First of all, i'm not a native English speaker, so sorry for possible texting errors
I thought that it would be cool to have a robot that could mimic my movementes, like the robot arm from Youbionic. The thing is that I don't have a 3d printer and can't spend 400 bucks in buying just one arm or 7500€ in a smaller humanoid robot like Poppy. It was then when I started to think of making a miniature robot with a similar controll sistem, considerably cheaper and easy to build using basic tools.
The principal objectives are:
- Make a mini arduino-powered humanoid robot.
- Make it as cheap as possible, using cheap buildig materials and micro servos to controll it.
- Make an exoskeleton to make it mimic movements.
- Make it as easy to build with complex and basic tools (From a laser cutter to a handsaw) as possible.
For prototyping and testing the strenght of the micro servos I used the Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit for some parts, but ended up removing it for the complexity envolved in controlling it from the arduino. You can see all the 3d models in my tinkercad: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/7larzkg22ko-mini-me-v1
After the first prototype and testing various materials (such as strong cardboard and plastic) I started designing another version, using purely arduino components and 3 mm wooden plates as the principal building material. I chose this material for its strength, weight and rigidity. It also can be cutted with a laser cutter, a hand held power tool or even (with a huge effort) with a handsaw.
When assembled, this design proved to be etremely flawed, as the servos didn´t have enough force to move the arms. Not only that, but in some cases the servos had to take all the weight on their axels, an the robot was overall too big and heavy for them.
Despite all of that I did some progress in the code: I managed to make a simple servo controller that allows me to controll mutliple servos at the time at different speeds, but it defenetly needs more refining thus I wont be publishing it yet.
After those problems, I´ve decided to make a robotic arm with the servos to test different methods of movement. I think the next logical step will be to redesign the entire robot quite a bit smaller and with better ways of attaching the servos learned from the arm.
This is all I managed to do for this project so far. Thanks for reading, hope you found it intresting. I'll be adding more updates on this project so, if you are intrested, make sure to check those out.