So how did the idea of a robotic arm come to me? Well, the first thing I remember is our chemistry teacher (!) coming to me yelling that she has a project for me. It was for science Olympiad, however, apparently it was different from all the others, "something related to electronics" (that’s what she said!) and since I had a bit of a reputation in the school for my skills with robots, she thought I would be the right person to ask from!
And well, what could I say to the teacher? I accepted, and she put me in the team. Next thing I remember is my dad yelling at me for the $200 I spent for the equipment I needed, and next… well, the robot was built!
So we went there and harvested the medals with this arm (it didn’t have the high-tech bluetooth utility back then, I controlled it using our TV’s remote controller!), and I came back and decided to post an Instructable for the first time in my life, since I thought this project is actually worth it! Arduino contest was up too, so I was tempted and…
In a nutshell, this Instructable is over how to build a robotic arm which can be controlled by your phone through Bluetooth + Your old TV’s remote controller from the garbage! Sounds pretty cool, huh? I personally like it since next time I’m doing my homework and my pencil is dropped on the ground, and I don’t have to reach down and grab it and instead I can make the arm do it for me! (too lazy I guess!) (And I better not mention that I should be lucky enough that the arm happens to be right beside the pencil)
I’ve done my best to make it as cool and easy as possible. It's not the biggest robotic project on earth, and it's not as trivial as some simple robots. I’ve tried to categorize it and make it step by step, however, I’m posting this tutorial after I built the arm, so I couldn’t take pictures of some of the individual parts. Please forgive me if that makes the tutorial difficult to understand!
These pictures were also taken before I attached the claws. I had some really crappy claws before, as you can see in the video below! But don't worry, this instructable offers better claws! HAIR CLIPS!
Here's the arm being controlled using Bluetooth, which is significantly harder than infrared (also the claws were crappy when I recorded this):
ALSO ALSO ALSO if you like this, please vote for it on Arduino Challenge HERE. Now that you'ves seen what we're talking about, lets get down to serious business and build it!
Step 1: Get The Stuff!
Arduino! (Sparkfun.com, I bought it with the Arduino Inventor's kit that's why I have the little black board that holds the Arduino + The breadboard, however, that's totally optional)
Breadboard + Wires (also Sparkfun.com !)
Bluetooth Shield (I’m using a SeeedStudio Bluetooth shield bought from Radioshack)
Servo Motors x 4 (3 standard sized servos and 1 giant servo. I’m using a “HS-485HB” for the base servo, two “HS-645MG” servos for the arms and a HS-805BB giant servo from ServoCity.com)
Batteries (RC batteries recommended, however, AAA Alkaline also worked for me, except for the Giant Servo. For the giant one, I’m using a RC battery with +5A current.)
An Infrared Remote Controller (Back in the garage!)
An IR Receiver (Radioshack + Sparkfun)
Hair Clips (or some type of Claw!)
Wood & Aluminum (or some material with which you can build the mechanics)
Screws (they’re everywhere!)
Super Glue (Walmart!)
A computer with Arduino software + a cable for connecting the arduino