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Chapter 7. Project 1: Coat Hanger Walker > Building the Walker Body

Building the Walker Body

The body for our Coat Hanger Walker is basically the motor casing for the servo motor itself. The control circuit goes on top (actually, the servo is flipped upside down, so it’s technically the bottom of the motor), the two AAA battery packs go on the sides, and the on/off switch gets attached to the back. The motor is oriented so that the drive shaft protrudes from the bottom, delivering power to two sets of gear/legs, one set for the front two legs, and one set for the back. The ingenuity of this design is that four legs are controlled, and that a single motor can achieve a reasonable walking gait. As we discussed in Chapter 4, walking technology is usually hard. The simplest walkers usually have at least two motors and two control circuits (one “master” circuit and one “slaved” to that). Jérôme Demers’s design is a study in engineered minimalism. This walking machine doesn’t have the most elegant gait in the robot kingdom, but it does work, and it shows the kind of insect-like movement and persistence that’s the hallmark of biologically inspired robots.

Note

Breadboards are sometimes horizontally oriented (in other words, the power buses run along the top and bottom), and other times, they’re vertically oriented. In our examples in this book, the breadboard is always horizontal. The functionality is the same with both types of boards.



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