A few days ago I got the great news from the Boca Bearings company that my contest entry won their grand prize! More information about the contest results can be found here. I do feel very honored for getting a prize like this. I'm also very humble thinking of all the other great projects that was submitted to contest. One of my favorite projects was the human powered helicopter, a very impressive achievement indeed.
As you may have noticed I've not had much time for updating my blog lately, its mostly caused by little free time. When it comes to the MorpHex project I've done some progress on the next version of MorpHex, called MorpHex MK2. Or maybe I should call it Mark 3.. You see, I've had a few setbacks lately. I earlier mentioned that I would try to go for a fully symmetric version and using a completely different leg design. I did some progress on that attempt, but after a while I realized that it wouldn't work under one critical condition; transforming from ball to hex. Here is a rather low quality picture of a very different coxa with dual femurs I made under this attempt:
After a lot of thinking I came to a decision of going for an asymmetric design again. To be honest I don't think a symmetric version of MorpHex would be very appealing. You see, a symmetric design mean that the upper and lower leg sections share the same coxa servo. So when walking the upper sections always need to follow the lower legs. An asymmetric design where the upper section can keep the half sphere shape is something I really liked with the first version. So this time the I'm going for an upper section with 2 DOF. I do hope this will work better.
So far I'm still working on assembling the lower leg sections. I'm using a slightly different coxa design (don't have any pictures ready for that yet) and a tibia bracket that are going to make the sphere sections much stronger. A picture of some the new brackets here:
There are still a lot of work left when it comes to hardware assembling, calibration and programming.
Again, I want to thank Boca Bearing for the very generous prize! Hopefully many more robots come in the future.
-Zenta, "Having fun with robots".