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David L Buckley MBCS, MCybS

CV Pictorial synopsis:

I create - Research Robots, Educational and Presentation Robots, and Animatronic figures for Museums and Heritage Centres.
For more see my Portfolio http://davidbuckley.net/FR/Portfolio.htm
In 2014 I decide to retire - but if an interesting project comes along, who knows.

Human size animatronic legs using Mckibben type pneumatic muscles2011
I created a pair of legs which had to move in a fast human like manner and be portable with a self contained power source.
The movement of the legs can be taught and moves stored in the controller sufficient fo a 5 minute show. The power source is high pressure air at 3000psi.


Shadow C6M Smart Motor Hand2008
I was called in to design the mechanics of the forearm and wrist for the conversion of the Shadow Pneumatic Dextrous Hand to use electric motors together with force sensing feedback to achieve active compliance.
Also I debugged and reworked the motor control boards and force sensors for the prototype of the new forearm.
The project required learning and becoming skilled in ProDesktop, the CAD program Shadow used.

The Smart Motor Hand is now Shadow's top product used worldwide in research projects including being fitted to Willow Garage's $400,000 PR2 mobile robot.


Shadow Robotic-Leg 2005
I created the human sized Robotic-Leg for North Carolina A & T University for a research project into powered prosthetic legs.

Animatronic figures2002 to date
I have created vaarious animatronic humanoid figures now in museums across the world.
They range from ones with simple moving heads to ones with moving arms and heads with silicone skins, moving eyes and mouth and equipped with MP3 players.
The animatronic policeman for the Police Federation was programmed to answer any of various scripted questions from MPs.


Cycler Presentation Robot2003
I created three Cycler robots for the charity Waste Watch for use in their recycling educational program in schools. The robots were launched in the House of Commons by the then Environment Minister Michael Meacher and Baroness Hooper.

Each robot can be driven about, has controllable arms and head and an MP3 player; it runs personality software which animates the arms head and eyes to bring it to life while listening for radio commands from its handler and stooge in its 45 minute show on recycling.

In the ten years from the launch to date the three robots have performed before over 1.5 million children.


TecFoot Biped Robot2000
I created TecFoot to fulfill an order from the Mechanical Engineering Department of Glasgow University and it was then sold as a kit by Milford Instuments.

TecFoot was the first autonomous, umbilical-less, free roaming, dynamic, walking biped robot outside of Japan.
Even to-date, 2013, apparently from Web searches, it is still the only one.

http://www.davidbuckley.net/DB/RobotOutings/RobotOutings-Knutsford.htm more videos.

BigFoot Biped Robot1998
I created BigFoot to be the simplest biped walking robot in order better to understand walking.

BigFoot was then sold worldwide under licence by Milford Instruments.

  • BigFoot was the first two servo-motor Biped Walking Robot in the world;
  • was the first Biped Walking Robot to be sold as a kit;
  • was the first Biped Walking Robot which didn't use 'overlapping feet' (as is common in toys) to be commercialy available as a production item;
  • and was the first commercialy available Biped Walking Robot which was able to step and turn.

  • It was the robot design which introduced to the world the concepts of
    1. sideways tipping feet to enable its weight to be transferred from one foot to the other.
    2. skid turning where to effect a turn the robot stands upright and one foot slides back while the other slides forward, just like a tank.
    These are now the de facto standard methods for small and medium sized biped robots.

  • BigFoot has been the inspiration for many variants, see
    including Parallax's Toddler and Penguin, which in turn led to my Amblers

Simplhex hexapod robot1994
I created Simplhex, an autonomous robot, to demonstrate at an open day at the University of East London.
Simplhex had a computer, obstacle sensors, could turn out of the way and walked smoothly.

In 1996 at the Robotics Olympics in Glasgow Simplhex was voted the best hexapod.
In the competition were hexapods from the universities of Manchester, Reading, Kent, possibly Durham and others,
Manchester's with three Transputer controllers could only judder;
Kent's with much bigger servos could hardly stand up and wave a leg;
Reading's walked slowly with jerks;
Durham's(?) was made from Meccano, had only one motor so it couldn't turn, no computer, and was powered over an umbilical, and by turning up the voltage it eventually walked a little faster than Simplhex!


Animatronic Camels1991,1992,1993,1994
I created several for Andrew Lloyd Weber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat musical stage show.
For the:
London Palladium,
USA touring show,
British touring show,
and British small theatre touring show.


Shadow Biped Humanoid Robot1988
Together with Richard Greenhill I was one of the founders of the Shadow Group, now the Shadow Robot Company and in 1988 I designed the Shadow Biped which was made by myself, Richard Greenhill and Richard Moyle et al.

The Shadow Biped was the world's first human sized experimental biped walking robot outside of Japan.
It's importance was recognised in Japan and in about 1996, just after Honda launched their P2 robot, the head of the Japanese government's Humanoid Robot Project made a special visit to London to see the biped; in 2002 they paid for Shadow to take the biped to Japan for Robodex 2002 where in an exit poll it was voted people's favourite robot of the exhibition.

The UK has also recognised its importance and the Science Museum London has acquired it for its Permanent-collection.

Discovery Channel - Extreme Machines: Incredible Robots 2001 (2of6) from 4:44 onwards

In 1983 together with Robin Bradbeer I founded Inter-Galactic Robots Ltd and in 1984 I created Zero-2 which was the UK's first commercial expandable desktop computer-controlled 'Turtle' robot-vehicle.
'Turtles' are small robot vehicles eqipped with a pen which can draw Logo style graphics.

Sold to universities, colleges, schools and hobbyists. It had three stepper motors to drive the wheels and pen-lift, two LED lights, a horn, a retractable pen, line follower sensors and an expansion bus. Software enabled it to be controlled from all the popular computers of the time, in particular from Logo on the BBC-B and Sinclair Spectrum.


In 1982 I created Zeaker which was the UK's first commercial desktop computer-controlled robot-vehicle.
Made under licence by Colne Robotics Zeaker was sold to universities, colleges, schools and hobbyists. It had two DC drive motors two LED lights, a horn, a retractable pen, six bump sensors; and could be controlled from all the popular computers of the time.