These Boots is another silly robotics project based off of someone else’s legwork. In its finished form it should be a pair of robots that you can stand in, which propel themselves (and you along with em!) using a number of linkage mechanisms designed to simulate walking.
A walking gait produced by a planar linkage and a motor
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I play too much chess. I took up the game about a year ago and have been studying and playing frequently since, exclusively online. I’d like to get used to playing on a real board, but finding a partner is tough. In a moment of maximum introversion, I decided to build a robotic opponent instead of making friends. The tentative project name is Bot-vinnik, in honor of the only former world champion with an easy-to-pun name.
Twitch is a small RC vehicle. I built is as a study in an unusual drive train, and also as a very expensive toy. The vehicle is quite close to a clone of Shane Colton’s project Twitch Jr., which itself was inspired by a FIRST Robotics team’s bot Twitch. So I guess that makes mine the third generation.
So, beyond being a box with four wheels that moves, what is Twitch?
After graduating at UBC I got the opportunity to teach a course called Measurement and Instrumentation, a core 3rd year course in Mechanical Engineering. The course covered all the steps in getting data from a physical system into a computer: sensor selection, analog signal processing, and readout.
As a lab component I supplied students with a PCB (designed by my lab-mate) that spits out data from a 3-axis accelerometer. Their task was to write a driver in Visual C# that let them read in the data, then use the data to do something cool.
Cancers can metastasize when cells shed from a primary tumor and enter the blood stream. I developed a diagnostic tool to isolate these circulating tumor cells and measure their concentration. The device is a microfilter with actively controllable pore size, allowing the operator to release captured cells for collection downstream. This project was developed as part of my Master’s degree at UBC. I published a paper on the device that you can read here.
In 4th year at Queen’s I built a control system for a double inverted pendulum alongside some of my EngPhys classmates. This is a canonical controls problem, largely because the system is highly unstable and cannot be solved with a PID controller. Since there are three state variables (two joint angles and the position of the base) and only one control input (the force delivered to the base from the motor), you need a more sophisticated controls approach.