When it comes to the diminutive robot kits you find at hobby stores, most have what can only be described as a primitive sense of balance. If, however, you happen to be an expert roboticist like Dr. Guero (aka Masahiko Yamaguchi), then it's surprising how much can be squeezed out of these pet projects with the right programming. His latest trick is to have his robot balance on a pair of nail-like stilts, which you can see it do after the break.
The robot, a modified Kondo KHR-3HV kit (which sells for around US$1,829) is equipped with a simple gyro sensor and accelerometer that relay data to a controller that then makes slight adjustments to the position of its arms and legs to maintain its equilibrium. The balance control algorithm is robust enough to handle slopes up to 45 degrees, but it only works when standing still on an unmoving base.
In a quirky demonstration that pushes the boundaries of what's possible with (relatively) inexpensive hobby kits, Dr. Guero placed it up in a tree, on uneven ground, and various other stable surfaces, as seen in the video below.
Source: Dr. Guero's website (Japanese)
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