Introduction: FOBO Bipedal Walking Robot

Picture of FOBO Bipedal Walking Robot

FOBO is the fourth prototype from Project Biped.  It is a 3D printed, self-contained, statically balanced, bipedal robot. It has 8 DOF (degrees of freedom) and can walk around its environment and avoid obstacles using an ultrasonic range sensor.  All of the designs, instructions, source code, and parts lists are provided for free.  FOBO was designed to be easily made by anyone with a low cost 3D printer and an interest in learning about robotics. 

Step 1: Static Walking

Picture of Static Walking
FOBO walks statically meaning that at every frame of the animation it is balanced and won't fall over if it stops.  The walking cycle is 10 key frames with 10 frames interpolated in between each frame.
 

Step 2: Get the Parts

Picture of Get the Parts

FOBO uses an Arduino Uno microcontroller to actuate 8 servo motors.  It also has an ultrasonic range sensor so that it can walk around without bumping into things.  FOBO is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery that lasts for a couple of hours on a full charge.   All of the parts together cost about $200.  Here is the full list of the the parts along with links to the vendor, price, and quantity.  Note that none of the vendors listed are affiliated with Project Biped ... they are just where I bought my parts from.  If you find a part cheaper from another website let me know and I'll update the list.

Step 3: Print the Robot Parts

Picture of Print the Robot Parts

FOBO is made up of 17 3D printed plastic parts.  The full list of diagrams showing where each part goes can be found here and all 3D stl files for each part can be downloaded here.    I printed FOBO using an open source Makerbot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer.  All of the parts can be printed in about 18 hours (depending on your printer and settings) with about $10 worth of plastic (193 cc is about 1/5th of a standard spool of plastic).

Step 4: Set Up the Servos

Picture of Set Up the Servos

FOBO uses 8 servos to move around.  These need to be aligned before construction begins to make calibration easier.  You can access the presentation with animated instructions here (the image is a screen shot of the presentation). 

Step 5: Assemble the Right Leg

Picture of Assemble the Right Leg

FOBO's right leg has 5 printed parts and the following :

4 servos
2 screws  3M 16mm
2 screws  3M 12mm
4 screws  3M 8mm
1 nut 3M

You can access the presentation with animated instructions here (the image is a screen shot of the presentation).

Step 6: Assemble the Left Leg

Picture of Assemble the Left Leg

FOBO's left leg has 5 printed parts and the following :

4 servos
2 screws  3M 16mm
2 screws  3M 12mm
4 screws  3M 8mm
1 nut 3M

You can access the presentation with animated instructions here (the image is a screen shot of the presentation).

Step 7: Assemble the Frame

Picture of Assemble the Frame

FOBO's frame has 4 printed parts and the following :

2 radial ball bearings
2 washers
2 screws  3M 16mm
6 screws  3M 12mm
4 screws  3M 8mm
1 Arduino Uno board
1 Arduino Servo shield board

You can access the presentation with animated instructions here (the image is a screen shot of the presentation).

Step 8: Connect the Electronics

Picture of Connect the Electronics

FOBO's has the following electronic parts :

4 servo extension wires 6"
2 sections of wire wrap 14" each
1 rocker switch
1 fuse 5 amps
1 DC to DC voltage regulator (5v/6v)
3 solderless wire connectors (female)

You can access the presentation with animated instructions here (the image is a screen shot of the presentation).

Step 9: Put the Head and Battery Case On

Picture of Put the Head and Battery Case On

FOBO's head is two printed parts and the battery case is a single printed part.  The other items that you'll need:

1 lithium ion battery 2 cell 7.4v
4 screws  3M 20mm
4 screws  3M 8mm

You can access the presentation with animated instructions here (the image is a screen shot of the presentation).  Please be careful when using the LIPO battery and follow all safety instructions!

Step 10: Calibrate the Servos

Picture of Calibrate the Servos

Time to calibrate FOBO's servos.  This is necessary because the it is impossible for everyone to assemble the servos in exactly the same orientation.  So the calibration describes the unique servo offsets for a specific FOBO.  This allows every FOBO to use actions created by someone else. You can access the presentation with animated instructions here (the image is a screen shot of the presentation). 

Step 11: Let FOBO Roam!

Picture of Let FOBO Roam!
Upload the navigation program to FOBO and let it walk around!

Step 12: Create New Actions

Picture of Create New Actions

You can use the free Poser application to create your own custom animation sequences for FOBO.  Save the actions to file and share them with other FOBO makers.  The image is a screen shot of a step by step tutorial that shows how to use the Poser application to create a new action for FOBO.

Step 13: Program FOBO

Picture of Program FOBO

There are more applications, such as controlling FOBO via a Kinect, available at the FOBO website.  As always everything is provided free and all of the hardware and software is open source.  Have fun and share your creations!

Comments

Fastmill88 (author)2017-02-22

hi I am fast mill 88 aka real name Indy P Doungpanya, I really like how you created fobo he is just so cute and so futureistic and i like to make hover converting things so thanks alot

Fastmill88 (author)Fastmill882017-02-22

oh and today feb 22 is my birth day I am 11 now

peraz91 (author)2016-10-16

Help me please

rohals (author)2014-02-09

please suggest the proper program or proper arduino coding for servos bcoz i followed all steps u suggested but while compiling its showing error and code is not processing further so please suggest proper and right coding as soon as possible...

