E-MA 1 Is a walking robot operated through finger movement. In principle it is a electronic puppet on a string, wich uses electricity instead of strings to transfer the movement of the fingers to the movements of the limbs. It walks with its front legs it drags its back along, reminding of the first creatures which came on land. Thereby getting its name E(evolution) MA(machine).
The first version I built out of a large piece of wood, two rolls and the same leg mechanics I used for the final robot. The initial Idea was to have a walking platform wich could support a person, which was maybe a bit too ambitious. Wiper motors are quite strong, but also not that strong.
Because even the wood platform turned out to be too heavy for the robot to walk properly, I replaced it with a Aluminum piece. The small back wheels I changed to some heavy-duty aluminum wheels. I also added a battery for the robot to be able to walk around freely and a reptile-like head to make it look creepy.
The mechanism is as simple as can be: The legs are made from a single metal rod which is mounted to motor A wich moves them in the X axis, motor A is mounted to motor B which moves the whole thing in the Y axis.
Each switch on the glove controller closes the circuit of each motor in different polarities, thereby spinning them in either direction. The Switches are placed on the top of the Hand and connected with a piece of wire to a finger ring. By moving the fingers in certain sequences the robot can walk in all directions, although it is rather tricky to control it in the beginning. Learning to control the Robot`s walk is similar to learning to play the piano, while barely being able to move further in the beginning, the sequences of the movements are soon memorized motorically. With more practice the robot moves more fluently and faster.
The overall experience of the workshop was very positive. It was a inspiring in a lot of ways: By the beautiful surrounding of the Harbour, improvising with all the materials found in the workshop, the availability of the right tool for just about any job (wich I personally find way more inspiring than not having them) and the concentrated atmosphere with everyone being busy with their own contraptions. I was pretty surprised that we could use just about anything in the workshop, and specially that we could take our creations home, I was getting bit emotional thinking I would have to dismantle my creature I just brought to life, but E-MA1 lives happily ever after.