Inverse Kinematics for Dummies!

And… we’re back from our vacations during the holidays and hope that all of you had a great 2009!

Inverse Kinematics can be a scary thing to the robot hobby novice. There is a lot of trig involved, and if you’ve learned anything from reading this blog you’ll know that being Norwegian apparently makes it a lot easier to grasp.

Mike Ferguson of Vanadium Labs has just released NUKE (Nearly Universal Kinematics Engine) in Beta form, which is a comprehensive and easy to use IK system built around the arbotiX Robocontroller. To make things even easier, he’s created a step by step tutorial on how to implement NUKE on your arbotiX based robot.

The Nearly Universal Kinematics Engine (NUKE) is finally out in a first beta. NUKE is a PyPose tool that allows users to setup an IK/Gait engine for their ArbotiX-powered bot, regardless of the size, servo orientation, etc (as long as it fits within an available template). Right now our templates only support 3DOF Lizard-legged 4 and 6 leg robots, however 3DOF Mammal-style leg support isn’t far off, and low DOF Biped support is in the works. This is the same system that powered Issy, Roz, and Jeff to take the top 3 spots at CNRG’s Walker Challenge. It takes about 20-30 minutes to setup your bot once you get the hang of what’s going on. The output is fairly straight forward to expand/alter. It’s mostly been running on Quads, I’ve yet to fully test it on Hexapods (first person to post a video of NUKE powering a hexapod gets a cookie at Robogames..)

NUKE is written in Python, and it exports a C/C++ Arduino project that runs on the ArbotiX. NUKE can be downloaded from our Google code site: http://code.google.com/p/arbotix/downloads/list. Documentation is also on that site. We also have a google group for support (it’s very new, hence the low traffic) http://groups.google.com/group/robocontroller .

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