Picture of Robot Cloning by DIY 3d printers!
The DARwIn-OP is a open hardware and software project which greatly aided me in doing this project.

        DARwIn-OP is an acronym for (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence - Open Platform) or DARwIn for short. The DARwIn-OP was developed by the RoMeLa research lab at Virginia Tech in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University and ROBOTIS. ROBOTIS is a world leading South Korean robotics’ company. Their Dynamixel servos are the leading robotic servos in the world and the key to why the DARwIn-OP is so ground breaking. The lead designer of the DARwIn-OP project has Dr. Dennis Hong of Virginia Tech’s RoMeLa and ROBOTIS. The robot is a state of the art research and development humanoid robot. The DARwIn-OP weighs in at about 2.9 kilograms and a height of 45.5 cm.

The idea behind this project is to find new and cheaper ways to create and build robots. As 3d printing becomes cheaper and easier to use more and more people will have access to this way of manufacturing. I hope that this instrucable will  open up more peoples eyes as to the power of this new personal fabrication method.

Below is a link to my Make magazine article on how I made the clone.


Step 1: Why I wanted to own a DARwIn-OP!

I thought it would be a good idea to show a production version of the DARwIn-OP in action to show the reason why I wanted this cool robot.

This is video of the DARwIn-OP in its natural environment Robocup soccer.

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moverstreet007 (author) 2 years ago
This is another video of a DARwIn shows off its soccer skills, the programming was by a South Korean team.
printrbot9323 months ago
Is there a cheaper alternate to the servos ? I'm a student and really want to make this but cannot afford those servos
Ian JamesF8 months ago

links to the parts are not working

moverstreet007 (author)  Ian JamesF8 months ago

Which links? I am testing them now.

Tomdf2 years ago
Gasp, those are some pricey servos! How do they perform compared to regular servos? Faster and stronger? What do you think would happen if I tried cheap servos instead?
moverstreet007 (author)  Tomdf2 years ago
I don't want to discourage you from trying but!

When most people talk about regular servos they mean 10.00 analog servos from China. I have used them on lots of projects but they just do not have the holding torque, speed or resolution for humanoid robots.


Even the low end AX-12s from ROBOTIS blow them away.

The only servo line that compares too them is the Kondo line of high end servos.


I would tell you good luck and keep me updated on your progress.

hi, CAn I use this project STL part files as is for AX-12A or AX-18A Dynamixel series?? Or it's only for MX series?


moverstreet007 (author)  JonathanL311 months ago

The brackets will only work with the MX-28s and MX-64s, sorry

Ok thanks a lot

I see. After reading the specs I started to get it. Full 360 encoding isn't something a normal servo can do.
moverstreet007 (author)  Tomdf2 years ago
Tomdf, MX-28T are butt kicking servos. High speed, high holding torque, almost no backlash during movement. They are almost perfect servos for humanoid robotic uses.
The MX-28T have metal gears and built-in PID controllers as well. You can read the load on them, the temperature and voltage levels too. http://support.robotis.com/en/techsupport_eng.htm#product/dynamixel/rx_series/mx-28.htm
moverstreet007 (author)  drewnoakes2 years ago
Yes and with an onboard 32bit 72mhz Cortex M3,

yes very sweet servos!!
These servos report their position. Normal RC servos don't. You need that for robotics.
There are plenty of methods by which you can read the servo position. That might not be as accurate as a Dynamixel, but sufficient for many hobby applications.

One method is to use a magnetic sensor. A guy had made a nice magnetic sensor and that was very cheap. It gave great results and he was selling it a few years back. I would post the link of that if I find it.
Another obvious method is make hole in the servo and read the pot directly. Here's a tutorial for it. http://letsmakerobots.com/node/27206

Of course in any of these methods you would have to open and modify the servo that might void your warranty. But looking at the price difference between a Dynamixel and Servo, warranty is not a big issue.
They make much cheaper Dynamixels, these are just top of the line. They also give you load, temp, greater range of movement and other things. You could rig this up too but it would be a lot of work for all the servers. Load is very important for walking.
moverstreet007 (author)  TedRobotBuilder2 years ago
Yes to every you said TedRobotBuilder:)
JonathanL311 months ago

Hi Guys, I just need to know something, can I use these STL Parts files to assemble the Robot with AX-18A or AX-12A or it's only compatible with MX series form factor?

