10. The Hardest Part – Building the Spider
Hey everyone, so my project was the robotic spider controlled via the wiichuck and (for me) the hardest part about this assignment was how to actually build the spider. I did a lot of research as to what was the easiest and strongest build for it. Initially, I wanted to work off this design. However, when I prototyped a leg in this design with balsa wood, I found it difficult to attach a metal wire to the servo arm and get enough control and accuracy to operate the leg.
I did some more research and found the hexapod robot, it also appeared in many youtube videos. I ended up designing my robot largely off of this design… the only major change I incorporated was downsizing the legs from 3 servos to 2 servos on each (as the arduino only has 12 digital outputs). Although the hexapod robot is documented, there is no exact specification of what dimensions each part is since they were selling a kit. I didn’t want to buy the kit, partially because I couldn’t use 18 servos, but mostly because I thought it’d be fun to make it myself.
Because of this I did a lot of measurements and planning, and made a prototype out of wood. I drew up a design in Illustrator and had it laser cut on acrylic plastic. To my surprise, all of my laser cut pieces matched perfectly to what I wanted. If I had to do it again, I would make some slight changes in my shapes, but nothing too major.
For specific step by step instructions as to how to make the robot, look for my instructable that I will (hopefully) post shortly. Attached are some images of my robot and the process in making it.