Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sleep Deprived Progress...?

In an effort that is part anti-jetlag-preparation, part sheer will, and part robot-obsession, I've managed to stay up all night working on walking gaits for the lightweight RX-24F prototype (yet to be named).

Video update, as promised!

Still a lot of polish needed.

Speaking of Giger...

Here's a quick video I threw together to show off Giger in his latest incarnation, just about ready to compete in Korea:

This is the 5th? revision in the 18 months of his life, if that gives you any idea of just how often I change my mind with this robot.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

IRC 2010 Countdown

So I'm leaving for S. Korea to attend and compete in the International Robot Competition 2010 in a little over 24 hours. The last 3 weeks have been an absolute blur; little or no sleep in a ceaseless effort to get as many robots ready as possible.

Giger, my 6kg EX-106+ humanoid suffered a pretty critical servo comm chip failure 2 weeks ago, resulting in the entire legs having to be rebuilt. I also upgraded his arms to heavier duty servos, so his center of gravity shifted decently and thus I had to redo almost all of his walking gaits from scratch. The one saving grace, is that the Farrell's controller is an absolute godsend to work with, so Giger is ready to be packed up in his Pelican case and rock and roll (and hopefully fair decently in the Kung Fu competitions).

I also have an RX-24F (now RX-28) based Parallel Leg Mechanism humanoid that I had started work on under 2 weeks ago in hopes I'd have it ready in time for the competition. Long story short, I underestimated the holding torque on the RX-24F and had to replace all of the load bearing servos with RX-28s. While waiting for the 28s to show up, I decided to strip down the bot's legs and build a MUCH smaller RX-24F lightweight humanoid. As fate would have it, this one actually worked out better than expected. Just over 24 hours old and it's running around, super quick. See below for initial progress, I'll post more updates as I get the walking gaits tuned in a bit finer.

Starting off

Hey all,

I'm Andrew Alter and I have a pretty cool job working for Trossen Robotics as our head techie/hardware guy/R&D lead/general gearhead. I write for Robot & Servo Mag a decent amount as well as for our company blog, but wanted my own personal blog so I could post various updates on various robots I'm working on and not have to worry about it being in a professional format. I also run Mech Warfare with my friend Mike Ferguson of Vanadium Labs, so you'll probably end up hearing about my misadventures regarding that too. I'll probably repost some of the more interesting projects I've done in the past for reference as well.

Anyway, cheers! Hopefully this venture will prove to be somewhat entertaining for you guys out there reading. As always, if you have questions feel free to comment, email, or IM me. I can always be found lurking my company forums as well @