Author

Vasu Rabaib

Date of Award

2016

First Advisor

Michael Bergman

Second Advisor

Eric Kramer

Abstract

This thesis presents the design process, control method, and analysis of a wirelessly controlled cost effective hexapod, a six-legged insect robot. This project was completed during my time in the Columbia University 3-2 engineering program, as part of a team under the supervision of Professor Fred Stolfi, and teaching assistants Brian Jones and Michael Fernandez. For the duration of the two-semester long project, I was mainly responsible for project management, electronic interfacing, and influencing the design concept throughout its iterations. Because the robot prototype was a collaborative effort made by all team members, their work will also be discussed. With a vast amount of off-the-shelf components, free material in the Mechanical Engineering lab, and a generous budget to create the hexapod, critical choices were made in all stages of the design. Such decisions are the basis for engineering a product. For the hexapod specifically, faculty recommendations, efficiency assessments of parts such as microcontrollers, motors, and batteries, and knowledge of physics, mechanics, and material science were key aspects of the project. Combined with three-dimensional mechanical concepts and layout designs, the robot was easily visualized. More importantly, tests were performed on those 3D parts to determine their structural rigidity. Post fabrication wise, several mechanical and programming issues occurred. Though the issues were resolved, the hexapod still has room for improvement.

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