Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mech: Visualizing a simple walk sequence

I've added color and sequencing to the simulator. I've also added a cockpit (red) and an engine (grey) to the mech to show better what it will look like.

The simulator is good enough to be able to simulate many possible walk sequences. I wrote a function that tries many many actuator combinations to come up with a walk sequence that fits a few basic criteria:

  • Starts with both feet on the ground
  • Does not drop the cockpit height below 8'
  • Maximize stride (I've not yet modified it to maximize efficiency)

I then fed the computer-chosen result through a function to show the sequence and spit out some diagnostics about the walking movement:

  • Stride length: 6.7'
  • Actuator displacement through a single step: 1.4'
  • Efficiency (stride/displacement): 4.79

I noticed in the course of doing this that the certain actuator positions increased efficiency. However, I suspect they also rely on greater actuator strength. Right now I'm counting all actuator displacement to be made equal. In reality, the difficult of moving the actuator isn't just in the distance it travels but also the force on it. To compute this function automatically I'll have to add a ton of statics equations to the simulator.

Notice that in addition to the simple walking sequence I've added the crouch distance. For this configuration it stands with a hip height of 8.7' and a minimum crouch distance of 4'.

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