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Thread: Phoenix, a multilegged creature

  1. #1
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    Phoenix, a multilegged creature

    Hi!

    For almost 9 months ago I started with a hexapod project called Phoenix. Each leg has 3 DOF. Almost all parts are custom made. The coxa design was inspired by micromagicsystems hexapod v4b.



    Hardware:
    Software:
    • Visual Sequencer (SEQ) from Lynxmotion
    • Phoenix Excel Program (PEP), EDIT: see attached .rar file, also remember to activate macros when opening it in MS Excel
    Here is a picture of Phoenix:



    And some more:




    At first I made Phoenix with an inline body, here is a picture of her old inline body together with the new ovale body and some other tibia parts I tried:


    PEP is a MS Excel spreadsheet I've made, its a tool for making walk and movement sequences. The sequences are imported and export between PEP and SEQ. The PEP sheet take care of all IK (inverse kinematics) calculations for all legs, body movements and rotation along all axis. It's also possible to define centrepoint of rotation and make different walking gaits.

    A screen capture of the main sheet called Body&Coxa:


    This the sheet where all sequences and steps are saved:


    With PEP I'm able to create some very unique moves, here is a youtube movie:


    PEP is made freeware, you can download it on my project page at Lynxmotion.

    Another movie while she (yes Phoenix is a she, lol ) is playing with a box:



    And finaly when Phoenix is running all sequences:



    Here is a movie while she write a message:



    Update: phoenix and the box part II:



    For the time I'm also working with an octopod robot called Oxyopus, I'll post more information about him later.
    Oxyopus:


    -Zenta
    Last edited by Zenta; 04-14-2008 at 12:01 PM.

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    Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    Wooohoooo Zenta!

    I cannot tell you how much I love this hexapod, by far the most advanced movements I have ever seen, and to think it's I.K. calculations were 100% custom built using Excel. That blows my mind man. You should post up a pic of what your PEP screen looks like, I didn't even know Excel could be used that way. I see you uploaded a lot more pics to your gallery too.

    Can't wait to see more on your Oxyopus, and the gait you're talking about is going to be amazing.

    Good luck!
    Andrew Dresner
    Principal Engineer
    Interbotix GIthub
    Interbotix Labs Google+

  3. #3
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    Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyberius View Post
    You should post up a pic of what your PEP screen looks like, I didn't even know Excel could be used that way. I see you uploaded a lot more pics to your gallery too.
    Hi Tyberius!
    Thanks, I've edited the main post with some more pics and two screenshoots of PEP.

    -Zenta

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    Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    Incredible work Zenta! You built all of this yourself? What did you use for designing and cutting the bracket system? Are those like aluminum t-blocks (no, I'm not a mechanical engineer) at the joints on the body? Nice work on the cable management too! How sturdy are those single brackets connecting the legs from the shoulders? Sorry I'm just loving this spider and have a ton of questions!

    I would love to see a video of Phoenix just walking around. That is just sooo life-like. I had chills when I saw Phoenix move!

    Definitely get your Oxyopus project up when you get a chance. Did you build that yourself too? You might want to wait till the next contest round for an official project entry (it'll start March 1st), except of course if you have other projects to enter!

    EDIT: Almost forgot! I got you entered in the contest
    Last edited by Alex; 01-23-2008 at 10:37 AM. Reason: I'm a dumbass, hehe. I misspelled Zenta's name;)

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

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    Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    Incredible work Zentra! You built all of this yourself? What did you use for designing and cutting the bracket system? Are those like aluminum t-blocks (no, I'm not a mechanical engineer) at the joints on the body? Nice work on the cable management too! How sturdy are those single brackets connecting the legs from the shoulders? Sorry I'm just loving this spider and have a ton of questions!
    Hi Alex!
    Thanks, Yes I've built them both all myself. The coxa brackets are milled of aluminium with a XYZ drilling machine:

    No "T-blocks", all custom made
    Those single brackets (femur and tibia joint) are a bit flexing and they do stress the joint, not healthy for the servo (especially for the femur servo) I think. But that's the price for a more flexible and agile hexapod lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I would love to see a video of Phoenix just walking around. That is just sooo life-like. I had chills when I saw Phoenix move!
    Sorry, I don't have any movies of only walking. Maybe later
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    Definitely get your Oxyopus project up when you get a chance. Did you build that yourself too? You might want to wait till the next contest round for an official project entry (it'll start March 1st), except of course if you have other projects to enter!

    EDIT: Almost forgot! I got you entered in the contest
    So, you suggest I should post Oxyopus for the next contest? That's OK for me. I'm still working with it and I don't have any other project to enter right now.

    -Zenta (not Zentra )

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    Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    The coxa brackets are milled of aluminium with a XYZ drilling machine
    Fun! I used milling machines quite a bit in plastic classes that I took back in the 90's. I always had a blast with them



    Those single brackets (femur and tibia joint) are a bit flexing and they do stress the joint, not healthy for the servo (especially for the femur servo) I think. But that's the price for a more flexible and agile hexapod lol.
    Heavy, bulky brackets are overrated anyway Unless you were planning on carrying things, on Phoenix's back, you don't need them anyway. Great work on this, it is incredibly flexible!


    So, you suggest I should post Oxyopus for the next contest? That's OK for me. I'm still working with it and I don't have any other project to enter right now.
    For sure! Contestants cannot win two prizes in a single contest and Phoenix is an awesome project by itself.

    -Zenta (not Zentra )
    Haha! My bad, I edited my original post

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

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    Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    Major kudos on this robot. Like everyone else I'm blown away by her fluid motion. I thought of micromagicsystems hexapod v4b as soon as I saw the first video so you certainly nailed that goal of emulating their successful lifelike motion.

    Are you planning to start modularizing the walking and movement routines so you can use them to build navigation behavior?

    Let me see if I can explain what I mean:
    1) Creating many modular routines for movements: walk strait ahead, turning left, turning right, raise body, lower body, etc. (Already done it looks like)
    2) Then you can use path planning software to figure out movement around the room: results are something like forward 4 feet, left 25 degrees, forward 3 feet, right 45 degrees, etc
    3) Then you use your modular walking functions to execute the navigating.

    I'm not sure how the sequencer and excel work though. It might be hard to evolve into that stuff from what you have so far. Do you know any programming languages?

    Looking forward to seeing more of this great project!

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    Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    Not to steal Zenta's thunder here, but I'm pretty sure he already has the basic walking modules dialed in. Those are usually the first step with any hexapod, and if you watch the end of the 1st, and some of the 3rd video, you can see the hexapod walking around a bit.

    I'll let him explain the excel >> SEQ process and autonomy plans.
    Last edited by Tyberius; 01-23-2008 at 12:30 PM.
    Andrew Dresner
    Principal Engineer
    Interbotix GIthub
    Interbotix Labs Google+

  10. Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    Wicked cool. The mechanics look really nice. I'd like to see it walk around, as well.

    I downloaded PEP and spent the past 20 minutes or so tinkering with it. Far out, man. I could mess around with this all day. This is the kind of stuff I was doing when I first started working for Trossen (well, the back-end math, anyway. I don't have the skills to make an interface like that in Excel). I'm going to have to learn some Norwegian so I can read your comments, though
    New to the TR Community? Feel free to introduce yourself and show off your projects!

  11. #10

    Re: Phoenix and Oxyopus, two multi-legged creatures.

    I don't know whether to squish it or eat it! VERY insect-like, very cool execution. I like the inverted servos on the leg ends, looks very good.
    What's next, making it leap for your throat?

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