So here we are, at another project post. This newest project ended up being the biggest one I've done, so I've had to split the write-up into a series of posts. Fortunately, there's no danger of never finishing the series due to lack of time, because both the project and the write-ups were finished weeks ago! This first post will serve as a general overview / table of contents for the rest of the posts.
I built a 6-legged robot with custom electronics and software as a test platform for a variety of concepts including inverse kinematics, heterogeneous processing, LIDAR, and path finding. The robot's name is Myrmidon.
Table of Contents
Post 0: Introduction
You are here.
Post 1: Heterogeneous Hardware
I dive into the hardware and software architecture needed to create a general-purpose hexapod platform. Keeping to open source hardware as much as possible, I set up a series of connected processors to handle the various robotics tasks in parallel.
Post 2: Inverse Kinematics
The hexapod is built and ready to move, but has nothing to do. I step through the process of building a six-legged gait from basic concepts to inverse kinematics.
Post 3: Come on and SLAM
I use a LIDAR unit from a robot vacuum cleaner to allow the hexapod to 'see' its surroundings. I introduce a method for letting the hexapod know its position and trajectory using information about its surroundings.
Post 4: Navigating like A Star
The hexapod can walk and avoid obstacles, now it's time to let it decide where to go. I go over setting goals for the hexapod and how it can figure out the best way to achieve these goals.
Post 5: Race Day (will be posted sometime after June 20)
With a hexapod capable of fully-autonomous locomotion, I enter into the Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition.