by agweber, published

RodentBot by agweber Mar 21, 2013
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Update 3/22/13 - Still working on this. The contest had me really rushing things, trying to condense things, make things smaller, and fit it all onto one build platform/print. Now I feel free and can start uploading parts of the robot that can be printed separately.

Ever watch your hamster or gerbil running in its wheel, wondering if it's imaging that it's traveling to the exotic reaches of the Earth? Well, now it can! Using this creation you can allow your rodent to transform that rotational energy into a walking robot that uses Theo Jansen's miraculous leg linkage!

All parts were made specifically for this project, not imported, but some things such as the pins will likely be turned into public customizable libraries for others to use after this project is finished.

This project is close to being finished but not quite. Some parts still need finished (wheel to legs assembly) and the gears need printed and tested. The linkage and pins have been printed and work together creating a nice smooth motion. I imagine the wheel itself would be just fine.

I have been a really big fan of 3D printing as of late and have been getting into OpenSCAD modeling. I don't have my own 3D printer but I do have access to a couple hours a week from a local club. My development of shared libraries could really use some personal testing and winning this contest would allow me to create many more things for the public good!

Still working on generating the STL! I'll unlabel this as a WIP when finished and printable!


Running into issues creating an openscad preview of the assembly. Linkages, body, gears, all will likely change over the next few days as I work on this

  1. Try out a set of legs. Print two copies of the leg.stl and one bodyAndThreeGears.stl
  2. Put the legs together. Each of the linkages have a number of dots on them to identify. You can use the picture of the legs put together to figure out what goes where.
  3. Attach the gears to the body. Looking at the body longways it has 5 pegs on it, the gears will go on the middle three. (Center gear hole!) Keep the outer two gear's holes aligned at the same angle.
  4. Attach the legs to either side of the body. Where link three and four go together will go into the outer hole of the outer two gears. The last pin of the body will go into the 'hip' which is the right-triangle looking piece, at the larger angle'd hole.
  5. Now you have a working pair of legs! You can hold the body parallel to the ground and use your finger to spin the middle gear and both legs should make a walking motion!
    //----- If you're working on printing this, I'd stop here and wait for me to catch up with the rest of the robot. I have to figure out how to attach the body's to the wheel itself right now. ------//
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 three more times to make a total of eight legs.
  7. To be continued.

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could you upload a file of just the body piece?

for some reason the pins on the bars do not print, my printer goes up 2cm on the z axis, then just starts spraying plastic all over the top, it dosent print the snaps? please help!

That's tough. Are you trying to print the individual links? I haven't had any trouble printing those but I imagine some printers will have trouble with the small horizontal overhang. If you give me a few days I'll see if I can't just update the pins with an upslope to the overhang part.

thanks but i'm just going to install some bolts as the joints because it printed holes where the pins should be , but i have a state competition on wednesday so i'm in a rush to finish everything, so far your linkage has been a lifesaver, and btw i'm printing out the leg as a whole not each individual parts

Oh, just all of the links together on the same build? Yeah, I had planned on eventually getting that together. Out of curiousity, what are you using the linkages for? I haven't gotten anywhere as far as joining these legs to a wheel yet. I'd love to see some pics!

wait i don't think that post went though

well im making a servo controlled walking dragon, it has to be entertainment themed so we chose the chinese dragon festival to base the bot off of, were having 2 sets if legs on each side of the bot, i will send you some picks when it is finished! and ill let you know how we placed in the competition, and what do you mean all the links together on the same build?

You said "btw i'm printing out the leg as a whole not each individual parts" and I'm unsure as to what this means if it's not using all of the links on the same build plate as I have in leg.stl

ok well the file i am printing off of here is called leg_thumb_small? and i'm sure my printer can handle this, it has handled many more complicated parts. out of curiosity is your community printer powder or extrusion?

Extrusion; Replicator 1, 1.75 PLA

ahh ok, and could you upload the file of just the body by itself?

Could we take this conversation out of thingiverse? Send me an email at [email protected]

Perhaps a picture of the assembled robot?

I'm still working on it. I've added a picture of an assembled leg and once I get access to the community 3D printer again I'll get a picture of the full leg assembly. After that's done I'll get the wheel and its attachments to the body.

An openscad pic would be fine as well.