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Author Topic: Need advice building a Warrior Bug Robot  (Read 2444 times)

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Offline ender9492Topic starter

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Need advice building a Warrior Bug Robot
« on: May 17, 2008, 12:53:28 AM »
First, let me start by saying that I have little to no knowledge in the field of robotics or electronics, but I'm a quick study, and a good problem solver/logical thinker. That being said...
Basically, I have an 11in Warrior Bug toy from Starship Troopers that I would like to turn into an autonomous robot, with realistic gait, and decent "A.I." I'd like to include a few different sensors, such as edge sensing, light sensors, IR sensors, and possibly touch sensors for the top and mouth. I'd like to be able to connect it up to the computer for updates in programming, etc, and it would be nice if it could learn too.
I was looking at possibly just taking a Wowwee Roboraptor, or Roboquad, hacking them apart, and just rearranging the sensors to where I want them, and having the motor controls work the legs of the Bug.
I could either do the aforementioned, or I recently stumbled upon the Oobug (http://www.oobug.com/), which looks like it could be a promising base to start from.
Either way, I think hacking another bot would take care of the brains...
I think my largest problem is the legs though. I need to know how to create a realistically walking quadruped that walks similar to an insect or crab, with good stability and decent speed.
I looked into using servos, solenoids, and muscle-wire (shape memory alloy), for the legs. Servos seem to large for the dimensions of the bug, and I'm not entirely sure how solenoids would work on the legs. Muscle-wire seems to be good for simulating tendon/muscle movement, but I dont' know how strong, or responsive it is.
From what i've learned, I most likely want legs with 3 degrees of freedom.
I guess I want to create as realistic of a "bug" as possible... Oh yeah; and for under $200 if possible...

Here's pics of the Bug next to a credit card sized card for reference:





Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated!

Offline AndrewM

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Re: Need advice building a Warrior Bug Robot
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 09:40:24 PM »
Servos are too big for those legs as you stated, unless you mounted them on the main body and used thin wire running down to each joint.  Muscle wire is slow response, mostly on the whole "relax" side of things.  Solenoids would probably be jerky.  If you added a couple 0s to your figure I would have the perfect suggestion for those spindle legs. 

Do a search for quadraped robots on google, will probably get you a few ideas on the size you will need to go with and a solid price range (and possibly something easily hackable).
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Offline Admin

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Re: Need advice building a Warrior Bug Robot
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2008, 08:12:39 AM »
Don't bother with muscle wires, they won't work . . .

That being said, google around for a few hours looking at how other people have made 'hexapods'. Study pics of their designs for awhile, it will help you understand more of what needs to be done.

Offline Rebelgium

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Re: Need advice building a Warrior Bug Robot
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2008, 10:03:46 AM »
It's going to be extremely difficult (read: extremely expensive) to make those legs work, you don't have enough space to place servo's...
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Offline ender9492Topic starter

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Re: Need advice building a Warrior Bug Robot
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2008, 11:38:12 AM »
Yeah, I've come to the realization that keeping the bug in it's existing form, and fitting robotic parts into it, is going to be impossible. Ive decided to take the Hexapod approach (probably make is a quadruped instead, but with the same concept). I'll most likely transplant the head from the toy to the hexapod, so that it basically resembles the bug. I can mount the head to a servo, and put electronics in it to make the jaws open and close. It'll be more expensive, but I think it would be better in the long run.

Does anyone have any advice on a microcontroller that would be capable of being hooked up to the computer via USB, and capable of being programmed to control at least 12 servos?

Offline AndrewM

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Re: Need advice building a Warrior Bug Robot
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2008, 08:03:03 AM »
One thing you might want to look at is the Roboquad:  http://www.roboquadonline.com/   The legs and body are close to what you want, and I imagine with a little creative hacking you could get it working.
blog: www.iamwhen.com
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