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Hive13 Project
Status: Completed
Start Date: 1/9/2013

Mike's project to build a quad bot.

CalvinBotRoboLeg.jpg Qalvinpic1.jpg

Calvinbot is my project to build a quadroped robot. Eventually the goal is to compete in the Robogames Mech Warfare competition.

Calvinbot's design is based on Dynamixel digital servos, with the Arbotix (Arduino-derivative) microcontroller as the "brain." It will communicate via Xbee radio to a laptop using the BioloidController and PyPose code: [1]

I'm fairly new to programming and robotics--so this is an opportunity to learn as I go!

Update 2/1/13: Assembled all 4 of the robot legs with Tiffany's help. Have done some desigining of body plates in Inventor and will be laser cutting soon! Here's the current design:

Calvinbot 3.jpg

Update 3/4/13: Calvinbot is assembled and code loaded! Here is a video of some first steps: Currently the robot is recieving commands from the laptop via "test drive" mode in the Pypose software. Still lots of work to do to improve the gait and put together some of my own control code. Also, thinking of shortening it to Qalvin (Questionable Acronym aLlowing Virtually Indiscriminate Naming...)

Update 10/24/13: I have neglected updating this page in awhile--but there's been progress! Calvinbot/Qalvin has a rotating, tilting turret, and a functioning airsoft gun. Still need to get power to the webcam and work more on software. Here's a few Youtube videos: [2] [3]

Update 7/31/14: Qalvin had been collecting dust for a few months, but I recently did a bit of work! Added ceramic capacitors to the airsoft motor, which seems to have solved the weird glitches I was getting while firing. It seems that the noisiness of the airsoft motor was actually communicating back through the relay coils to the arbotix. Also put in the step-down voltage regulator, so I finally have power to the camera! Qalvin also got to visit the Contemporary Arts Center downtown. Airsoft was temporarily replaced by a hastily rigged up sharpie marker. Pic below.

Qalvin drawing.jpg

Parts of Qalvin:

Dynamixel AX-12A digital servos from Robotis

Various brackets and connectors from Robotis

Lithium battery (Robotis)

Arbotix microcontroller


Battery-powered Airsoft gun

Wireless IP camera (D-link)

Voltage regulator for camera

Laser-cut ABS leg pieces

Laser-cut ABS central frame pieces

Laser-cut gun and camera turret

Sparkfun beefcake relay for airsoft control

Wish list:

Mech warfare pressure-sensitive plates

Progress Made

Installed necessary programs and libraries: Arduino environment, BioloidController, Pypose, Pymech, Python, NUKE, etc..

Successful communication established: laptop-->XBEE-->XBEE-->Arbotix-->turn a servo

Leg design completed in Inventor

4legs assembled

Body plate design completed in inventor (2/1/13)

Body laser cut, assembled, and robot is up and walking with Pypose/Nuke (3/4/13)

Modified "test drive" component of Pypose as a stand-alone program to control robot

Designed, cut, and assembled gun and camera turret

Wired up relay board to control gun firing

Added capacitors to airsoft motor

Wired up voltage regulator to power the camera (7/29/14)

Partial To-do list

Write some code for autonomous movement

Learn more Python/Pygame so I can write my own control program!