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Rene, the Bug

In 2005 I took part in a Circuit Cellar competition that was sponsored by Renesas.
We were given kits for evaluating Renesas' microcontrollers and I decided to develop a control for - once again - a hexapod.
This time around I wanted to built a robot with six independantly controlled legs and two servos on each leg.

The kit.

[Rene Top view]


The chassis

[Rene Chassis]

The chassis was made of an aluminum sheet which was supported by a aluminum frame. On the chassis there were to battery cases for a total of 8 type AAA batteries. On the upperside You can see the 6 servos which are supposed to be doing the back and forth movement of the legs. Fixed to them are the servos for lifting the legs.

The whole contraption was pretty heavy (a little above 1 kg) which meant that the batteries were drained pretty fast.

The control board

[Rene control board]

Since I did not want to attach the Renesas kit to my 'Bot permanently, I developed an additional control board which can be seen in the picture above. The Renesas kit is simply plugged into it.

The board is attched to the 'Bot by velcro tape and can thereby be removed easily for changing batteries.

There was not much function implemented, apart from walking. What I did have were two LDRs which were used for detecting the direction of maximum light. And of course I used the display that came along with the kit to display messages.

When I programmed the 'Bot my abilities in 'C' were even less pronounced :) than today. Despite the fact that the resolution of my servo routines was not really impressive I was quite proud of my work. Today, of course, I would do it all differently.

[Final view]

Still, I won a prize for 'Distinctive Excellency' which to the day I find rather flattering ;)

[Rene CC award]

Some little videos of Rene being built and finally being operatic.

Rene - leg studies - first steps on the floor - in the rough