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An animal robot, just like Boston Dynamics



Every few months, a new video from Boston Dynamics will make the rounds on the Internet. This is their advertisement, because if the military does not start buying mechanical mules, Boston Dynamics will soon be out of business. You'll see robots kicking down the stairs, robots walking through doors, and robots behaving like dogs. If one hundred highly skilled and highly educated roboticists, technologists, and other experts can put together a Walking Dog robot in a decade, obviously a person can cut the scale and build it in a basement. That does [Misha]. It's the dizzying wolf, a robot wolf, or a dog or a cat that we do not actually know because there's no fur (or head) left. But it is interesting.

The key component of any four-legged robot is a low-noise, high-torque servomotor. This is not a normal brushless motor, and for this application, nine grams of servos go to the trash. This means tailor-made engines or DizzyMotors. You see a big brushless motor with a planetary gearbox, all squeezed into something that could actually fit into the joint of a robotic wolf's leg.

There is a driver for these engines, which is strangely not called DizzyDriver BLDC in a direct drive servo motor. It's practically an intelligent servo that moves to a specific rotation, receives commands through RS-485, and rewrites the angular position. It also applies a constant torque. Of course there is a video below with the Dizzy engine and the servo driver.

Building a robot dog that will roam the house is one of the toughest technical challenges there is. They have a pretty crazy kinematics, they have to think about the strength of the frame, the control systems and possibly how everything can be accommodated in a compact design. This project hits all tracks, and we can not wait for the Dizzy Wolf to do a backflip or chase a ball.


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