18 servos hexapod: which boards to choose?

Hello all,

I would like to build an 18 servos hexapod robot but I’m getting confused and I’m not sure which boards to purchase.

I was looking at Arduino, SSC-32 servo controler and Orangutan Robot Controller.

  • First, I’m planing to get 18 GWS Servo S03T STD or something equivalent with metal gears. (I’m not sure if that would make much difference)

Is an Orangutan enough to control those servos or do I have to use it with an other board such as Arduino or something else?

What exactly should I get to control those 18 servos?

Any suggestion welcome :slight_smile:


First off, Arduinos and Orangutans are based on the same processor, so you’re not going to get any real performance difference between the two. Second, controlling 18 servos from one processor is not at all easy, so you should get a separate servo controller for your servos. We are of course partial to our Maestro servo controllers, which are available in 18- and 24-channel versions. You can even play with them without a main controller by connecting them to a PC over USB and creating and storing servo sequences and scripts. If you want a real robot, though, you should still ultimately have a separate main controller. If you haven’t seen it, you should take a look at this simple hexapod walker tutorial based on the 6-channel micro maestro.

- Jan

Thanks Jan for your answer,

I’m now considering the Maestro 24 servo controller as well.

ts. If you want a real robot, though, you should still ultimately have a separate main controller.
Yes I do want a real robot. But I am still a bit confuse, why would I need a separate main controller if I get the Maestro 24 channels to control 18 servos? What role would that main controller have on the robot?

Also if I plug an Arduino on a Maestro board, would I be able to use the Arduino IDE and the Arduino C language to control 18 servos? Is there any think particular to do to make them work together, or is it supported “out of the box”.

Thanks a lot for your time.

These parts are not Lego blocks: you have to read the manuals and understand what you are doing. The main controller is where you would connect all of your sensors and implement the high-level behavior of your robot.

Do you have any programming and electronics experience? Based on the questions you’re asking, I’m concerned that your project might be more than you can handle as a first project, and you might be better served starting with something more simple. For instance, you could get a few servos and the 18- or 24-channel Maestro and make a bigger version of that robot in the tutorial; after you play around with that, you’ll have a better idea of what is involved, and then you can reuse the same parts in your bigger project.

- Jan

I’m a beginner in electronic this is why would like to make sure the component I get can work together.
This project maybe a bit big for a start, but I still want to do it.

Thanks again for your help.