Introduction: Stewart Platform: Ball & Plate

Here we will teach you how to do an Stewart Plate: Ball & Plate

The purpose of this machine is to keep the ball always in the center of the plate.
How we will do this?

Well... with lots of code for an Arduino Mega, webcam to track the ball and a platform build in a way that the servomotors can move smooth and keep the ball on its place.

Let´s go for it.

Step 1: Step 1: Materials

We will need for this project:
- 6 Servomotors
- Arduino Mega

- 6 Acrylic blocks of 50x50 mm

- Webcam

- At least a sheet of acrylic of 60x90 cm of 3mm of thickness

- 6mm Endmill

- L profiles to fix the cubes into the base

- 12 spherical unions

- 1 meter of threaded bar

- 12 M3 screws

- glue to paste acrylic

- Up to 24 Voltage source


Step 2: Step 2: Laser Cutting and Router Machining

We use a 80 Watts laser cutting machine so the parameters for cutting the 3mm acrylic where:

- Speed: 30mm/s

- Power: 50%

What we need to laser cut are the hexagonal plates, barriers and two columns for the base of the webcam.
The files for laser cutting are Hexa8, Hexa6, barreras, camara and column

The file named Hexa8 is the base of the servos, hexa6 is the one that will have the ball and the barreras are the walls for every base.

camara and column are the files for the structure of the webcam.

For the 50x50mm cubes of acrylic we use a router machine with a 6mm Endmill. The goal of this is to create the perfect space for the servomotor to fit and don´t move during the operation of our project.

The G code is the file we need to use for the router and the acrylic cubes.

Step 3: Step 3: Building

Now that you have all the components for the structure, we will build it in order that it looks like the picture.

Keep an eye where the servos need to be and where the will be attach in order to have a fully functional prototype.

Step 4: Step 4: Programming

Download the attach Arduino Code to your Arduino Mega.

We use the framwork for trakcing named OpenCV to follow the ball and give a response to the servos. With this framwork we filter the colors to use only the green one and with that we also decreased the noise the camara keep sending.

Step 5: Step 5: Testing

We know that the first tests of this won´t we as smooth as we want, but it all depends on the tracking and the adjustment of the PID controller that is on the Arduino Code.