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Loki   by David Buckley December 2002
  • Loki Log
  • Loki technical information in A Minimalist Approach to Biped Walking Robots
  • Loki software
  • Loki18.bse, 2002 - 2013
  • Loki18_Cereb.bse, 2002 - 2013
  • LokiCerebP28X2-1.bas, 2002 - 2013
  • LokiIRcmnderP08m2-2.bas, 2002 - 2013
  • LokiActorP08m2.bas, 2002 - 2013
  • LokiDesign1.jpg
  • LokiDesign2.jpg, - Loki plan squares are 5mm.
  • Loki is the first of the Aesir series of Biped Robots each using four servos, two servos per leg. These explore the abilities of the different geometries obtainable using just two servos per leg and hence just two degrees of freedom per leg.

    The robots are much squatter than those previously built such as BigFoot and Ambler but, because of the extra two servos, have far greater agility.

    The goals of the Aesir project were for them to be able to play with a ball and collect bricks.

    Loki was designed in December 2002 and was inspired by David Steadman's Sted-e-Man.

    (The Aesir are a group of Norse gods.)

    Loki operation

    One consequence of the design is that because Loki does not use weight shifting the ankle servos need to be more powerful than the servos used in BigFoot and Ambler.

    Loki originally was able to self-right and stand-up unaided from all positions except directly upside down. The addition of roll bars on the head so Loki automatically rolled from being upside down would have prevented that exception. However to enable Loki to step and turn more easily the toes were shortened and now Loki is not able to self-right.

    Unexpected abilities - After Loki was built I was using a remote pot. connected to the Stamp to investigating the servo pulse values for various leg positions and discovered that Loki can walk sideways! I can't imagine ever discovering this in a CAD or modelling package.

    Loki in various poses

    Loki Electronics

    Loki uses a Parallax Stamp BS2 as its controller (the photos show an OEM version).
    Servo power is supplied by four AA cells while a 9v PP3 powers the BS2.

    Loki Mechanics

    Loki is 16 centimetres high by 17 centimetres wide by 13 centimetres front to back and weighs 620 grams including batteries
    (6.25" x 6.75" x 5.25", 22.5oz)
    Each leg at the hip is pivoted around a vertical axis while the foot is pivoted about an horizontal fore and aft axis.
    The distance between the ankle pivots is 130mm and so to lift one foot off the ground the torque required is:
    620/1000*13/2=4.03Kgcm
    A standard size Supertec S03 servo has a rated torque of 3.4Kgcm at 4.8volts
    A standard size Supertec S06/2BB servo has a rated torque of 7.2Kgcm at 4.8volts
    Loki uses standard size Supertec S03 servos at the hips and the higher torque Supertec S06 servos at the ankles.
    Material is 4mm birch ply.

    The eagle eyed amongst you of course will have noticed that the hip servos are Hitec HS-615MG!
    I intended to use the Supertec servos but just happened to have lying around two old HS-615MGs which are 7.7Kgcm @4.8v.
    However on 20th September 06 one of the 615's electronics failed and I replaced them with S06s.
    The measured rotation of S06s on 5v was 0.8ms/90deg anticlockwise as opposed to the 615's 0.9ms/90deg clockwise.
    (The manufacture's figures on 4.8v are S06 speed 0.33sec/60deg and the 615 0.23/60deg.)
    After installing and updating the program with the new direction and Max Min and Mid servo settings I was surprised that Loki walked much better than before.


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