My first serious foray into research involved a semester-long team project in which we designed and built a new foot for a pneumatically-driven cockroach-based robot known as Robot V. My particular focus in the project was to design pads for the robot’s foot that simulated desirable aspects of cockroach feet. To the left is a patched-together set of photos of the poster we presented on our work at the first annual SOURCE Symposium and Poster Session. We earned second place in the engineering and computer science category.
A. Tibia; constructed from hollow aluminum cylinder to reduce weight;
B. Nylon ball joint; provides rotation and compliance;
C. Ball joint housing; constructed from bored and slotted aluminum cylinder; additionally holds foot to keep it from slipping out;
D. Spring steel foot; sheared and bent from unannealed steel, then heat-treated;
E. Frictional pads; molded from polyvinylsiloxane, then glued on using Permabond super glue, chosen for high shear strength;
F. Aluminum collar (not pictured); used to keep biasing springs in place;
G. Linear springs (not pictured); used to bring ball joint back into default position for stance.