Introduction: Stacking PhantomX Pincher Robot

This instructable shows how to use a Phantomx pincher for stacking boxes, that could later be implemented in real-life automation. As an additional thing, instructions also shows how to add a CMUcam5 Pixy to make a color sorting for the boxes, if needed.

On the work space, there is 3 assigned places where robot will do stacking. From the first square robot will receive boxes by one, then pick them up and move them to the second square where boxes are stacked together. In this system, full stacks is assigned to be 3 boxes on top of each other, that means when the second square contains 3 boxes, robot will pick up whole stack and move it to the third square, storage area.

By following these instructions you will see photos, videos and websites to help understand the process and how to come up with this solution to be able to built it by yourself.

The automatic system is made by the 2 students from Automation Engineering course in University college of northern Denmark.

Step 1: Equipment

Robot arm:

  • Phantomx Pincher Robot Arm Kit Maek II

( )

Color detection camera:

  • CMUcam5 Pixy camera -


  • Software - PixyMon


The clamp is useful tool to keep the robot in place, because of it's movements and unstable base platform.

Step 2: Arduino and Pixy Setup

Robot arm:

Digital input 0 : Push button- Start button

ISP PIN : Pixy Camera to arduino (communication)

BLK : PC - Arduino (communication)

Pixy camera:

J1 : PC - PixyMon (communication)

J2 : Arduino - Camera (communication)

Step 3: Final Program

To start the set up, the programs for the camera and the arduino board have to be uploaded.

Connect computer to camera and arduino via USB (See step 1 for instructional links)

To upload the program without color sorting follow these steps:

1. Unzip the provided zip folder: Callofcase.rar

2. Open file name: Callofcase.ino

3. Click on : upload.

If you wish to use the color sorting system then do this instead of previous steps:

1. Unzip the provided zip folder: CallofcasePixy.rar

2. Open file name: CallofcasePixy.ino

3. Click on: upload.

4. Open: Serial monitor.

5. Open program: PixyMon.

6. Press the house button to start.

7. By scrolling the lens, adjust the focus.

8. Press on action and select signature 1.

9. Mark the area of color you want to be detected.

10. Under configuration light conditions can be changed.

When run the program, in the action menu select- Run pan/tilt demo.

Step 4: The Starting Guide

When all the other steps are fulfilled and the program is uploaded, the robot is ready for its first run.

To get started:

  1. Place your object on the pick up square.
  2. Press the button- Start.
  3. Wait until the robot takes the object to the stacking square and return to pick up position.
  4. Place object #2 and press start..
  5. Wait again to place the #3 object.
  6. After pressing start, the program will take the last object.
  7. After the stacking square is full, robot will take all object and place the at the storage square.
  8. Then the robot will return to it's default position.
  9. To run the program again, press the start button.

The only difference when you use the Pixy, the camera has to approve the object of the selected color you have made in the settings. If the color is approved, the robot will run as described above. If the color is not approved, the robot will go to a trash position. After that, the robot will return to it's pick up position, with out counting the last object.

Step 5: Conclusion

Working with this type of robot and vision camera, has been time required project, but it gave a good understanding of automated processes. A lot of problems accrued when working with it, but it encouraged students to expand their knowledge of robotics and vision. It is a good practice for people who are new in this field, and for them who are planing to work with robots in the future. Programming of the robot was C based programming language that was required in the Arduino software.

Good luck!