Tom Plick's Course Project
My project is a four-legged robot. Each leg is moved by a joint similar to the windshield-wiper mechanism that Dr. Regli presented in the first (?) week of class.
My robot is somewhat reminiscent of a daddy longlegs with only four legs. My original intent was for the robot to walk like a cat, having three legs on the ground at a time; but in its current configuration, that made it just shuffle back and forth. So, I put little rubber feet on the front legs, and they make the robot drag itself forward. I may change that....
Unlike everyone else in the class, I am using K'nex to build my robot. I have more experience with them and I own a bunch of them already, so this appealed to me more than using Legos. K'nex makes battery-powered motors that one can slip on a rod and have it turn like an axle; currently I am powering the robot with a hand crank. Fortunately, my design doesn't seem to need a lot of torque, so I am fairly confident that the electric motor will drive my beast just as well as my index finger has.
Here are some pictures of the robot:
- I made the legs shorter; the robot was liable to fall down, because I was using gray rods that are all bent from a model I made years ago.
- I found a set of K'nex models for LDraw (http://home.ifriendly.com/~fourfarrs/library.zip) and am going to see how to get them into a CAD program.
I had another idea for a robot, and I built this one during the Eagles game on Sunday. (Note to self: it was the one against New Orleans)
I also received my K'nex motors in the mail and put them onto each robot. The second one walks MUCH better than the first. I also managed to build it without any gears, which really helped since I only own four gears, it seems.
Here are pictures of the second robot:
More to come...
I have managed to convert the K'nex LDraw files into DXF format: Media:knex_parts_dxf.zip
You can get the DAT-to-DXF converter at http://www.geocities.com/Eureka/Gold/3269/dat2dxf.html ; a direct link to the download is http://www.ldraw.org/index.php?name=Downloads&req=getit&lid=29
Week 9 (?)
I found a program named gmax that will convert DXF files into DirectX meshes. It requires using a converter though; the instructions are at http://panda3d.org/wiki/index.php/Converting_from_GMax . I am still wrestling with the lighting; the .X files I have made so far look rather blurry. I will keep experimenting with the materials options.
Here are the .X files: Media:knexmeshes13Nov06.zip
(To-do: insert lame Mulder and Scully joke)
I have started the animation of my robot in DirectX. Right now it has just the legs and a dummy axle; I have yet to build the axles. You can try it: Media:TomsRobot.zip
These are the controls for the program: ESC - exit up/down arrow - move closer/back away left/right/page up/page down - rotate insert - go faster delete - go slower