A Pet Robot, Like Boston Dynamics Makes

A few months or so, a new video from Boston Dynamics will make the rounds online. This is their advertising because unless the military starts buying mechanical mules, Boston Dynamics will soon be out of service. You see robots kicked down the stairs, robots go through doors and robots that act like dogs. If a hundred or so skilled and highly educated robotists, technicians and other experts can assemble a walking dog robot in a decade, a person can of course cut through the cruise and build one in the basement. That's what [Misha] does. It's the sweaty wolf, a robot wolf, or dog or cat, we don't really know because there is no fur (or head) yet. But that's interesting.

The key component of a quadruped robot is a high-torque, noisy servomotor. This is not a normal and brushless motor, and for this application nine grams of servos goes into the garbage. This means custom engines, or DizzyMotors. You look at a large brushless motor with a planet gear, all squeezed into something that could really fit into the joint of a robot wolf.

There is a driver for these engines, strangely not called DizzyDriver, which becomes a BLDC for a direct drive servo motor. It is effectively a smart servo that will move to a particular rotation, receive commands over RS-485, and write back the angular position. It also applies to constant torque. Of course there is a video of DizzyMotor and servo driver below.

Building a robot dog walking around the house is one of the most difficult technical challenges out there. You have pretty crazy kinematics, you need to think about the strength of the frame, the control systems, and finally how to fit everything into a compact design. This project hits all the brands and we can't wait to see Dizzy Wolf make a backflip or hunt a ball.

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