Tying Knots With Industrial Robots

We’re not ashamed to admit that we desperately want a pair of high-end industrial robot arms to play around with. We don’t know where we’d put them — maybe the living room? — but we know that we’d figure something out.
This demo aims to get Boy Scouts interested in robotics by applying the beastly arms to something that all kids love, learning to tie knots. (If you ask us, they’ve got it backwards.) Anyway, there are two videos embedded below for you to peek at.

In case you haven’t thought about knot tying, it’s actually a neat problem for robot arms. They have to get close to each other, at odd angles, and not collide. Programming the various routines would be a very interesting challenge, and we can only hope that some of the kids who see this, and who share our enthusiasm, get to dive in rather than simply watch the show.

So how about it Hackaday? What would you do with an industrial robot or two? Use them for art? Or make precise tattoos? Or go DIY?

Thanks [Jason] for the tip!

26 thoughts on “Tying Knots With Industrial Robots

  1. >We’re not ashamed to admit that we desperately want a pair of high-end industrial robot arms to play around with. We don’t know where we’d put them — maybe the living room?
    Excellent! :-) *lol* I’m just a bit worried about the reaction of your wife if you do this… (but maybe you are single?)

    1. Carefull: Somewhere there is a lady engineer that wants some robotics in the lounge, if only she can get her husband to agree. In fact my wife was the one to suggest we convert the master bedroom into a workshop. It is after all the biggest room in the house, and as such, the most suitable.

      1. You are perfectly right, of course there a also women that would love to have an industrial robot and would have to convince their husband and not the other way around. I was just joking!

          1. @some guy – There probably exist some ladies that like robots, but most of engineers have their ladies that don’t like idea of a big robot arm in “family area” of a house (where family area is “everywhere except your cave in basement”).

  2. As my troops resident knots and lashings guy I find this very interesting. However given the enthusiasm that I see for knots, I agree that using this as a tool to get kids interested in robots is kind of backward. However it might work for encouragement. “Hey Jimmy, lets see who can tie the bowline faster, you or this robot”

    1. Not sure that encouragement is quite the right word to use. Today, we are going to give Jimmy a lesson in humiliation and a new, deeper understanding of his current and future employability prospects as he gets utterly destroyed by the bowline tying robot.

  3. Do they even bother to teach knots in the Movement anymore? They have watered down the badge requirements as to make them pointless from what I can see. At least compared to my day.

  4. You want two robot arms and you dont know where youd put them? That clearly shows you dont have the imagination deserving of having two robot arms. Step 1 – remove own arms, step 2 – work out how to graft robot arms to torso, step 3 – robot arms!

  5. I’d love a robot arm in the kitchen, probably embedded in the ceiling or counter. You could get it chopping, mixing, grating, shaking woks etc. I have some reservations about giving a robot a knife though.

    1. If you mean something this small and built as well as these? Never? But that also depends on what you consider affordable. Fanuc also makes robots about this size and they use them in schools.

      Now, if you want a full size industrial robot you can often get those for almost scrap price. But you mist make sure the controls and teach pendant are there otherwise it is a pile of scrap.

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