Just a brief introduction, I am a Metrologist in Florida and have recently started on a BSME. My hobbies pretty much all relate to designing and building things. I have taught myself Solidworks, how to program and run a Haas VMC and will try to learn anything that I find interesting. I have been toying with the idea of getting into robotics for a few years and after competing in the 2017 AFRL Commander's Challenge where I designed and built a large Helicopter in 7 months and my team actually got it to hover for about 20 seconds.

My success in this competition and the positive feedback from "real" engineers has lit a fire in me to pursue some of my other ideas. So here it is the next project which I hope to slowly make progress on, because as I'm sure you all know robotics parts are REALLY expensive.

My idea is to create a large robotic spider (like 55" legspan large) running ROS and implementing as much autonomy as I can figure out and/or afford. The design uses Mighty Zap linear servos for the Tarsal, Tibia and Femur and Dynamixels for the Coxa. I'm hoping having 2 different TTL protocals won't be too big a problem. My plan it to import the model into MATLAB and use simulink to do alot of the basics. Granted I'll have to learn MATLAB too, lol.

While this is the end goal I know I have ALOT of fundamentals to learn first As such I am looking at buying an AX MkIII with AX-18A servos first. This will give me experience in using dynamixel and TTL servos while being a common enough platform to get assistance and support when needed. Unless the forum has a better recommendation?