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A micro quadruped with Arduino Uno
Arduino-powered quadrupedal robots are fairly common designs for hobbyists to build once they’ve gotten a little more comfortable with embedded systems. A problem with many of the pre-designed quad platforms is that they take a long time to assemble due to their large size. This is what inspired Technovation to create their own quadrupedal micro robot, which only takes a fraction of the normal amount of material and hours to build.
The robot is based on a central chassis that houses the Arduino Uno and a sensor shield, which provide power and signaling to the motors. Below this hardware stack are 12 servo motors that can rotate sideways and act as hip joints. Finally, each leg is made up of two servos to allow for forward movement.
In order for the Arduino to translate a desired direction into discrete positions for the servomotors, Technovation had to implement some kinematic equations within the robot firmware. These consist of motion functions, which create gaits by specifying where and when each leg should move. Several parameters, including speed, leg length, and even the motion paths themselves, can be tweaked or expanded to add more functionality.