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The WidowX MK-IV Hexapod is a six legged, ROS research platform featuring the Rasberry PI 4b and the DYNAMIXEL XL Series Smart Servos from Robotis. The MK-IV comes pre-assembled and tested and is fully supported in Ubuntu 20.04c / ROS Noetic (Ubuntu 18.04c and Melodic are also supported). The platform offers wifi, tethered connection and wireless via Bluetooth / Playstation 4 Control options. The MK-IV Hexapod has a payload capacity of roughly 5lb, walking speed of roughly 178mm/s (default gait) and an estimated run time on battery of 45 minutes.
The WidowX MK-IV is built with 18x DYNAMIXEL XM430-W350-T Smart Servos from Robotis. The DYNAMIXEL XM430-W350-T is a High Performance TTL Servo in the DYNAMIXEL X-Series. Using the Same form factor as the other 430 series servos in the X-Series line, the DYNAMIXEL XM430-W350-T has the highest Torque rating in the 430 series in the X-Series line, making it well suited for robotic tasks requiring strength. The XM430-W350-T has (at 11.1v) 3.8N.m stall torque, 2.1(A) stall current and a no load speed of 43 RPM. For more information on the motors click here.
The Hexapod comes in both shelled and unshelled variations (the unshelled version does not contain the neopixel eyes feature to inform users of current state of the hexapod).
Built with Industry Leading Smart Servos
The DYNAMIXEL X-Series smart servos offer features that would normally only be found on industrial level motors for a fraction of the price.
Addressable - All servos have unique IDs allowing users to easily communicate with individual servos or groups of servos. The Shadow ID feature also allows for easy control of a second servo in dual servo joints.
Daisy Chain - DYNAMIXEL servos are connected in a daisy chain (each servo plugged into the next in series) making them extremely scalable and easy to maintain.
Servo Management Software - DYNAMIXEL Wizard 2.0 allows users to configure register settings such as PID gains, Control Modes (position, velocity, current, or PWM) and others. The software also provides tools for firmware updates, diagnostics, configuration and testing, data plotting, generating & monitoring DYNAMIXEL packets, and more.
Trajectory Smoothing - Smart servos have multiple registers for setting velocity & acceleration limits, PID gains, and more for fine tuning smooth joint motions.
Low Level Libraries Provided - DYNAMIXEL servos have libraries that abstract away the serial communication layer allowing developers to concentrate their time on higher level code.
To make the lower-level actuator ROS wrappers able to be easily integrated into our higher-level code, we have developed an intuitive approach called the Interbotix Research Robotics Open Standard (IRROS). Every repository that builds on top of this contains a chart similar to the above generic one - but filled in with the specifics for each robot. There are five main layers: Hardware Layer - Describes the Physical Setup of the Robot, Driver Layer - The first software layer containing ROS wrappers for actuators & sensors, Control Layer - Software layer containing ROS packages per robot type, Application Support Layer - Provides Python modules or 'support-level' ROS packages and the Reseach Layer - The final software layer at which an end user programs their own code. For more information on IRROS click here.