L'Hexapod: Servos with status feedback

Previously published

This article was previously published on lhexapod.com as part of my journey of discovery into robotics and embedded assembly programming. A full index of these articles can be found here.

I saw these Dynamixel DX servos mentioned on Trossen Robotics this morning, see here. They’re interesting because they have a richer interface than the normal hobby servos that I’ve been looking at and they provide a multidrop RS485 interface so that you can chain multiple servos together and control them individually via a single line. You can get feedback on the angular position, velocity and torque and also alerts if temperature and voltage deviate from expected (user specified) ranges. I expect that the torque feedback would be useful to help with determining if the foot is in contact with the ground and also should enable you to detect if the leg is being obstructed during movement which should make moving over uneven surfaces easier to program. All of this wonderfulness is not without a price though, these babies are around $200 each…