Thingamjig

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The thingamijig is a thingamajig. I mean, if it’s something it has to be something right? Well, ignore the last statement, it’s just the general pointlessness of life spouting up.

Sometime around June this year, Instructables had this call for proposals for a contest sponsored by Intel called the Intel IOT Invitational. You propose an idea in one of the categories stated and if Instructables liked your idea, then they would shower you with a whole load of cool components and an Intel Edison to make your proposal into a reality. So I thought why not? I thought of this elaborate Tachikoma which can walk and roll and do complex walking-rolling combos, basically everything except the jumping and swinging from buildings like a mechanical Spiderman.  Like in this video:

Tachikoma awesomeness

I entered it into the robotics category and then forgot about it for the next two months. I assumed that I wouldn’t get selected cause the idea was too far out. So imagine my surprise when I got an email asking for a delivery address. I hadn’t actually looked at all the parts that I would get, so when I got the bag of goodies, it blew my mind! Until now, I hadn’t actually considered how I would go about making the Tachikoma, I kept putting it off till the parts arrived. After they did arrive, I realized everything, except the Edison, was going to be pointless for this build. Oh the irony!

During brainstorming, I ran through a couple of ideas for the structure after I realized that with the current parts, making a walking robot would be kinda impossible:
1. A pseudo-droideka: A rolling chassis, which moved either using wheels or a set of tracks that circled the whole frame, and legs that held the chassis up when it wanted to walk.
2. A non-tachikoma: A combination of a walker and hollow-framed, heavy-lift quadcopter which can carry the robot, drop it off for a “mission” and then retrieve it when it’s done. This is similar to the Clone dropships from Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
3. A true-ish Tachikoma: 4 legged, two degrees of freedom per leg, and a continuous rotation servo at the foot of each leg to allow it to roll.

For obvious reasons (obvious being yay! I’ll get servos! For some unknown reason, I have an unhealthy fascination with servos), I picked the third one.

To be continued…..

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