this forum for 'robo-one' and 'biped' . . . there are many other posts you might find useful.

ive only recently decided to build my own biped, and i probably wont start till next year, so i dont know much more than you . . .

Arislan:
About the servos-only approach, have you any suggestion what type of motor or servo could be used for moving a 50kg biped around? I am talking about something like the ASIMO. I don't think the little RC servos can move its limbs.
I would love to scale up something like the robonova.

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