the Muscles

Ok, now we’re going to geek-out a bit and get a little technical.

Disclaimer – I am NOT an electrical engineer, I am merely a hobbyist with passion. While I may sometimes sound like I know exactly what I am talking about regarding motors, circuits, and the like – I only know what I’ve done myself, and haven’t much working knowledge of the theory or physics behind electrical engineering. Please be cautious, as electricity can be dangerous and destructive. You have been warned! 😉

The Muscles

12 Servo motors and various power components are the “muscles” of Nova, providing the power and actuation to allow us to move her joints, and subsequently move her body. Nova has 3 joints per leg:

  • Coax / Hip Socket
  • Femur / Hip Joint
  • Tibia / Knee Joint

Other flavors of Spot-Micro projects use less expensive, and so less powerful motors, but to no avail or success in my humble opinion. At final build, Nova weighs just around 6 pounds. Using non-high torque or plastic servos is a waste of time and money, as they cannot handle nor perform under such conditions.

The motors are controlled by a PWM Controller board that handles the power management and pulse control of the motors. Calibrating the motors during leg assembly is very important. Here is a video explaining calibration, motors, and PWM control:

And here is a video reviewing Power Management components: