I want to build a walking robot, but have no experience with servos and servo control. Can anyone suggest a good site that has projects that allow hobbyists to build walking robots. I am not sure how things like knee/ankle joints would work My background is mainly electronics but would like to explore the field of robotics All I want is to learn the basics then I can experiment.
for mechanical inspirations you can look up on google Robo-one. most of the links will probably be in japanese but there's alot of pictures and videos floating around. here's a link for some servo controllers scroll down to the bottom
As Jay notes elsewhere you should really start with a rolling robot first. Build something that uses modified servos -- the turn continuously -- and you can get some experience in controlling servos with a microcontroller. The control process is the same. Wheeled robots are a lot cheaper to make mistakes with.
If you're looking for ready-made kits, Lynxmotion has some new 'bots that are quite advanced for the hobby. Prices to match, but they are reasonable considering what goes into them. At the very least you can look at the pictures to see how it's done. Parallax's Toddler is an interesting variation on a bipedal robot, and it's only about $250 or so. I'd recommend building from scratch only if you're good in the shop.
Bruce was kind enough to suggest my book but, while it contains a walking robot project, it is a "linked gait" type and doesn't run on servos. If you were to build the size of robot specified in the book using independent joints (separate high-torque closed-feedback DC servos) it would cost *thousands* of dollars.
That's an excellent good start. A few years ago I sat in on a class about walking animals presented by RJ Fullerton who runs the Polypedal Lab at UC Berkeley. His insights into the energy saving mechanisms of the spring action of tendons were quite interesting. Start with a google search for polypedal lab. He also suggeted that the insect mechanisms offered robust locomotion without much brain power. Bipedal walking will require balance, however, and that will be hard. Leave an option for a cane or a walker to start. If you are really into human inspired robots I would also suggest an author by the name of Kapandji who did extensive biomechanical investigation of all the joints, make sure you get a translated version, that is, if you are not fluent in French.
If you wnat to get into bipedal balancing robots, I've found the book "Legged Robots That Balance" by Marc Raibert to be a fun, inspirational and educational read.
From Amazon; Editorial Reviews Book Description This book, by a leading authority on legged locomotion, presents exciting engineering and science, along with fascinating implications for theories of human motor control. It lays fundamental groundwork in legged locomotion, one of the least developed areas of robotics, addressing the possibility of building useful legged robots that run and balance. The book describes the study of physical machines that run and balance on just one leg, including analysis, computer simulation, and laboratory experiments. Contrary to expectations, it reveals that control of such machines is not particularly difficult. It describes how the principles of locomotion discovered with one leg can be extended to systems with several legs and reports preliminary experiments with a quadruped machine that runs using these principles. Raibert's work is unique in its emphasis on dynamics and active balance, aspects of the problem that have played a minor role in most previous work. His studies focus on the central issues of balance and dynamic control, while avoiding several problems that have dominated previous research on legged machines. Marc Raibert is Associate Professor of Computer Science and Robotics at Carnegie-Mellon University and on the editorial board of The MIT Press journal, Robotics Research. Legged Robots That Balance is fifteenth in the Artificial Intelligence Series, edited by Patrick Winston and Michael Brady. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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