Ditch the Arduino bootloader and go C. Our emch engineering student had a golfball collecting robot challenge which I sold some bigger steppers motors to, they didnt need them as after changing to C it was running faster...

how do you use the Arduino without the bootloader?

botguy24 (author)2012-03-23

Yet again wow! your bot looks so professional! It moves so smoothly too. must have been fun getting it to balance with that big box on top!

jdowdall (author)botguy242012-03-23

Thanks! There were lots of face plants while I was working out the walking cycle ... but that was half the fun. Future designs will have the batteries in the feet to help with the weight distribution.

JimRD (author)jdowdall2016-04-25

May have a problem with the batteries in the feet as the servos will not be able to work as well as when the weight is higher up and just shifted over the inactive servos. I know because I had the same idea with a robot I built and with the batteries down low, it wouldn't step as well. It's all about leverage.

BrandsO (author)2016-02-12

Heyy) where I can find the code?

Cant you get the static walk cycle to place the balance leg UNDER (ie move it inwards to balance before putting the foot down) the robot rather than use the big lean out angle you have. It would look more natural. I wana build a Reaper from some game I used to play, it needs to 'march' and 'stomp'..

yunkun88 (author)2015-11-16

This is a very funny robot, I want to do it

Arduino Tech (author)2015-04-28

it says :

This report would have more information with

"Show verbose output during compilation"

enabled in File > Preferences.

Arduino: 1.0.6 (Windows XP), Board: "Arduino Uno"

Remote_Control.pde: In function 'void SendResponse()':

Remote_Control:167: error: 'BYTE' was not declared in this scope

As of Arduino 1.0, the 'BYTE' keyword is no longer supported.

Please use Serial.write() instead.

WHAT SHOULD I DO ???????

kprasad6 (author)2015-01-23

Hello sir i m from india.I have made this robot bt as i m a beginner so quite unfamilier with arduino programming.I have used arduino and 16 servo controller shield for controlling the robot moments.I have read the navigation program of FOBO and felt some problem in some steps.Sir plzz explain me how FOBO moves forward as written in navigation program of FOBO so that i can modify and write code for my robot.And thnxx sir for sharing this articles.
my email adress is anantprasad2222@gmail.com
plzz sit help me in programming my robot.I wil be highly thankfull for you sir plzz plzz.

gogcoding (author)2014-12-28

Hello jdowdall, I like it, but it would be nice if you followed what Rohals said about "suggest the proper program or proper arduino coding for servos bcoz i followed all steps u suggested but while compiling its showing error and code is not processing further so please suggest proper and right coding as soon as possible…"

I already got really far and spent money to buy the pieces. That would be great if you could provide me with the coding part. Thx.

kms62 (author)2014-11-27

were can i get the fobo 3d parts to build?

naorocks (author)2014-10-21

I hope I can build one

robobot3112 (author)2014-06-01

good but costly (i mean 300 usd)

sanjay satheesh (author)2013-04-20

nice project. i like it dude

mithun tr (author)2013-03-28

I love this robot i am going to make it

richimf (author)2013-03-24

I love this tutorial, Wow :D

H3ll3 (author)2012-04-01

Amazing project, where can i find the pieces to make the head and the legs, do u use a 3d printer? :)

Trigger_Happy (author)2012-03-31

Awww, that's one cute little robot! :-)

chuckcrunch (author)2012-03-25

have you heard of
http://letsmakerobots.com/

jdowdall (author)chuckcrunch2012-03-27

Thanks for sharing the site. It looks like FOBO would fit in well ... I'll have to make a post there for sure!

javajunkie1976 (author)2012-03-26

Could this be made for those without a 3d printer?

jdowdall (author)javajunkie19762012-03-27

There are websites that will print 3d files for you. I checked out everyone I could find to see how much it would cost for people without a 3D printer to have the plastic parts for FOBO made. The results were ridiculously expensive. The cheapest site was Shapeways which cost around $360 with shipping. That is about a third of the cost of buying a new Thing-O-Matic 3D printer from Makerbot. My advice would be to buy a 3D printer and print the parts yourself rather than pay for someone else to make them. Once you have your own 3D printer it will take about 18 hours to print and consume around 1/5 of a spool of plastic (that's about $10 worth of plastic). If for some reason you don't want to get your own 3D printer I can make the Shapeways FOBO files public so that you can pay them to have it printed ( although it would pain me ;-).

profpat (author)2012-03-25

great project!

peacefulshades (author)2012-03-25

Oh wow, that's pretty amazing!

Mit123 (author)2012-03-22

Love it, reminds me of the biped walkers in Star Wars ;-)

nnygamer (author)Mit1232012-03-22

ATST-- I thought the exact same thing. aka chicken walkers

Javin007 (author)nnygamer2012-03-25

I knew I wouldn't be the first person who had this as their first thought. Guess that galaxy isn't so far, far away!

XOIIO (author)nnygamer2012-03-22

It wouldn't be too hard to mod the case either, that would be epic XD

Mit123 (author)XOIIO2012-03-23

Now that really would be cool!!!
I know I'm such a geek :-/

oanderson (author)Mit1232012-03-23

Same

Tallupforyou (author)2012-03-23

wow It's cool.

axeman911 (author)2012-03-22

Wow that is really cool!

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