Tag Archives: quada1

FAB16 Festival Videos

I and the quad A1 had a great time at the FAB16 festival in Somerville this past weekend. The robot got to do a lot of running around, it and I got to meet a lot of new people, and two bands showed up!

Here’s a video of the quad A1 and Spot hanging out trying tricks:

And here’s another one of a “dance off” (kinda) with the School of Honk band. Note that although both robots collapsed at the end of this video, the quad A1 got back up and kept dancing. (Spot wasn’t broken, they just didn’t want to right it when close-ish to people). Thanks to Kathleen and Josh from BD for inviting me into their area and for being such good sports!

At the very end of the day I managed to drive the quad A1 into a sewer grate… here’s the robot carnage that resulted:

Fortunately, only 3D printed parts were broken, so it will be an easy repair.

mjbots November 2020 Update

Here’s the approximately annual giant video update:

If you’re interested in any of the topics in more detail, I’ve collected links to individual posts for each of the referenced items below.

Thanks for all your support in the last year!


Announcement of moteus r4.3: Production moteus controllers are here!

Automated programming and test setup: Programming and testing moteus controllers

Dynamometer: Measuring torque ripple, Initial dynamometer assembly

Continuous rotation: Unlimited rotations for moteus

The virtual wall control mode: New “stay within” control mode for moteus

Handling magnetic saturation: Dealing with stator magnetic saturation

moteus r4.5


Discussion of the overall design, and details on individual sub-components:

And the pre-production mk2 servos: Pre-production mk2 servos


fdcanusb: Introduction and bringing it up

power_dist: The failed r2, the closer to working r3, and the final r3.1

pi3hat: Initial announcement, bringing it up, and measuring its performance


Ground truth torque testing: Ground truth torque testing for the qdd100

Skyentific’s telepresence clone: qdd100 telepresence demo

kp and kd tuning: Spring and damping constants

quad A1 – Hardware

Lower leg updates:

Chassis: The first introduction, and some minor tweaks

Cable conduit changes: New leg cable management

quad A1 – Software

Cartesian coordinate control: Cartesian leg PD controller

Pronking: Successful pronking!

tplot2 and its sub-pieces:

Simulation: Resurrected quadruped simulator

nrf24l01 transceiver and its sub-components

Smooth leg motion: Improved swing trajectory


All four feet off the ground: Higher speed gait formulation, and Stable gait sequencing

Improved stand up sequence: quad A1 stand-up sequence part N

Speed records:

Walking in semi-rugged terrain

While testing the improved gait sequencing for the quad A1 I got some footage of it traversing a few different types of outdoor semi-rugged terrain.

Tree roots

The first clip shows it walking over some tree roots. In this particular instance, it just uses a high stepping gait, which allows the feet to get on top of the root. The gait sequencing doesn’t handle walking over the taller part of the root very well yet… the robot can get “high centered” on two legs, with the other two flailing in the air.


In the second clip the robot runs across some loose gravel and leaves. Here each foot fall skids around a fair amount and kicks up loose debris, but otherwise wasn’t too challenging.

Raised pavers

For the third clip, the quad A1 walks through some grass and over some pavers, which are around 1-3″ raised above the baseline grass level. Here raised steps allow the robot to move at nearly the same speed over the pavers as it can move over the grassy terrain.

Loose bricks

In the final clip, it walks over some loose bricks. With each footfall, the gait sequencing is looking for when contact is made with the ground. That allows the robot to stop pushing once contact is made. The current formulation does attempt to get the legs back to their “average” Z position at the end of each cycle, which is sufficient for this type of terrain, although a longer-term outlook would allow it to tackle even tougher terrain.