For this project I initially wanted to make a robot that does the Woah, a new dance move that’s been all over Twitter these past few weeks. I drew out the arm motions and quickly realized that I’d actually need at least 2 servos going 360* and another servo to move both arms side to side, and so it wasn’t going to happen.
My second thought was to make an old lady with a walker. The idea came from using something similar to skis to grip the floor and bring the object forward.
The robot was going to be constructed from two servos, which I later placed together at the top of the walker rather than the bottom legs, popsicle sticks for the walker, pom pom tennis balls on the bottom of the sticks for added height and stability, and a little lady made of light weight materials like pipecleaners.
As previously mentioned, I decided to connect the servos together so that they would be at equal height on the legs instead of trying to measure them later. This would also be more stable on the front of the walker, keeping the robot from falling down. I added popsicle sticks to the servo propellers to act as the front legs of the walker.
It was at this point that I realized it wouldn’t walk like a walker, but instead the walker would walk and the old lady would follow behind. I decided that this walker would now be intended to drag the person behind while they wear slippers, kind of like when a rollerskater grips on to a moving car.
I added a second leg, then connected 2 short popsicle sticks perpendicularly, and another 2 for the second set of legs.
This immediately fell over. So I connected the back legs, hoping that would make the robot more stable, but that fell over too. But here is my prototype. The legs move 45* and one after another, the servos are the front legs to move the walker and also support it upright, and the back end is static.
This time when I redrew my design, I was a little more detailed about the construction.
I changed the code so the servos would move simultaneously, and to different positions with a shorter delay. I added a third set of legs, so that the walker would be box shaped and that the servo legs would left and drag the walker forward, pulling the woman behind it. I made the servos faster because I thought that would be helpful given the additional weight of the old lady. And I added in the necessary slippers.
Here’s the robot dragging itself along, and the successful code.
and my final pom pom bot!
It’s a lot more stable, which was my main goal after the first prototype! It doesn’t fall over, and is successfully able to wobble itself from point A to point B, although not necessarily in the straightest line (I think that has to do with the wires connecting it to the arduino.
I think the design process was pretty typical. I haven’t felt the need to draw a second design in the past, but since I did this over the course of two days it didn’t feel unusual to start the second day with a different design. I think if it had been different materials I might have completely scrapped the first design without thinking. But I’m not sure how much servos cost, and really the servos were going to be the same in the second one anyway so I’m glad I was able to just add onto the first prototype and fix it’s shortcomings.
In case the videos aren’t showing up, here’s the final product: