Desing of Hardware and Low-level Software of a Hexapod Robot

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Dr. Kovácsházy Tamás
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

The hexapod is an insect like structure with six legs, where each leg has three joint points, which gives a total of 18 degrees of freedom. All of the robot's legs have the same shape. Due to the special symmetric design of the hexapod gives the possibility to rely on three legs while keep itself balanced. So it's capable of making relatively complicated and complex kind of movements, but still the robot can easily move to any direction without changing its orientation. The development and the implementation of the robot have been divided into four main parts.

The first chapter describes the steps of the design and construction of the robot structure. I will present the mechanics of the joints, the proper scaling of the frame of its skeleton; give an estimate of the forces, torques acting on the legs. I will present the chosen actuators and materials which are tolerate the loads being occurred.

In the next chapter I describe the electronics of the hexapod, which controls its movement; and the design aspects. I will describe the circuit diagram and the corresponding PCB design. I introduce the functions of each module, and present the completed circuit implantation and testing process.

In the third chapter I present the functions of the embedded operating system running on the robot. The primary task of the program is to adjust the 18 servo motor control signals, read and interpret the sensor data. In addition, it is able to communicate over Bluetooth with the client program, running on a computer, and it can accept controlling commands sent in a simple self-designed protocol.

Finally, I review the computer application that provides graphical user interface for monitoring and driving the hexapod.


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