Thanks a lot

Looking great in the new video. Good work:-)
Hi Mike and Boomer, just wondering how you are getting on with the project?
moverstreet007 (author)  mikemcfarlane2 years ago
Just uploaded a video of Robby the clone 2.0. Robby is now the name of DARwIn-OP clone.

moverstreet007 (author)  moverstreet0072 years ago
I assumed as it was on the Darwin OP page... that will teach me to assume without checking the specs! Thanks for link, yes I had seen that one.

Thanks for the other links too, very useful. I'm really keen to get started on this, I just need to convince my good lady that the funds will be well spent lol I've also been looking at getting metal parts laser cut, but will have a proper look through the drawings and pdfs before I decide.
Is there a documented process for doing the tuning tasks, or is it all black belt ninja 20 years of experience type stuff?
I guess that is another reason why you can buy the parts for $6k, but a built robot is $12k.

re materials. interesting. I was having a look at shapeways last night and wondering about printing in metal, but there only appears to be stainless steel which has a rough finish and is pretty expensive, and heavy.

Thanks again for sharing:-) ps sorry these replies aren't in the proper place, the captcha doesn't work in chrome or safari on my machine for replies!
moverstreet007 (author)  mikemcfarlane2 years ago
I was just having a look on the Korean version of the site and see that there is a better hand assembly available. http://www.robotis-shop-kr.com/goods_detail.php?goodsIdx=880
I've not checked sourceforge yet to see if there are plans.
Looks good anyway.
moverstreet007 (author)  mikemcfarlane2 years ago
That hand is huge, it is designed for a large Humanoid size Humanoid.

How about this one?

I guess I would also like to know if you have encountered any other problems in making your own that maybe wouldn't have been present if you bought one ready made?
Thanks in advance.
moverstreet007 (author)  mikemcfarlane2 years ago
The DARwIn you buy works when you get it.

The servos and the software have been fine tune so your robot walks with out any issues.

I have to do all of the fine tuning of the robot, the servos and the software myself.
I'm amazed that Robby (?) can be 3D printed too, good work. I tried to comment on your blog, but it didn't seem to work. My first question about the strength of parts has already been answered above, but not knowing anything about 3D printing, are there any other materials you could have 'home' 3D printed that might have been stronger? Also, do parts break regularly, or is it only if something goes wrong like in a fall or mistake in programming?
Also on your blog, you are having some problems with the hip and neck (?) servos. Can you comment any more on that please?
moverstreet007 (author)  mikemcfarlane2 years ago
The servos where calibrated incorrectly at the factory. Not sure what happen there?

I would like to try printing in nylon. There are a lot of people experimenting with printing with nylon now.

I used ABS to print out all of my parts in.
moverstreet007 (author) 2 years ago
You can also check out Make Magazine volume #34, page 66 for more details on how I made the clone.

moverstreet007 (author) 2 years ago
You can also check out Make Magazine volume #34, page 66 for more details on how I made the clone.

shojiki2 years ago
Yes thanks for your reply and I hope I can get started soon!
shojiki2 years ago
That was cool! Anyway I am also a programmer and am always interested in robotic but didn't know how to get started and How do you learn to design these cool robots? Are you a self-learner?
moverstreet007 (author)  shojiki2 years ago
Yes, I am a self-Learner. I would tell you jump in and get started.
Nice! Idea: couldn't you put the Darwin electronics in one of their cheaper models, like the BIOLOID Premium Kit, and end up with a robot very similar to the Darwin but only about $2500? Maybe spend more and start with the GP?
moverstreet007 (author)  TedRobotBuilder2 years ago
Ted, many people think that the Bioloid GP was a early prototype of the DARwin-OP.

You can also find early examples of the DARwIn-OP that used AX-18s too.

That is my next project idea. A cheaper DARwIn-OP that uses AX-18 servos, a raspberry pi and the CM-900 servo controller. Just need to find time in the day to do it!!:(
The Darwin board is basically an R-Pi isn't it! Nice way to slash $1000 right there! XD

The downside to these bots though is they can't carry much in the way of sensors though. We need to shrink the Kinects sensor down to its size! :D
moverstreet007 (author)  TedRobotBuilder2 years ago
The DARwIn has a FitPc2 for a brain and a CM-700 servo controller.



But that is a good idea though, you can use the raspberry pi and the CM-900.

check here for how to do it.
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