Project Backbone

The second half of my Third year project was another exploration into Biomimicry. My partner and I noticed that the robots we usually see, like Atlas, have a hard time balancing due to having stiff spines. After some research, we found very few papers where people tried to solve this problem and tried to give it a shot ourselves. We set out to make a prototype robotic spine that could help bipedal robots stand and move over more terrain, and shift their weight similar to how humans do in order to balance.

Backbone was another short term project we used for learning about some tools and methods we would work with in the real world. I specifically used this project to dive deeper into how to practically use CAD software and get things manufactured.

To start with Backbone, we came up with two methods to actuate the spine. The first would be to use traditional servomotors to pull a cord around some pulleys, and the second was to use Shape Memory Alloys to pull the spine instead.

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