At some point last month, before I received any of the manufactured parts, I became tired of building the robot only as a CAD model, and wanted to make some physically tangible progress.

So I disassembled completely the Bioloid humanoid, and started assembling the Dynamixel part of the legs. The two plastic plates in the middle of the leg proved to be too flexible, so I replaced them with a 3mm aluminum part. I also took this opportunity to correct the alignment of the third servo axis, so that it intersects with the axes of the first two servo in a single point.

But that was not enough for my thirst of physical manifestation, so I built a prototype of the body, using black and white 2mm styrene sheets. It works as a prototype, but I would not even try to have it walk with such a flexible body.

I later replaced the bottom plate by a more rigid 3mm medium one.


Wiring still needs a little work, but I like where it's going :)

Having the things in my hands made me see how big it will be, and how I could improve a few things. For example, I adjusted the distance between the front legs so that the Beagleboard fits snugly with my shortened RS-232 connector plugged in.

I also added the CMUcam3 as a giant color detector, watching the ground. It will be in charge of looking at the grid to provide absolute positioning information every time the robot crosses a line, and also will be used to dock nicely on the playing element the robot wants to move. The idea is to have an easy alternative if I can't get a reliable positioning system using only the Neato LDS lidar, as it won't be parallel to the ground most of the time! Communication between this camera and the Beagleboard will use the shortened RS-232 showed above.