Hello people, this is the in depth review of a hand mimicking robot I made. The idea came to me when I wanted a robot that could literally do some tasks for me and so I used the human hand as reference for my design and made a frugal prototype to test out how it works and possibly take care of all it's weaknesses in a more refined version of it.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO IN THE NEXT STEP
PLEASE VOTE THIS PROJECT FOR THE INSTRUCTABLES ROBOTICS COMPETITION, I THINK THAT THE CERTIFICATE WILL LOOK GOOD ON MY COLLEGE RESUME AND THE PRIZES WILL BE A GOOD ADDITION TO MY ELECTRONICS LAB AT HOME.
Step 1: REAL LIFE EXAMPLE
This robot I made was conceptualised as the one which could do a variety of tasks, one of them being to help the mankind and the other to amaze others. In the above video, I have given a real life example of the robot using its arms [manually controlled by the operator] to pick up an object kept on the table, examine it from all angles and then placing it back on the table. Of course this is a set situation with presumed tasks but again, this is a prototype.
I gave this example to introduce what the real life uses of such robots could be in our daily life. While such robots are being used heavily for industrial purposes, the most common of them being in manufacturing of automobiles, I would very much like to incorporate IoT connected robots like these in the domestic world in order to provide people with a more intimate, useful and physically appealing helper in their daily life.
Step 2: THE CHASSIS
The chassis of my robot is very simple but self-designed. It is basically a 20gauge sheet metal (IRON), which is folded on either sides at a right angle and there are four mounting holes for attaching the driving motors of the robot. Aluminium right angle stock is used around the border to hide all the rough edges and make it look pretty. I got some iron stock bars welded under the chassis to act as counterweight and prevent it from toppling. I used door channels on top of the base and drilled holes in it after some intervals and inserted molex connectors connected in parallel for attaching LED’s as a kind of warning light.
For motors to drive the robot, I used 4 high torque, 150 rpm 24v dc motors, two coupled in parallel combination. The drive type is independent.
For the tyres, I used 4'' tyres that came with the motors I bought and honestly, are pretty good and offer great traction.
To finish the job, I used some high gloss, silver, acrylic lacquer to give the robot a neat, classy look. As it was my first time using spray-paints, the result was not perfect but worked out for me.
Step 3: THE ARM MECHANISM
Since the robot mimics the human hand, I would like to dive the various parts of the robots 'ARM' into the:
For the shoulder and the elbow, basically all workings are the same. For both, I used some very high toque 4 RPM 24V DC 'Industrial Motors' to lift almost anything I wanted to. Both are attached to each other with the help of some light weight, strong aluminium tubing I salvaged from old curtain holders and using them only made a very frugal but effective coupling to attach the motor to the aluminium tube.
For the wrist I used 30RPM geared dc 12v motors with a coupling I bought from the hardware store to attach the claw or hand to.
The hand or the claw is a simple assembly of a few gears and a motor which rotates the worm gear which in turn spins the two gears simultaneously that retract or extend the two claw like parts. All this is greased up and enclosed in a thin sheet metal casing.
All over the robot, nuts and bolts are used to secure everything in place. Through the whole arm, flexible tubing and bendy straws were used to keep the wires neat and compact along with a few zip ties here and there.
Step 4: IMPROVEMENTS..
Well, I would again like to mention that this is just a prototype of something, in which exists numerous improvements and new ideas waiting it be incorporated.
As this robot completes the build of my hardware par, I would now like to interface this with a microcontroller such as an arduino as I just started to learn how to programme and would love to see this robot behave without any physical human interaction.
I would really appreciate it if the people who gave their valuable time to read this would kindly also give their comments about what can and should I do to improve this idea and Please feel free to ask me anything about this robot, I am always there to help out.
Always remember to stay creative and search for new ideas as they are always welcome no matter how petite thy may seem to you.
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