Bexley Grammar School – 2017

Alex Tyler, Nakhil Chana, Andres Ramirez and Lyndon Huynh

Building Quadrupedal Robots

All of us have an interest in Computer Science and aim to study this at University, but we have always had a fascination with robots since a young age when we use to watch Robot Wars. With Mark Evison we were able to build quadrupedal robots.

Process: We started off the product by researching different type of quadrupedal robots some that walk like four legged mammals or some more crab like. This was followed by hand drawn designs for different concepts we had. Once we had decided the look we modelled the robot in Cinema 4D to understand the walking pattern required. Once we reached a finished design we began ordering the parts from various retailers that gave us the best value. When the parts arrived we constructed them with cardboard to ensure the model was suitable for the components. Once we finished testing with the cardboard we used wood for the chassis and legs. Over the planning stage we were learning to code an arduino, starting with simple programs of moving individual servo motors in a sequence which would then develop into a full walking cycle.

Problems: Originally when providing power to the robot we passed the power through the arduino to the servo motors, however the arduino would overheat regularly as we were passing too much power through it. To fix this we used a splitter that could evenly distribute the power between the arduino, servo controller and the servo so that the arduino no longer overheated. When testing the walking cycle we ran into the problem of the robot being unable to keep its balance. We later discovered this to be that certain legs were supporting much larger amounts of weight than the other legs when a leg lifted, which put too much weight on one leg causing it to fall over. As a result we shortened the length of each step so the robot was more supported.

We are very grateful for the opportunity that you have given us, we have had a lot of fun and have been able to improve our knowledge of robotics immensely. So thank you very much for the funding and experience.