Easy Hydraulic Robotics!




Introduction: Easy Hydraulic Robotics!

About: I'm a student studying engineering at Canterbury University in New Zealand. with a passion for renewable energy, electronics and almost all engineering. I have access to a full workshop both metalwork and wood…
There is a lot of small electronic robotics that use servos and stepper motors, but there are very little good, small hydraulic robotics happening. This arm using simple syringes in an effective way that is capable of lifting a fair amount of weight for its size.

The materials required are:
  • syringes
  • Plywood
  • Aluminum bar (this can be replaced with acrylic or wood if wanted)
  • riviets
  • bolts
  • screws
  • acrylic
  • piping
  • balloon
Only basic tools are needed,
  • hacksaw
  • bandsaw (not needed, a hand saw could be used)
  • screw drivers
  • vice
  • hammer
  • drill
  • drill bits
What gives this arm its large lifting capacity is having two syringes on each control and having counter balances. Counter balances make a slight negative force on the arm when it is unloaded, this means the syringes arm lifting the arm at all only the load. also having two syringes on all the lifting points, increases the weight the arm can lift as the force is spit between two syringes.

Using leavers and placing the syringes in the right place allowed the full movement of the syringed as well as giving maximum moment, the arm can pick up anything on a A3 sized piece of paper and further in some places, as well as been able to fold up into the footprint of the base.

Most robots have a claw type gripper at the end of the arm, i desired to try something a bit different, on the internet i found a cleaver claw design that was made out of a balloon full of coffee so i thought i would try it out. i work by lowering the balloon full of coffee around the object that needs picking up then evacuating the air out if the balloon, this causes the coffee granules to go solid around the object locking in place.Here is were i got the idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d4f8fEysf8

The green acrylic you see on the side of the arm is a self leveling system, commonly used on tractors and diggers to keep the bucket level, in this case it is used to keep the gripper level and works very effectively. I originally had a syringe on the bottom of the auto-leveling so the gripper could be tilted but i removed it to simplify the design.

The gripper is removed in this video sorry, i pop it when i got it out and didn't have another to replace it.
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    7 Discussions


    6 years ago

    I will try this awesome project. Easily acquired and fun, an excellent creation


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! as much as i would like it to be featured, I know it doesn't really have the required material. A pity projects have to be more than just awesome ;)


    7 years ago

    Yea i would like to, but i had already finished it before i decided to make an instructables. :/ i might try, im finishing a couple of step by steps at the moment so i will see after that. thanks for the feed back guys. :) Benjamin


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, this is a thing of beauty!

    We absolutely need two things:

    ● A step-by-step for making one.
    ● A video of it in action.