BUGaTRON

built by Mike Otis

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Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors 4 Legs
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
proximity detector 2 servos
2 sound generators
LEDs
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
BASIC Stamp None
Programming Lanuage Weight
BASIC over a pound
Time to build Cost to build
in a few weekends under $200
URL for more information
N/A
Comments
BUGaTRON is my first personal robot to demonstrate walking motion control using an autonomous embedded microprocessor system.

Constructed entirely of spare parts, this 4-legged walking machine is driven by a miniature computer and two servos. The bug has a talking speech synthesizer, two sound effects generators, proximity detector, LEDs, a tiny motion control system and a homebuilt breadboard for experiments.

The computer brain was hand assembled from a Parallax OEM Basic Stamp kit and soldered onto a bare stock BS1 carrier board. The pcb was converted into a solderless breadboard by adding twelve connector strip arrays. These act as socket contacts for point-to-point wires. Using the solderless breadboard technique, many robot circuit configurations are built and tested in a short period of time.

Legs, made from wire coat hangers (formed to facilitate the best walking gait), attach to servo horns using paper clips. Front legs span 8-inches laterally, and angle to raise and tilt the bug body plane. Rear legs, with 7-inch span, help propel the bug forwards or backwards.

The bug face that holds the BS2 computer and miniature breadboard is made from a metal box cover and salvaged Furby plastic face plate - the latter acts as a mounting platform for a 3/4-inch speaker, detector, and transducer feed-through point. It gives it a very effective buggy-looking face!

The head, thorax, and abdomen are made from surplus Radio Shack black plastic project boxes. Using the same screws, the metal cover was moved over to the box edge, extending the area. Boxes are joined together using metal covers, which assist in angling the bug body, conducive to the correct walking gait. One servo mounts in the rear box and one in the front box.

PBASIC code drives both servos in walking fashion. The peizo element is programmed to signal walking cycle completion. It helps calibrate walking motion and is code retained as a juncture of bug communication.

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