Robotics

Dr. Guero's back with another robot balancing act

Dr. Guero's back with another ...
Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on nail-like stilts on a park bench
Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on nail-like stilts on a park bench
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Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on its stilts on the ground outside
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Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on its stilts on the ground outside
Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on the neck of a guitar
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Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on the neck of a guitar
Close up: Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on a guitar
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Close up: Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on a guitar
Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on stilts on a 45 degree slope
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Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on stilts on a 45 degree slope
Close up: Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on stilts on a 45 degree slope
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Close up: Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on stilts on a 45 degree slope
Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on stilts on a tree branch
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Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on stilts on a tree branch
Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on stilts on grass
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Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on stilts on grass
Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on nail-like stilts on a park bench
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Dr. Guero's hobby robot kit balances on nail-like stilts on a park bench
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When it comes to the diminutive robot kits you find at hobby stores, most have what can only be described as a primitive sense of balance. If, however, you happen to be an expert roboticist like Dr. Guero (aka Masahiko Yamaguchi), then it's surprising how much can be squeezed out of these pet projects with the right programming. His latest trick is to have his robot balance on a pair of nail-like stilts, which you can see it do after the break.

The robot, a modified Kondo KHR-3HV kit (which sells for around US$1,829) is equipped with a simple gyro sensor and accelerometer that relay data to a controller that then makes slight adjustments to the position of its arms and legs to maintain its equilibrium. The balance control algorithm is robust enough to handle slopes up to 45 degrees, but it only works when standing still on an unmoving base.

In a quirky demonstration that pushes the boundaries of what's possible with (relatively) inexpensive hobby kits, Dr. Guero placed it up in a tree, on uneven ground, and various other stable surfaces, as seen in the video below.

Previously he took a Kondo KHR-3HV robot kit and programmed it to ride a miniature bicycle, and balance on a tightrope with weights.

Source: Dr. Guero's website (Japanese)

竹馬ロボットの実験(Experiments on static stability of the stilts robot.)

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