Friday, February 26, 2010

Spiderwheels: Golden Ratio...

Lately, in the back of my mind, I have felt that there was something visually wrong with my spider. Finally, the reason for wrongness clicked. I didn't incorporate the golden ratio. I've heard about this ratio from several sources lately. The most in depth source I remember was from NOVA: Secrets of the Parthenon. You may be able to still catch it on hulu. Wikipedia also has a pretty good overview of the golden ratio. My understanding is that this ratio has been known for a really long time and can be thought of as the mathematical equivalent for beauty and is around 1 / 1.6. Here is the golden ratio found in the Vitruvian Man:

As you can see, from navel to foot is 1.6 times the distance from navel to head. There are an enormous amount of other examples found in nature and architecture, but I will leave that for Wikipedia. I decided to apply this ratio to my spider in two ways. First, I decided to make the tibia 1.6 times the length of the femur, as shown.

Second, I decided to make the circuit board 1.6 times longer than it is wide. To tie it together I made the width of the board the same length as the tibia. Here are some renders of before and afters. I am in the process of printing the new parts.

For me, incorporating the golden ratio into the design makes it pop. I am interested in how others feel, as well as in whether the golden ratio has influenced robotics design before.

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