Introduction: Make a Walking Robot

Build a walking robot using the Smart Servo Controller

To build the robot I used a kit of servo brackets I got off ebay. I assembled them into a two legged robot that kinda resembles a mechwarrior. Each leg is built with 6 servo motors. I used a 6 channel RC radio to send the movements for walking, leaning, standing and tilting. These signals are fed into the Smart Servo Controller where it maps and mixes the signals to the different servos.

With a little bit of practice I can get the robot to walk across the floor. The reason I built the robot was to show how easy it was to use the control board I designed. With the control board you don't have to write code to get the robot to more. It is based on rules. The parameters can be set quite easily and intuitively.

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Step 1: Assemble the Servo

The first step to do purchase some servo motors and a servo bracket kit. I got the servos from Hobbyking and the bracket kit is from ebay.

12 Servos are needed. I used Hextronik HX5010 standard servos.

Step 2: Build a Leg or Two

Next built the robot the way you want to with the different pieces in the kit. I built my robot with two legs. Each leg has 6 servo motors. It can take some trial and error to find a good layout for the robot. Make sure each leg has the range of motion you need.

Step 3: Clean Up the Wiring

Once the robot is put together bundle and route the wires to the top where we will attach the control board. The control board used is the Smart Servo Controller. Make sure there is enough slack in the wires to allow the servo motors to move freely. You don't wan to pinch off a wire.

Step 4: Connect!

Connect the servos up to the output channels and the radio receiver to the input channels. Make note of what servo is connected to what channel. This will help make your life easier when it comes time to setup the control board.

The radio receiver used is a 6 channel HK-T6A V2. For this robot I am only using channels 1-5

Step 5: IO Config

Next we need to set up the software with the correct input and output channels. The input type is Servo because we are using a RC receiver. The output channels are of type Servo as well.

Set the default servo positions by using the Value Picker. Adjust each servo to position so that the robot will be in a neutral standing postilion.

Step 6: The Value Picker

To use the Value Picker hold down CTRL key and click on one of the numeric value boxes. If you are clicking on a output channel the slider will become active. As you move the slider up and down the servo will move to that position.

If the box you click is for one of the inputs then you need to move the actual input device. For the joystick that means pushing the stick. The values will change on the screen when you do that.

Once you are done selecting the value press ESC to save that value.

Step 7: Create the Rules

Next we create a series of rules that maps the input channels to the different functions we want for the robot to walk. I created 9 rules as shown below. The 'Standup' rule makes the robot go from the crouched position to the standing position. Do this by creating a linear map rule by:

  1. Selecting the input channel.Setting the input channel low value by using the value picker and moving the joystick axis to where you want the sitting position to be.
  2. Move the actual joystick and the value will show up on the screen.
  3. Set the input channel high value with the value picker to where you want the joystick axis to be when the robot is standing.
  4. For each servo in the legs set the low values to make the robot crouch.
  5. For each servo in the legs set the high values to make the robot stand.

Now when you adjust the joystick axis from crouch to standing position the servos will move appropriately.

Step 8: Repeat

Repeat the previous step for each axis on the radio controller for each set of movements you want it to do. You can have multiple rules running at the same time and the outputs will be added together.

The video gives a sample of how to map an input to two output channels.

Step 9: Have Fun

When you are done press the program button. Now it is time to play see how well you can make the robot walk!

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