Matt Bauer, the creator of Rook's Pawn, has earned a lot of visibility and respect in the Robonova-1 humanoid robot community for his creative hardware modification kits - like his best selling robot gripper design - and software like MECH Puppeteer - a very user friendly GUI front end for the Hitec robot.
Today Matt officially took the wraps off a totally new mod kit for the Robonova robot - a dual knee joint kit that gives the robot surprising flexibility, effectively doubles the speed of moves involving the knee, and even enable the robot to do some pretty impressive jumps.
Drawing on his experience at ROBO-ONE 10 in Japan last Fall, Matt decided to follow the example of some of the top competitors and redesign the robots knees to use two servos.
This approach provides significantly increased speed since the knee servos only have to rotate half the angle compared to a single servo design. The downside is that the original motion sequences have to be recreated for the new configuration since the geometry is considerably different.
We figured that Rooks Pawn might be a push over for Mondai-Noid when they come face to face in the ring at RoboGames in San Francisco this June. After watching the moves in the video below, now we're not sure that it's going to be all that easy to defeat Matt and his robot.
Here are some exclusive closeup photos of the new double servo knee configuration taken during the kit development:
Fully collapsed, the servo horn centers are only 0.8 inches apart. Great for sudden defensive combat manuvers, or for doing a robot version of the Limbo.
The new frames were designed to use the Hitec HRS-8498HB or HSR-5498SG servos.
Fully extended, the same servo center to center dimension becomes 5.775 inches.
Here's what it looks like in action: