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7-3 =

Vorpal Combat Hexapod Robot

Introducing the Vorpal Combat Hexapod Robot. This fun, interactive product is 3D-printed, low cost, and made for gaming using the included attachments. Vorpal comes with a wireless gamepad which allows you to trigger sixty different motions. These motions can be recorded to the included SD card on the gamepad and then replayed. But beyond gaming, Vorpal supports the MIT Scratch drag-and-drop programming system. You can use Scratch to easily create your own custom motions and trigger them with the gamepad during activities such as “Joust” or “Capture the Flag.” Kids and adults alike are instantly attracted to Vorpal, making it highly motivational for STEM education. The robot is available either as a kit or fully assembled.

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Discovered By
Michael Cheng
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Open Source, Affordable
3D-Printed Controller
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Kickstarter Comments (50)
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i hate buying gas
Thanks for the tip on the felt.
Steve Pendergrast
hello "i hate buying gas", Be careful with the friction pads, as this design does require the legs to be able to slip a bit against the surface. Tiny felt pads like you can buy for craft projects might be better if want quieter operation, as they will still allow some sliding motion.
i hate buying gas
Or I may just print some feet with flexible filament.
i hate buying gas
I've had fun assembling one for Monday!. The second 2nd one will go quicker and i hope these will be a big hit! I do plan on using the plastic dipping product (what you use to coat tool handles) on the tips of the legs to provide better grip on hard surface and quiet it down a bit.
Dwayne Reid
Not sure how to contact the Creator privately. I've registered my account on your store.
Danal Estes
Received my kit (Texas) a few days ago. Two Deluxe. Now busily printing. Kit contents look great. My wife and I are looking forward to playing!
Dwayne Reid
I'm in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Received my kit today. Now to download the files and start printing!
Steve Pendergrast
Malcolm S, Erlanger Kentucky is the DHL overseas hub, that's the first leg of the journey.
Morton H
Finally found it. Flash issues.
Malcolm Summerton
Hi, I’m a little concerned about my shipment. How do I get in touch with you so you can sort it out with DHL? Currently it’s been missent to Erlanger, KY, US, and not to the U.K.?
Steve Pendergrast
Hi Morton H, The build instructions have that video, about 2/3 of the way down if you scroll:…
Morton H
Where is the "electronics caddy" video?
Yep, figured. But thought I'd mention the error for less technically inclined folks. One last error in the assembly instructions is under "GAMEPAD NANO PIN CONNECTIONS": "A3 Dpad GND (black wire)" and then conflicting instruction: "A3 Unused" I know to just ignore the A3 Unused instruction but just thought I'd mention it. The instructions, in general, were great though. I got my VCH booted up and dancing in a couple of hours. This is truly a great educational platform.
Steve Pendergrast
Thanks for reporting this. The instructions have been corrected. As you figured out, it doesn't really matter which ports are used to distribute power to the beeper and accessory port wires. The accessory port wires are meant to feed power, digital, and analog pin connections to accessories such as the ultrasonic rangefinder, light sensor, our future projects, and your own creations. They are extra long in order to reach the accessory port and be able to be drawn out a couple of inches to make connections when necessary. I usually put a rubber band around the bundle of wires and shove it into the accessory port access hole when not in use. I really should design a small 3d printed clip to hold the bundle nicely in place. Always room to improve!
Wow, I wish I could edit my comments. Just re-read my past comment. I meant to say "conflicting instructions for the Servo Controller" not "Nano". My apologies. Just FYI, my solution was to use port 13 for the beeper.
There may be an error on the assembly Wiki. There's are conflicting instructions for Nano pin 14: Beeper Power Connect the beeper V+ and ground (marked "-") pins (red and black respectively) to Port 14 of the Servo Controller, matching black and red wires to black and red pins on the Servo Controller. and... Servo Controller Servo port 14 RED pin goes to a 20cm ORANGE Dupont connector and is routed to the accessory port to provide +5V for sensors or other accessories.
Servo port 14 BLACK pin goes to a 20cm BROWN Dupont connector and is routed to the accessory port to provide GND for sensors or other accessories. Are the "accessories" in the second reference intended to be the Beeper power?
Morton H
Yay. It's on the way.
Morton H
Just got my ebl's. now i need something to put them in. Excited.
i hate buying gas
Just ordered the ebl 18650 red and silver bats and ebl blue and silver 9v with chargers so I'll have them for when the kits arrive.
Michael Churchill
Your battery comments are great, but I am afraid that the details will again sink down in the comments and get missed by others. Adding this info to the FAQ will make it sticky and permanently available. My two cents.
Steve Pendergrast
Hi Michael C, Here is a quick summary of batteries: FOR THE ROBOT This is our recommended battery/charger bundle on Amazon:… The 18650 can have either button top or flat top and we recommend 3000 mAh or higher. Be careful because some 18650s have a very aggressive protection circuit that can cut power prematurely to the robot. Our recommended battery says it has a protection circuit, but it's not too aggressive at cutting power and works very well. Note: the "yellow top" EBL 18650 3000 mAh does have an aggressive protection circuit and we do not recommend it. A holder is included in the kit. By default this holder is hard-wired into the robot. We offered an add-on that instead of hard-wiring the holder, had the robot using a JST connector so it could be disconnected easily, along with a 6xAA holder also with JST, making for a swappable battery type. This option was added specifically because an Australian backer pointed out that 18650 batteries were very expensive and harder to obtain in Australia. If you are in the USA or another country with good, inexpensive 18650s, there is no need for this option. Note that 6xAA will cost just as much as 18650 in the USA and give you less than half the run time. The 18650 is by far the preferred battery for this project. FOR THE GAMEPAD
Any kind of 9v battery, of the type used in smoke detectors and toys, will work. It can be either rechargeable or disposable. We use rechargeable NIMH 280 mAh EBL and they work for about 4 hours. A bundle deal with charger and four batteries is here:… There are lots of other purchase options though, like 2 packs of batteries, just a charger, etc. For long all-day demos we also use the 600 mAh EBL Li-On 9v batteries and they work great but are more expensive, probably not needed for the average user who doesn't plan to run the robot 8 hours straight. Really any 9v rechargeable is probably fine for the gamepad, you can even get them in food stores and walmart. The gamepad battery is far less critical than the robot battery. Hope this helps!
Michael Churchill
I supported this Kickstarter at the Earlybird Two Hexapod Basic level. I need to get batteries to support the robots and the remotes. Could you update the FAQ with specifics on what is needed? (I've included what I've gleaned already from other comments - not official))
- Max dimensions (size, # cells, and/or weight) (2 cell 18650, 3.7V, 3000MAh recommended)
- Connectors (solder pads, JST, Button Top, ??) (JST?)
- Voltage (3.7v?)
- Technologies (Li-Ion, Li-Po, NiMH, Ni-Cd,??)
- Amp/Hour ratings (3000MAh Li-Ion gives 60 mins+ run time)
- are battery holders included? (Avail for $5 w/ JST connectors- limited time) Links to compatible batteries on Amazon, Adafruit - even 800Batteries - would be awesome.
i hate buying gas
I'll take mine w/o the cables. Also have plenty of those. Although I have the full kits so by the time they print the parts, they'll have the cable.
These are presents so I couldn't print the parts w/o having to spill the hexapod beans.
Steve, if all you're waiting on is a USB cable, I'd be thrilled to get the kit without one. I have literally dozens of usb mini cables around from other arduino nano projects. I'm probably not the only one who'd be happy to skip the cable.
Steve Pendergrast
We are working on a proper bracket that will use a magnetic attachment, for now the place you put it is fine. Sorry for the delay, producing all the kits to ship has put me a bit behind schedule. I kept putting off the light sensor mount saying to myself "oh that's easy it will only take an hour!" but running short on hours lately!
Dave Leiner
Steve, where is the light sensor intended to mount? I just placed it in the opening below the rangefinder for now.
That is some crazy fast shipping. Thanks so much!
Steve Pendergrast
Hi Dave, Let's debug using vorpal support email. I'll send you an email in the next couple of minutes with some questions.
Dave Leiner
Steve, I received my Hexapod today and got it built and working with only a few issues, mostly with missing instructions (I'll elaborate more tomorrow). Very cool! However I can't get Scratchx to connect. The extension blocks load fine and the usb port shows up in System Information on my MacBook Pro (15" 2016 Touch Bar). However the connection status in Scratchx always shows disconnected. Is there anything I need to do to get it to connect besides turning on the Gamepad?
Steve Pendergrast
The scratch offline program does not support custom extensions, you need to use the ScratchX website (scratch extensions) and it is only available online. There is no offline version of ScratchX. There are instructions on our website here:…
I downloaded the scratch offline program, can I still use the plugin?
Steve Pendergrast
Dave, thanks for pointing that out! Maybe I'll give Safari another try after all.
Dave Leiner
On Oct 14, I had reported an issue with not be able to load and save files with Safari. I wanted to let you know I just solved the problem. When selecting whether or not to allow Flash Player to run for the website, you need to hold down the option key. This allows turning off "safe mode" which was preventing the load and save dialogs from appearing. I understand that Safari may have other issues but I'll give it a try and report any other problems I might encounter. So far it looks OK.
Jarrod Selsmark
Oh I should also say that the space between your shell walls is your infill. Depending on the part and your shell thickness there may not be any infill. I used 30% infill for all the parts and this was probably a bit of overkill.
Jarrod Selsmark
Hi Doug, I use Slic3R Prusa Edition with my Prusa MK2S. Perimeters is the wall or shell thickness and tops/bottoms is how thick you want the bottom and top shell solid flat areas printed. Under Cura if you look in the Shell settings you can actually just tell how thick you want your shell walls and bottoms and tops to be. In my case it's 4 shell walls for .8mm thickness. The slicer software will only add additional shell thickness in the vertical and horizontal planes if there if there is space within the confines of the original model. It may pay to print the single leg stl to just after the servo housing section and the start of the leg and then cancelling so you can judge how flexible the servo section is, you could have a play with different thicknesses to see which provides enough flex vs strength without wasting too much PLA. Hope this makes sense, let me know if I can help more.
Steve Pendergrast
Doug: Yes, the files on thingiverse are now considered final for Release 1.
Doug Leppard
I assume we can print the parts found on thingiverse while waiting for kick-starter parts to be shipped?
Doug Leppard
Jarrod thanks for input. I will try eSun PLA, my grandson wants it in green so needed to buy that anyway. What slicer are you using? I am using Cura 2.7. I am somewhat a newby at 3D printing what do you mean by "with 4 perimeters and 5 top & bottom layers" Thanks agaion.
Jarrod Selsmark
Hi Doug, I printed all my parts in PLA and had no problems connecting parts together or wedging test servos's into legs. I've printed my parts with 4 perimeters and 5 top & bottom layers though to make them a bit tougher. I also used eSUN PLA+ which is supposedly a bit tougher than standard PLA. As mentioned before you can dunk PLA parts into hot water to make them a bit more pliable if you're having real tight fit problems.
Doug Leppard
I hadn't realized until now about not printing in PLA. Is it really not practical printing with PLA?
Steve Pendergrast
to "I hate buying gas", I realized about 4 seconds after sending the survey that the two-full type orders needed to be able to select two different colors. The KS system doesn't allow changes once sent so no way for me to correct. A note to clarify is just fine, sorry for the error!
i hate buying gas
I left a note in the survey for the different color parts for the two bots. Let me know if it isn't clear.
Dave Leiner
Congrats Steve!! Great job running the Kickstarter project. Now the real fun begins!
Steve Pendergrast
Benn, Yes that offer is good for any backer. Increase the pledge by $5 and we'll add a JST and 6xAA battery holder along with an 18650 battery holder. Both holders will have matching JST connector. Thanks for your support!
Benn Reynolds
Steve - I'd be very interested in the custom electrical hookup you offered earlier in the thread - a JST connector creates an easier ability to explore power options. Is that something you'd offer to others (well, me)?
Jarrod Selsmark
Congratulations Steve and the Vorpal team on doubling your original goal. This project really picked up steam over the last 10 days.
@Creator, re: color. Critical! My daughter and I were debating what color we were going to print her hexabot in. I ran down the filament colors I have on hand and she picked one. Then I asked her - why pick just one? Somehow I think we'll end up printing multiple sets of parts over time. She's also interested in designing accessories in Thinkercad. Her bot must have a bow she decided. Little details matter.
Steve Pendergrast
To "i hate buying gas": Yes, there are a couple of power ports left over on the servo controller, one of them is available at the accessory port to power sensors etc. You could also use it to power another servo (think: gripper) or you could use the PWM to power LED lights. I am working on an update to the scratch programming that would allow you to adjust a PWM signal to the unused servo ports in order to make LED lights brighter and dimmer, for example, or to drive additional servo motors. You can upload those types of things to the gamepad and trigger them using buttons. (Alternatively you can always hack the arduino code if you have the skills!) But, go easy on the power so as not to tax the batteries and BEC too much.
i hate buying gas
Oh one other thought. Will or could this have additional power ports for things such as led lights or El light cables that run off the bats?
i hate buying gas
GITD printed parts will make for great night time battles....
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