Robotic Hexapod Project

Christmas Light Project
High Powered Rocketry Project

Click HERE for a video.


BASE Specs


We have ordered most of the supplies already - Pictures as parts start to arrive!!!

The Christmas light project is finally packed away until next year, so as of January 1st, 2009 we are starting a new ROBOTICS PROJECT!!!

We started out building robots with the original  LEGO Robotics Invention Kit, and then progressed up to the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Robot Kit, and have built all of the wheeled, tracked and humanoid robots we could.

We even started to hack components and integrate lasers into them :) (See THIS  )

Now we're taking it up another notch!!!  We're going to make a Robotic Hexapod!!!  (A 6 legged, insect like robot)

It will be MUCH more sturdy than the LEGO robots we've built and we're going to use High Torque RC Aircraft Servos to power the legs!

We may make it autonomous eventually, but the first plan is to control it via a RC Aircraft transmitter, or maybe a Playstation 2 Wireless Joystick...



01/12/08 - The main parts arrive!!!

6V Batteries and charger.
We went with the larger capacity 2800mAh for longer run times, but the trade off is the weight.

Serial cable and battery holders.  We may use standard 9V batteries for the logic boards so they don't reset when many servos are in use at once.

Power switches.

Colored tape for the illuminated legs and pin striping :)

2.4ghz wireless Playstation 2 controller to control the bot!!!

The servos!  I went with HS645-MG's as they have Metal Gears (MG) and a LOT of torque! (133.31oz/in!)

Contents of each HS645-MG servo box.

HS645-MG Servo close up.

All 18 HS645-MG's unpacked.

Another view.

Horns, mounting hardware, etc...

Separated into piles.

We got these metal horns to replace the vinyl ones that came on the servos we purchased.
Now they have all metal gears AND horns!

Metal horns on!

The "Feet".

The bottom of the body.

The bottom again (Flipped).

The top of the body.

A parts deck to go on top (For ultrasonic, Infrared, temperature sensors, etc... and of course - Cameras and Lasers!!!

The top with the deck on it.

The tibia with the protective coating still on (Notice the burn marks from the laser cutting!).

Protective coating removed from 1 tibia set.

Small plastic inserts for the tibia - A very bright red LED (Still on order) will get inserted into the cutout and we can light the legs up!

Protective coating removed.

All 6 of them.

Lower "Femur" parts.

One assembled.

Lower "Femurs" assembled.

Upper "Femur" parts (Coxa).

Sealed bearings.

Upper "Femurs" assembled. (Coxa)

All 6 "Femurs" assembled (Without the servos attached).

Coxa servo that attaches to the Body.

Hip Joint servo that raises and lowers the femur. (Not attached yet.)

Hip Joint servo that raises and lowers the femur. (Attached.)

All 6 done.

One of my assistant robotisists helping out!

More constructing!

A tibia being constructed.

The 3mm Red Super Bright LED's arrived today!

We sanded the surfaces with 400 grit sandpaper until they became opaque to help dissipate the light better.

Leg light LED inserted.

My other assistant robotisist!

Making some adjustments...

Robots RULE!!!

A liiitle tighter here...

Boy are we gonna scare mommy with THIS!

SSC-32 Advanced Servo Controller / Sequencer .

Bot Board II Microcontroller Board with Basic ATOM Microcontroller.

Sinewinder LED Module.

Playstation 2 Wireless receiver and connector cable.

The two mated together - A bit BIG...

Wireless receiver taken apart.

Connector unsoldered from the board.

Plug cut off the cable and soldered directly to the board.

All of this was removed from the cable and receiver.

Finished product - Look at the picture above for the "Before" look.

Getting ready to bore more holes...

Assistant Machinist # 1.

Assistant Machinist # 2.

Drilling the holes.  I'm using the defective metal horn as an alignment guide.

All holes drilled.

Another view.

Close up.

The RL3-R5014 LED's and the resistors for illuminating the legs.

1 for each leg.

Inserted into the Plexiglas.

Another view.

Leads soldered on.

Shrink wrap on.

Shrink wrap - shrunk :)

Illuminated with the lights on and a flash.

Illuminated with the lights on, but no flash.

Inserted into the leg (Lights on and flash on)

Inserted into the leg (Lights on and flash off)

My custom wiring harness schematic.

Custom wiring harness all soldered up!

Close up of the power connectors and DPDT / 4PDT switches.

Close up of the DPDT / 4PDT switches.

Close up of the board connectors.

Custom wiring harness being added.

Close up.

Custom wiring harness installed, Leg lights installed, Top deck installed.

Totally dark room.

Laser, Wireless camera, and BlueSmirf are all that's left to add!!!

Right angle header pins.
I got these here.

Close up of 6 snipped off.

BlueSmirf Gold - A Bluetooth module that will allow my laptop to talk to the Hexapod via Bluetooth.  I got this here.

It's pretty small for what it does!

With the header pins soldered on.

One of my solder helpers inspecting the work.  Notice our static free Thomas PJ's ;)

Red Laser with TTL control.
I got this here.

First - I cut off the large white connector.

Second - I cut the green wire as I don't need it in my application - If you need a switched setup, don't cut this wire and use it and the white to switch on and off.

Third - I braided the wires and crimped female pins / connector on.

Fourth - Added to the mount.
I may or may not use the mount - I got it here.


Diagram of a spider, with the leg segments color-coded:


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