MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Hexapod Robots

MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby Zenta » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:12 am

Hi,

I thought I should share my latest project on Matt's forum too. ;)

This is a project I've been thinking on for a very long time. Shortly explained this is a sphere shaped hexapod that I plan to give the following features:

    Roll freely like a ball
    Have different sort of locomotion for moving in any direction
    Variable inner-body dimensions
    Transform from a sphere shape into a hexapod and vice versa
    Walk like a hexapod

Before I started to make any exact sketches or started building anything, I shared my ideas with my friend Jeroen Janssen (Xan). We talked about this project when I visited him in Netherlands this summer. At first I was thinking of using a fixed sized inner body with 6 x 4 DOF legs, similar to what I used for the T-Hex hexapod. Another problem was finding a sphere shaped material that I could use. Jeroen and I went to a local toy-shop and I just asked him to look for ball-shaped object. After a little while Jeroen had found a globe! At that moment I got the feeling that using a globe could actually work. After a few months and some searching in different book and toy-shop’s I found a 28cm in diameter globe from Toysrus. It was also cheap and the plastic material seemed to be relative solid (about 3mm thick).

I’m cutting out 12 identical sphere parts. Using a simple handsaw and cutting along the lines of the Longitude every 60 deg. The line of equator was made of 1mm thick dark blue plastic band and was very easy to remove, that resulted in a perfect clean edge too! Here are some pictures of the sphere parts:

Image

Image

The map coating was very easy to peel of. The trick was to preheat the surface carefully and then start in one corner and just peel off the whole layer. To the left is the original part. The middle part has the globe/map layer peeled off and the right part is sanded by hand:

Image

As you can see the material is very transparent, I do have some future ideas of mounting several LED’s for some cool lighting effects.

Morphing inner-body:

Image

The principle is very simple. I’m using one digital 5645 servo in the centre of the body, the servo holds two delrin gears.

Image

Image

I’m using 7x of the LPA gear sets from Lynxmotion. One gear with SES holes is mounted to each of the 6 outer body sections.

Image

This construction makes it possible to adjust the body dimension by about x2 using only one servo.

Image

The main reason for making the body like this is to hopefully make some more free space for each leg when the robot are in the walking mode. Even with the increased body size the legs are still going to be highly restricted in free motion caused by the large sphere parts, but I think it will work ;) I've already done some changes to the body section, like replaced the 1,5 mm aluminium parts used on the 6 outer sections to 2mm for more strength and stability. And also some more stuff like an holder for electronics.

Leg design

To make MorpHex being able to curl up into a ball shape, I've decided to go for a little special leg design. Actually, MorpHex is a sort of dual hexapod, where one leg share a common coxa part with two femur and tibia parts.

Image

I'm using standard SES brackets, but pay attention to the ASB 15 v2 bracket that holds the two femur servos. The v2 bracket is just perfect for attaching the ASB-04 coxa bracket.

Image

5990's are used for the femur and 5645's for the tibia and coxa. Notice that the 5990 wires are guided through the 8 mm bearing/SES hole between the ASB-15 v2, LPA lexan spacer and the ASB-04 coxa bracket.


Body modifications

I've replaced the outer body parts from 1,5 mm to 2 mm thick aluminium, mainly for increased strength and stability (less flexing):

Image

Making sure that every gear is aligned correctly was the hardest part when assembling the body section. I solved it by carefully placing one gear at the time and mark the 4 SES holes on each outer bodysection, remove the section, drill the holes and mount the section onto the inner body section again. Repeated this process for all the 6 sections.

Image

Instead of using 3mm steel hex screws for holding the 12 ball-bearings onto the inner body I'm using 3mm threaded rods. The rods make it much easier for mounting a holder for battery and electronics.

Image

All the six legs are finally assembled, next step is to mount them to the body:

Image


MorpHex, taking form

I know it looks kinda messy right now, but I do have plan, :lol: . This picture show all legs mounted to the body and the upper part have their legs curled up into the ball shape position.

