Step 18: Initial Operation and Testing

The basic idea is to build the support stands under the Tic-Tac ruler as it is clamped in the mechanical jaw with the movable platform fully forward and the neck centered.

Mad Dog Robot commands are: press volume up key to move the platform forward, press mute button to center the neck, press channel up key to open the jaw, manually insert the ruler in the jaw, and finally press channel down key to close the jaw. The ruler should now be in the proper position to allow us to locate the support stands.

Using two 3” long sections of 1 by 1 by 1/16 thick aluminum angle stock, attach 11 ¾ long Home Depot large wooden paint stirring sticks to the robot plywood base. The support stands go under the ruler and about 2 inches to either side of the neck main shaft centerline (4 inch span between supports). Mounting hardware: ¼ nuts, washers and 1” long hex head bolts (paint sticks to aluminum angles), 1/4 carriage bolts (angle sections to plywood base).

Clamp the two sheet metal support plates (see Sketch #6) to the paint stirring sticks with small clamps – office binder clips work well. The sheet metal support plates should be 2-3 mm below the bottom of the ruler, so the rule drops down when the jaw is opened. Test the positioning by pressing the channel down key to open the jaw and then volume down to move platform backward. The ruler should stay on the stand – if not adjust bracket positioning as needed.

Run several trials picking up and dropping off the ruler. After you’re satisfied the positioning is correct, unbolt the paint sticks from the aluminum angles while leaving the support plates still clamped to the paint sticks. Drill two 1/8” holes thru both bracket and paint stick and attached one to the other with 4-40 ½” long machine screws, nuts, flat and lock washers. The paint stick & bracket sub-assemblies can now be reattached to the aluminum angles. Run a few more pickup and drop off trials to verify position is correct.
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