Developing a Quadrupedal Walk Gait for NoodleFeet

So……

::bites bottom lip:: I’ve been putting off this branch of development on my quadruped for a while; like… two years. If I have a resolution for 2018, it’s that I get my child moving like he aught to… and learn whatever fancy-shmancy code-doing is required to pull this off.

The last time I seriously did a meditation on NoodleFeet’s walking abilities was in 2015 (the year he was born). It yielded some results, but only made apparent his mechanical flaws and limitations due to his overall design.

HARDWARE IMPROVMENTS:

I’ve made tiny strides here and there over the past two years, improving his body where it was necessary to facilitate in the walking. He’s received stronger aluminum leg bones, high torque metal gear servo motors, more accurate hip gears with a higher tooth count, and squishy silicon tips for his feet that conform to the surface he stands on in order to improve traction and stability. As a machine, he is everything he can be at this phase of development.

Now that walking isn’t constrained by any hardware issues, my problem is developing software.

SOFTWARE IMPROVEMENTS:

I don’t code. lol

I mean… I do…. but in the same sense that a toddler draws on the wall with ketchup to make art. So, while I enter this second wave of development regarding noodle’s walking, I welcome all advice, feedback, help, and criticism along the way. Please shout at me via twitter @spetku ! …or here on hackaday.io of course.

HERE ARE THE PARAMETERS  FOR THE CHALLENGE: 

Noodle is a quadruped. I know, six or eight or ten legs is more stable than four, BUT Noodle has four legs and I don’t plan on changing this. <3

He is top heavy. The bulk of Noodle’s weight is in his head… =/

His center of gravity is high. Noodle also happen to carry all of this head weight high above the ground.

Each leg has two ranges of motion. There is a motor that pulls a tendon straight up, allowing the leg to lift- and there is a motor in the hip which rotates the femur in a socket, allowing the leg to twist.

I’m writing my code in Arduino. I don’t know how limiting this is right now, but I’ll need to made due with what I’ve got.

I’m not good at math. I’m assuming some part of this is going to involve writing some function or formula in my code that dictates pace, or rate, or how two legs move in relation to one another… and I’m not going to understand how to leverage the needed math to my advantage. If there is anything I’m not, it’s a math beast.

HERE IS WHERE I’M AT:

With all of this being said… Here is my Noodle Walk-Gait code on GitHub. Be nice.

If anyone wants to take on the walking challenge based on the information I’ve provided, I welcome you to. If you go so far as to develop a few lines of code that dictate a step or two, I will test it out on Noodle during one of my streams, so that everyone can see how it works (and of course I will give you credit for the effort).

Where I Left Off…

 

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