Image

Another picture illustrate MorpHex in the walk mode position:

Image

I've fixed some sphere parts with velcro just for giving you a little hint of how MorpHex are going to look like with all the sphere parts mounted:

Image

Image

Image

Image

I might have to modify the feet a little bit (using smaller end caps and modify the ends of the tubes) so that they can be aligned even closer in the curled position. But these pictures illustrate how it's going to look like at the end:

Image

Just for visualization:

Image

This is one of my favorite pictures, it kinda remind me of the unfinished Death Star from Star Wars, 8) :

Image

There are still a lot of work left but I'll try to keep you posted.

-Zenta
Zenta
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:23 pm

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby Matt Denton » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:54 am

Nice work Zenta, Isn't Johnny Pool doing a similar sphere hexapod? I don't think his changes size though. Your aluminum parts look like they have been barrel finished, correct?

Indeed two sphere hexapods in the making :): http://www.hexapodrobot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=507
Matt Denton
AKA: Winchy_Matt

micromagic systems ltd
Matt Denton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 9:15 pm
Location: Winchester UK

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby innerbreed » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:06 am

yes we both came up with the same idea, and without each other knowing too. same brain waves and xan put it. lol

anyway zenta has created a very cool sphere project.
i think he actually started his project before i started posting mine.

i wont be continuing my sphere, and its not because of zentas, so dont feel bad zenta, its just i haven't the resources to continue.
innerbreed
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:43 pm
Location: Cambridge UK

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby Zenta » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:15 pm

Hi,

Sorry for not posting enough info in this forum. But I've done some changes to Morphex lately. For reducing total weight I'm using simple 3 DOF legs not the double femur/tibias. Instead I plan to mount 6 servos on the top deck for manipulating the six upper half spheres. I still have the same goals that I posted in the first post. Just reducing it from 31 to 25 servos, saves weight. ;) I'm using a single ARC-32 board only.

Anyway, here is a video that demonstrate how the morphing part (variable body size) work.




Much more work left, so far so good..
Next step is to work on the code for the sphere part and do more work on the hardware.

-Zenta
Zenta
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:23 pm

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby TemplarGFX » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:36 am

This is a very impressive robot you are designing. What do you plan to have the final sphere sections made from?
Hexapod Pet Project
Vision Based Object Avoidance with Roborealm
TemplarGFX
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:32 am

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby Zenta » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:57 pm

Thanks! I do plan to use the globe parts as a sphere.
Zenta
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:23 pm

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby TemplarGFX » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:02 am

now for a really tricky question :lol:

How do you plan on getting it to roll!?
Hexapod Pet Project
Vision Based Object Avoidance with Roborealm
TemplarGFX
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:32 am

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby innerbreed » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:36 pm

To accomplish a roll would be a challenge. I think Kåre has already done most of the tricky work here. i understand the problems with making a hex morphing sphere at first hand, having almost completed builting one my self.

Kåre has done wonders with his design and im not sure there would be room for a weight shifting mech. That is, if that would be ones choice of control.

great work kåre.
innerbreed
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:43 pm
Location: Cambridge UK

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby Zenta » Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:44 pm

TemplarGFX wrote:now for a really tricky question :lol:

How do you plan on getting it to roll!?


Like Innerbreed said there are no room for internal cog shifting. After all this is a hexapod that can transform into a ball shape. So to make it roll by itself it need to manipulate the legs/sphere-sections. I've not come that far in the process yet. I do plan to add an IMU for getting the exact orientation of the ball/sphere and using these data in the roll process.

You see, one of my goals was to make something similar to a Bakugan because my kids love to play with them. I've told my kids that I'm making a big an real Bakugan that can walk! :lol:
Zenta
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:23 pm

Re: MorpHex, a sphere formed morphing hexapod

Postby TemplarGFX » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:50 am

If the Sphere parts are attached to the Femur sections rather than the Tibia sections you could use angle changes on the Tibia servers to shift the centre of gravity to make it roll in any direction you like. Put the Tibias flush with the sphere at the point on the sphere you want it to roll towards, and the Tibias on the opposite side point in towards the centre of the sphere. it should be enough of a shifting in weight to cause it roll providing your Sphere sections are solid.
Hexapod Pet Project
Vision Based Object Avoidance with Roborealm
TemplarGFX
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:32 am

Next

Return to Hexapods

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron