We would like to introduce you to our newest robot. Her name is Alumini, which is pronounced Ah-lu-min-ee. She’s a 12-legged walking creature. She’s made out of machined aluminum components designed to be like vertebrae and bones in keeping with the idea that is a creature not just a machine. Our goal was to create a little beastie without any visible wires or electronics (other than her sonar eyes). She does not have a central thorax. We wanted her to look like she was all legs. This meant we needed to use very small electronic parts and we had to do some very tricky wiring. The soldering on this project proved to be quite a challenge, but we were happy with the end results. Alumini is ten inches wide and consists of over 500 parts. Like her much larger 16-legged predecessor, Aluminalis, she uses gear motors to drive two crankshafts, one for each side. Alumini uses a tiny Arduino Pro Mini 328 microcontroller. She can operate via remote control (using an on-board xbee radio) or autonomously using her sonar eyes. Our Alumini and Aluminalis robots were inspired by Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests sculptures.
- The Arduino Pro Mini 328 microcontroller, 1A Dual Motor Driver, Xbee Regulated Board, and other electronics were purchased from Sparkfun.
- The spur gears are from Actobotics.
- The 73:1 20Dx42L Metal Gear Motors were purchased from Pololu.
- The raw aluminum, shaft collars, 1/8″ steel shaft, and other components were purchased from McMaster-Carr.
- Special thanks to Dix Metals for their assistance on this project.