Let's Make Robots!

Sticky, born to disappear :)

As my 4WD slowly evolves, I wanted to think on my next platform.

One of the form that fascinate me is hexapod robots. They quite always looks organics in their moves and it seems that they can be easier to build than full crazy out of price humanoids ;)

Once more, the final push came from Let’s make robot. To be precise, Chopstick junior’s page.
The author, Lumi, has real good tips and tutorials, always finding nice solutions and allows me to think that any material can be used ;)

So it was: I will create some kind of quadrupod, using balsa wood, polymorph and hotglue!

Let’s call it Sticky! I started to cut some light balsa sticks.

first cut the feet segmentsthis is precise enough

Then came the use of polymorph. It’s a bunch of small grains that you first put in hot water.

polymorph before and begin to melt

After a little moment, it became a translucid block.

polymorph ready to mold

I just had to mold around sticks to create what I could call tibia for the robot. Polymorph can be modeled again and again: just put it back in hot water.

feet ready (will be improved)

Of course, I will have to cut some polymorph to allow Sticky to have nicer feet.

Then, I prepared the plate for the arduino board. Places for the servos were marked.

plan some space for servo

The servos on the platform were fixed using hot glue: quick, strong, fun :)

servo in placeI know, hot glue is devil ;)

Next part were the femur of the quadrupod. Some balsa wood, hot glue to fix servo horns.


Then fix the femur servo on this.

you get the idea ?

Once every pieces of legs assembled, I thought the femur was too long. Balsa wood is a little bit too flexible.

first assembly to have a look

The second issue was that the tibia servo horns were not glued and polymorph was not keeping it under light effort.

nicely printed, but need some glue

So I asked my junior assistant to shorten the femur while I was glueing the tibia horns.

my assistant at work ;)

The result was really better:

new leg size

Unfortunately, I used past all along this post because Sticky had an accident.

One night, with no apparent reason, Sticky decided he had to try thrilling experience: he jumped from the desk. Two femurs were broken, one tibia horn broke the polymorph during the fall.

Am I sad?

You will know it… as soon I have time to create my second robot page :)

PS/ thanks Lumi, thanks a lot.

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When it broke, there were no controller and battery.

At the same time, my wife bring back home a nice amount of paper foam board.

I decided to have a try at this material, which is surprisingly even easier to work than the balsa wood, but stronger.

So, for the moment, Sticky is a bunch of little bit of woods as I get back the servos.

The good news is that all the process has already happen, I'm just very slow to blog/post. I just blogged it here to thanks Lumi, but I first put it on my personnal experiments blog: http://titimoby.heroku.com/

The simple tools/materiel spirit is still there and I will post even unfinished robot very very soon just to show you Lumi.

You can't tell how much your different posts are inspiring to me: it freed me from feeling like "oh no, I can't do that" :)

So thanks a lot, and try to guess what will be my next robot if I tell you it will be named "Gipsy" ;)

I am eager to see Gipsy :-)

Thank YOU to grab that idea to build another robot like the awesome original Chopstick and my little efford Chopstick Junior. At least my time pays out by inspireing others :-) In your blog you refer to your flickr account.Please feel free to add your electronic related photos to my group http://www.flickr.com/groups/electronicgeeksshanghai/

I never add photos to a flickr group but I'll do that with pleasure.

Edit: I don't have such nice photos as yours but I'll post :)

Haha, no worries, there are no girls needed on the photos. It just happened that we had a model shooting where we included robots and electronic :-)

Awesome. Please repair him and shoot a video before he break again :-)

I also had a robot inspired by Chopsticks and Chopsticks Junior. I used Popsicle sticks on my hexapod. The servos weren't powerful enough for the size of legs I used but it sure a lot of fun to build it.

There was something profoundly encouraging to see such cool robots (Chopsticks & C.Jr.) made with such simple materials. I have since reused the servos from my Popsicle stick robot to power a properly designed hexapod. Someone (Paul K.) over on Parallax's forum took pity on me and gave me one of the robot kits he makes (very very cool).

I still intend to make another Popsicle stick robot but I think I'll use larger (and more powerful) servos next time. Polymorph is high on my list of favorite robot building materials.

Thanks for documenting this attempt and I hope to see your next version soon.