Student Built Spider Robot From Spare Parts
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Picture a spider-like robot that teaches itself to walk, can adapt when damaged and watches its maker as he moves around the room. That might sound terrifying.
Add artificial intelligence into the mix and you have all the makings of a science-fiction horror film.
Luckily, the UA electrical engineering senior and creator of the hexapod, Matt Bunting, said he plans to teach the robot only basic emotions.
"I've definitely thought about adding (artificial emotion), but the emotions would be very simplistic -- happy, sad, bored -- just very simple emotions. You can only do so much," he said.
Needless to say, Bunting's project for his spring 2009 cognitive-robotics class is drawing a lot of attention from the robotics world. Major companies have offered free equipment and exposure in exchange for his skills.
Bunting's passion for technology developed early.
When he was 12, he built a Lego car with an attached Web cam that he used to chase his cat around the house.
In high school, his endeavors became more complex -- like adapting a golf cart to be radio-controlled and installing custom alarm systems in his Jeep.
"I've always enjoyed robotics," he said. "It's really been an interest of mine ever since I can remember."
His most ambitious project came after University of Arizona professor Anthony Lewis asked his class to build a robot using class lessons. Bunting's resulting hexapod was a "Frankenstein" of spare parts he had collected from previous endeavors.
It was the most impressive device Lewis can recall a student ever turning in.
"The robot was surprisingly complex and sophisticated for a project," he said. "It was pretty amazing."
After giving his student a grade of A, Lewis offered him a job in his lab. There, Bunting refined his design and posted a video of the upgraded robot on YouTube.
Hexapod robot designed at the Robotics and Neural Systems Laboratory (RNSL) at the University of Arizona.
The hexapod is using Robotis AX-12, RX-10, and RX-28 servo motors. The controller is a Fit-PC2 with Intel Atom Z530 Processor computer running Ubuntu 9.04, with a custom PIC18F4550 based USB board to pipe motor control protocol.
This is a demonstration of the new leg design which is much more solid than the previous design. Also, new 3D balance gestures have been included based on a spring model. Balance gestures are shown both turned on and off for comparison.
The gray plastic was designed in Solidworks, and was created using a Dimension BST 1200es 3D printer.
Inverse kinematics is used with a dynamic walking gait. The dynamics still need work to be smoother and faster. The legs are not calibrated perfectly either, which can be seen when a foot occasionally lifts up.
Currently the robot has foot contact sensors which will be used in the future for terrain adaptation. Three AX-12 motors will be used to control a camera with 3DOF.
In: Other, Arts and Entertainment
Tags: arizona, tucson, university, spider, bot, robot, six, legged, hexapod, walk, rnsl, robotics, neural, system, labratory, ai
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved, featured
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