Thursday, September 19, 2013


The next project that I am hoping to finish is a small 12 Degree of Freedom (DoF) Hexapod. The frame consists of 12 HXT500 5gram Servos, lasercut acrylic, and the hardware to hold everything together. I plan on entering this in an instructables contest before October, so keep an eye out for it. I am doing a custom circuit board with a high current power supply, a "Master" Microcontroller, and a "slave" mcu that acts as a serial servo controller. I am eventually going to release all the design files under a Creative Commons license when I iron out more of the bugs, but for now here is a sneak peek.

 The CAD files were all done in Solidworks, with many iterations of test parts cut to find the optimal size. I currently have the schematic and about 10% of the board layout done, and the entire mechanical frame constructed.

Hexapod with tiny Fedora. The green PCB's are Pololu Micro Maestro Serial Controllers I was using to test.

Underside of the Hexapod

Close up of the leg mechanism.

I was going for a Jake and Elwood Blues color scheme, and am going to use the Fedora to cover up the finished PCB. I know that the leg joint design could be improved greatly by replacing the cantilevered limbs with better supported ones, but I am currently focusing on ease of assembly and economy. I think that this could be  packaged as a kit for the amateur roboticist, as a lower cost alternative to current hexapod chassis. The only tools required to assemble the final version will be a soldering station, needlenose pliers and a hex key.

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