Using standard servos in Poppy humanoid

I have built a very modified Poppy humanoid robot using standard 35KG/cm servos powered by two servo2040 boards with IMU’s all running off a Raspberry Pi 4.

Has any one else gone down this path of building a poppy with standard servos?

Yes. I’m currently building a heavliy modified version at 150% using mostly 60Kg/cm servos. I add an ESP8266 board to each one to make is “smart”, link them by SPI bus. I can then customise the firmware on each joint to do some of it’s owrn processing locally (much like our “muscle memory”).

I’m working ground-up, and am currently at spine level.

Love to see pictures of yours.

I will upload some images in a couple of days once I get over covid. Have you managed to get your motors working in predictable sequences as yet as I have found in earlier testing each of these motors are random in their movement to signal given. I had considered using the A/D on the servo2040 to read the servo wiper position for the hip and knee joints to assist with walking motion (but this is a way down the track).

My build is 10% larger than the original and it is fitted with a rib cage to hold the 4 LIPO batteries. The aim is to make this completely autonomous in the long term.


I have attached a few photos of Lulu in the rebuild stage. The rear shot shows where the servo2040 is mounted, the other two show the general construction.

Lulu has been fully assembled prior using a pico and two PCA9685 boards but it was too messy for my liking. The second board sits on the shoulder with a cover over it (the bit I’m working on currently). These two boards communicate using UART on spare ports on the servo2040 and USB to the Pi4.

The IMU is sitting on top of one of the battery packs

The head contains the Pi4 with a 3.7" e-ink screen, coral TPU, amp and speaker, TOF sensor and an odour sensor. The latter two sensors are connected to their own Pico boards for local processing.

I would be curious to see your progress also

All the best