Building a Praying Mantis Robot
David Touretzky, Computer Science
The praying mantis insect is an interesting model for mobile robot design because its front legs are used for both locomotion and manipulation. A prototype praying mantis robot, called the Chiara Mantis, is presently under construction in my lab. It's roughly the size of a german shepherd. The robot uses Robotis Dynamixel MX-64 servos, and a Microsoft Kinect for the head. I am looking for a MechE student to work on the next generation mantis, building on what we learn from the first prototype. Improvements to the legs, arms, and thorax design should make the robot better balanced, improve its power efficiency, and increase its range of motion. As part of this research, the student will use SolidWorks to design robot components, and a laser cutter and 3D printer to fabricate these components. Students interested in the project are invited to contact Professor Touretzky to discuss it.