S K U N K W O R K S.





Chip V2 is an open source robot dog built from a combination of FIRST Robotics Competition robot parts, professional drone electrical components, miscellaneous readily-available hardware, a few 3D printed odds and ends, an Nvidia Jetson TX1, an Intel Realsense T265 camera, some waterproof fabric, and four tripod legs.

The platform has 12DoF and each of the actuators can produce around 100Nm of torque. The inner frame is made from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, and the motors are brushless PID-position control systems made by REV Robotics attached to 100:1 planetary gearboxes. The IMU is an Ardupilot Pixhawk 2.1 Cube with GPS, and long-range telemetry in-built to the platform. The T265 provides real-time obstacle tracking and the Jetson TX1 running ROS Melodic is the central controller for the whole system. 

The platform is capable of walking, strafing, and turning over all sorts of terrain and sheer obstacles less than 0.2m tall. While it is not yet finished, we're hoping we can use the platform in some sort of Agricultural or similar work. We hope the platform will be completely autonomous outdoors and use guided operation indoors.

Shoutouts: Ronak Roy, Fischer J. Moseley, Varun Mehrotra, the Ardupilot Team, JP Posma, the WPILib Team, Willow Garage + ROS

(for documentation and instructions)

So why "Skunkworks"?  Well not because these projects use Skunkworks in the traditional sense of "rapid innovation." But more to pay a small tribute to some fantastic engineers. People that understood engineering is not the art of creating a flawless solution, but that of making a flawed one work. Skunkworks embodies engineering's true spirit, that the most amazing solutions come for raw creativity, an inherent level of "jankness," and the pure, honest results of absolute teamwork.  Working together is how we're going to solve the world's biggest problems and that didn't necessarily start at Skunkworks, but that was a big part of it. So here's to some of the world's greatest engineers, but also teachers.

© copyright 2019 | aditya mehrotra