A couple of months ago I got the FireAnt kit from Orion Robotics. The FireAnt is based on my A-Pod design and made from red anodized aluminium. My first impression was very good, all parts have a great quality with a fine brushed finish. Assembling the robot was an easy task when following their very detailed assembly guide. One of the major modification I did to the FireAnt was to make a new 2DOF joint for the abdomen (tail). The reasons for doing this was to make the abdomen work as a battery holder and for making the 2 DOF joint more compact and similar to how I did it on my original A-Pod. By comparing these pictures you'll see that the modification only involve one custom made part:
Orion Robotics FireAnt:
The modified FireAnt abdomen 2DOF joint:
Compared to the original A-pod:
Initially, the 2S 2200 mAh LiPo battery was ment to be placed under the mcu boards inside the main body. When it comes to LiPo batteries I like to charge them in a safe area. This mean that it should be easy to replace the battery. By placing the battery inside the abdomen, replacing the battery isn't a problem anymore and you get more free space under the mcu boards for servo wires etc. I've also used some shorter standoffs for lowering the boards. The new digital HV-220 servos are fitted with a very long servo wire and thats a relief when it comes to the tibia servos. That also makes it easy to guide the wires without the need for extending the wires.
I'll take some better pictures of it when I've uploaded and tested the software. I'll post more information about the mcu boards and the servos later.
As you can see I'm using two power switches; the rear switch is the main switch for both electronics and servos, the front switch is for the servos. Personally I prefer having a separate powerswitch for the servos.
The mcu boards are programmed through an USB cable, unfortunately the usb port on the DaVinci main board is a bit hard to reach every time you need to update the software. I solved this by using a mini USB roll-up cable that is permanently connected to the board. I placed the roll-up holder inside the abdomen as well:
Like I said, I'll give you some updates when I've tested the software for the FireAnt.