Former cop builds amazing robot using simple household products
Your Black World
Mark Hygood was once a police officer. But it appears that he’s now finding his calling as a robotic technician of the most brilliant kind. Hygood is getting national media attention for being able to take regular household products and build amazing robots with them. His latest project, Hex, is a humanoid robot that is leaving observers stunned.
“Frankly, I think of it as a very large toy. I think that mindset helped me get the build done, because it’s such a daunting task,” said Haygood.
Hex took four years to make and required Hygood to be both technically-inclined and creative so that he could visualize the body parts that he needed to construct.
“The legs are made from out-door speakers — they’re gorgeous. His shoulders are made from fans, his forearms from power tools. The chest and back are made from kid’s riding toys and his head is a clock radio. I also employed a 3-D printer for the hands, using a combination of the Inmoov open-source design and my own artistic expression,” said Hygood.
“There are so many diverse parts on the machine that it would take me all day to tell you. It was a really complex build, but I love this machine, and I’m anxious to build another.”
Hygood wasn’t formally trained in robotics but took the time to teach himself. He says that putting together his robot cost him tens of thousands of dollars. He controls it with a USB device attached to his lap-top.
“He can step unsupported, but it’s not completely stable — I have a slight problem with joint compliance at the moment.
But his hands are fully functional, his legs are functional and he has 23 degrees of freedom.”
Before building amazing robots, Hygood spent 20-years as a cop on the tough streets of Baltimore. He retired in 2006 so that he could pursue his current dream.
“I really enjoyed being a cop … I wanted to go out and lock up the bad guys and that’s what I did. But policing completely takes over your life. That’s one of the reasons I got out,” he says.
Hygood says that seeing his father die a few years after his leaving the force led him to reevaluate his direction to find more meaning and purpose in what he does every day. He says that it wasn’t easy to get into his new life, but he’s now as happy as he can be. We expect to be hearing more from Mr. Hygood in the future; he’s doing great things.