After months of fabrication, debugging, testing, more fabrication, and yet more debugging, we’re happy to announce that the leg cart rows itself right along! Check this out:

We have full inverse kinematic control of the test leg, and can get it to move the 600-pound cart in a straight line. The only catch, of course, is that we have to wheel the battery cart along behind the robot – hilarious shenanigans ensued. Next time, longer wires…

It’s still a little bit shaky, but we’re calling this good enough for now and moving on to the full-size prototype leg. We’re pretty sure our pistons on the test leg generate maximum forces that result in relatively low accelerations of our legs (the yaw piston produces around 800 pounds of force, to move a 150 pound leg), which is why everything’s so wobbly. We’re also pretty sure that slapping pistons that generate 12,000 to 18,000 pounds of force on 350-pound legs will take most of that wobble RIGHT OUT.

Now, on to the full size leg and Stompy!

Keep an eye out for my next update on how our full-size legs are designed.


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Gui Cavalcanti received a General Engineering degree with a Robotics concentration from the Olin College of Engineering. He worked as a robotics engineer and systems integrator at Boston Dynamics, working on cutting edge mechanical design and systems integration for highly dynamic legged robots like BigDog, AlphaDog, and PETMAN. He was the Systems Integrator for the LS3 project, coordinating the joint engineering and development of multiple subcontractors and engineers. Over the course of his career he has also developed the mechanical systems for a robotic tuna, several robotic snakes, an ornithopter, and several other robotic animals. In his spare time he builds ridiculous things with ridiculous people, like a flotilla of SUV-sized rubber duck boats to take on the water on the 4th of July.

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