Our robotic expert Charlie has been working hard and created an amazing InsectBot to show you all the possibilities when it comes to building robots and which feature to include. As mentioned before, cockroaches are not the nicest insect but they have specific characteristics that can be helpful!
We have asked a few questions to Charlie about his build…
What was the most challenging part when designing and building your InsectBot?
“Trying to make a robot walk is one of the greatest challenges any engineer can face. I decided to make it a lot easier by having 6 legs to improve stability, but it was still difficult making the robot balance.”
Can you tell us a bit more about the reason why you chose this design for the legs of your InsectBot?
“I wanted the main section of the robot to be raised above the ground. This would allow it to walk through liquids or grass without much resistance. This robot is designed to explore a distant future version of Mars where vegetation is growing and the ice is melted. But also because it made it seem more like an insect!”
Did you learn something new when designing and building your robot?
“I’m not used to working with legs and I’ve never done a 6 legged robot. While the mechanism is simple, it was still a new design I had to figure out.”
Did something go wrong when building your robot that you had to rethink and redesign?
“Due to the height of the robot and its high centre of mass it was unstable at first. To counter this I made the legs move a smaller distance each step (to reduce rocking) and a gyro sensor to measure the angle it is on. This way I can program it to avoid steep slopes.“
Last but not least, what is the name of your InsectBot and why?
“Its name is Hexroach, named after a cockroach and hex meaning 6 since it has 6 legs. Even though cockroaches already usually have 6 legs I still think the name is cool.“