CAD servo-based robots (Part I)

Lynxmotion SES brackets

Here is a number of various servos, brackets and robot models created using the 3D SketchUp CAD software. SketchUp is an very versatile tool aimed mainly at creating concept images for any design imaginable. By creating a quick concept sketch, you can easily start to visualise the final shape of your design and work on improvements and details. It is particularly useful, but not limited to, areas such as engineering, architecture, interior design, computer hardware etc. Its strong point is its ease-of-use, which enables anyone to design and unfold their imagination with a very natural and effortless flow and is not limited to professional artists/designers. Right from first time you use it and try the tutorials you’ll most certainly love it and won’t trade it in for anything! It’s no surprise it has recently joined forces with Google, offering a free version of the software, Google Sketchup, and its fame continues to rise. Google SketchUp also enable you to share your creations with the rest of the world (3D Warehouse) and even import them into Google Earth.

So with the power of this tool in hand, I thought the best way to familiarise myself with it would be to create a 3D robot model.Lynxmotion, a popular manufacturer of quality hobby robotics hardware, has a very interesting new line of components called the Servo Erector Set, which can be used to construct various types of robots in a way that brings back memories of good old LEGO!

The site provides 3D models of many components but only in Solidworks format, so I thought it would be a challenge to first create the individual components and then use these to build up various existing and custom designs. The servo design was based on a servo I had lying around, and the dimensions of  the SES components were a bit of a guess since I only had pictures to work with and not exact dimensions. However they should be fairly representative of the actual components and give a more or less accurate layout of the constructions. This way you could design a 3D model before creating the actual design in order to get a feeling of the final dimensions and spot any arising design flaws.

The actual SES brackets can be seen here. The final 3D SketchUp models are show below.

209 bipeds

One of the first completed models using the SES components was an attempt at recreating the Lynxmotion 209 Biped. The results can be seen in the pics below. I tried experimenting with different colours which gives each biped a distinct personal touch.

Custom bipeds

I also tried experimenting with a custom torso which could be created out of aluminium or lexan sheets and replace the 209 Torso.

Dynamixel servo

Design of a Dynamixel AX-12 servo by Robotis (AX series).

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