Okay, now that I've got some more information on the HiTechnic Motor Multiplexor (Mux), it's got me thinking again about the (I hope) inevitable NXT biped. Robots such as the Robonova-1 from HITEC use anywhere from 12 to 20 motors to achieve a wide range of motions, including walking, cartwheeling, and dancing.
With the HiTechnic Motor Mux, a designer now has the ability to include a total of 19 (yes, 19!!) motors. Now, this would obviously require 4 Mux, each controlling 4 motors and then adding in the standard 3 motors for ports A, B, and C (on the Brick).
Let's do a quick survey of the Robonova-1 and see where all those motors go:
1 motor per ankle
1 motor per shin
1 motor per lower thigh
1 motor per upper thigh
1 motor for each hip
1 motor for each shoulder
1 motor for each arm/bicep
2 motors in chest
16 motors in all that give the Robonova-1 the ability to walk, dance, cartwheel, and more.
Now, the Robonova-1 uses an aluminum framework that has been machined to hold the servo motors in a humanoid form. The processor is hidden in the chest and the wiring is hidden in various places.
Could a LEGO Mindstorms NXT biped be built? I don't know. The creation would have to hold the brick and 4 battery holders to power the 4 Mux devices. The structure would have to be well-designed to ensure a strong body and to prevent the biped from falling apart from various stresses. The size of the NXT biped would also be much larger than the Robonova-1 mainly because of the size of the NXT servo motors.
I'm curious to hear from others on this - are there other weaknesses or limitations that would make creating an NXT biped difficult? Can you think of any reason why an NXT biped could NOT be created?