Search The Internet

This was really interesting, a few weeks long brainstorming that went through quite a few different web sites and videos.

Main considerations we started with were:

  • simple, four wheels, tank steering robots are boring
  • four (or more) independent steered wheels we've already done on previous PiWars
  • legs are different to wheels

Single Ball Robot Relatively early we got to the point where we had to choose 'What To Build'! My idea was to go big, bold and something that really pushes the envelope of simple PiWars competition, while Pal seemed more reasonable. So, ideas to make anti-gravity robot, single wheel or a ball robot were very quickly discarded. With legs we had the options to go with two legs, four legs or more.

There are so many robots with legs to see, so many concepts to consider and it sparked quite a few wonderful and interesting ideas. Mostly crazy and unachievable ones but starting a project from scratch without any prejudice about what to create made the process-starting effort very attractive and exciting. Pal and I spent several sessions on Slack (offline and online with face to face chats) and exchanged loads of emails with eager smiles and subjects that are close to: "What About This One?!"

What To Build

My previous idea (see previous blog post) to make proper arachnid seemed a bit too much for the small arena of PiWars. That narrowed down the choices to only two options - two legs or four legs.

Spot Puppy And this is where proper brainstorming and pro/con board came into the play. My reasoning was that PiWars already saw nice dog alike robot Spot Puppy and it wouldn't be innovative enough to go down that route, while Pal's reasoning was that two legs is much harded to achieve. And I agreed with him... That way we started with a four legged robot journey.

Many Robots of the Internet

This is a subset of some links we shared between us to use for inspiration. There are so many different and interesting projects published on the internet and it would really be a shame not doing proper 'homework' and see what is there so we can see where our efforts for innovation can be put given our abilities and amount of time we can invest in building the next PiWars robot.

My 3D Printed Harmonic Drive Performs Surprisingly Well!

My 3D Printed Harmonic Drive Performs Surprisingly Well!

Harmonic drive for robot legs/arms...

Atlanta Hobby Robot Club Robot Rally Open 1

Small biped robot

Atlanta Hobby Robot Club Robot Rally Open 1

Hackaday link

Blackbird Bipedal Robot

Another biped robot:

Blackbird Bipedal Robot

Arduino quadruped robot for MG995 (OPEN SOURCE)

Thingiverse open source quadruped robot:

Arduino quadruped robot for MG995 (OPEN SOURCE)

Spotmicro - robot dog

Another Thingiverse dog robot:

Spotmicro - robot dog

3D printed Robot Leg with Cycloidal Actuator and SEA

Robot cat on Thingiverse:

3D printed Robot Leg with Cycloidal Actuator and SEA

3D printed Robot Leg with Cycloidal Actuator and SEA

Simple biped robot on Thingiverse:

3D printed Robot Leg with Cycloidal Actuator and SEA

Robot dog, quadruped robot, 12DOF, 3DOF per leg

Four legged robot dog on Thingiverse:

Robot dog, quadruped robot, 12DOF, 3DOF per leg

Experimental quadruped robot with 3 jointed legs

Four legged robot dog with three joined legs:

Experimental quadruped robot with 3 jointed legs

Quadruped robot V2.0

Simple quadruped on Thingiverse:

Quadruped robot V2.0

Quadruped Robot

Another quadruped on Thingiverse:

Quadruped Robot

TipTap

Quite an involved project with home made servo motors for biped robot:

TipTap

Petoi Bittle: A Palm-sized Robot Dog for STEM and Fun

Really cool compact/small 4 legged dog robot. Open source - and very small! - cat/dog:

Petoi Bittle: A Palm-sized Robot Dog for STEM and Fun

Only difference is that it doesn't have 12 DoF but only 8 - legs can't move side to side.

A1

"Cheap Chinese" Spot: the Unitree A1 (and other variants):

A1

RMA: Rapid Motor Adaptation for Legged Robots

Really interesting, looks like the base version has a Rasbperry Pi, and must be relatively open, as people use it for research - recent news where I found it:

RMA: Rapid Motor Adaptation for Legged Robots

XDog: Small and Low-cost Four Legged Robot

Another project for quadruped dog:

XDog: Small and Low-cost Four Legged Robot

Freenove Robot Dog Kit for Raspberry Pi 4 B 3 B+ B A+, Walking, Self Balancing, Ball Tracing, Face Recognition, Ultrasonic Ranging, Camera Servo (Raspberry Pi NOT Contained)

Quadruped robot kit on Amazon:

Freenove Robot Dog Kit for Raspberry Pi 4 B 3 B+ B A+, Walking, Self Balancing, Ball Tracing, Face Recognition, Ultrasonic Ranging, Camera Servo (Raspberry Pi NOT Contained)

The Robots Return, How Have Atlas, ASIMO, Cheetah, Spot and Pepper fared 4+ Years On?

The Robots Return, How Have Atlas, ASIMO, Cheetah, Spot...

very basic, popular kind of thing, but interesting

Avik De: Designing power-efficient quadrupeds at Ghost Robotics [ICRA 2020 WS - Legged Robots]

...but what's more interesting is that the mention of "Ghost Robotics" (and their direct-drive system - another interesting keyword to search!) - led me to search and find this:

Avik De: Designing power-efficient quadrupeds at Ghost Robotics...

(probably quite a lot of relevant stuff in this channel!)

Compliant Quadruped Legs Using Servos

More research - cool design to look at:

Compliant Quadruped Legs Using Servos

Building Robots That Can Go Where We Go

Good biped designs:

Building Robots That Can Go Where We Go

5 EPIC Robot Contenders To SpotMINI

More Youtube videos:

5 EPIC Robot Contenders To SpotMINI

Sci-Fi Short Film “Planet Unknown" | DUST

Inspiration from animated films:

Sci-Fi Short Film “Planet Unknown" | DUST