Magenta Strongheart returns for a look at some of the coolest robotic entries from this year’s Hackaday Prize. Each of these answered the challenge for modular designs that will help supercharge new robot projects.
We think that cheap and abundant motor designs are poised to revolutionize robotics and several of the entries thought along those same lines. [Masahiro Mizuno] came up with a great 3D printed servo design based around a 6mm DC motor. Also in this ballpark, a team of two — Giovanni Leal and Jonathan Diaz — used 3D printing to turn some tiny metallic servos into linear actuators.
Picking stuff up is a difficult thing for a machine to do. We’ve long enjoyed seeing jamming grippers which do it with an inflatable bladder around a granular material (watch the video… it’s amazing). Two of these were demonstrated as part of the challenge. The Universal Jamming Gripper focuses on the entire mechanism, while Programmable Air took aim at the pneumatic actuation system and can adapt to other soft-robotics uses.
Rounding out this update, make sure to take a peek at the PCB stepper motor [Bobricius] built after being inspired by [Carl Bugeja’s] PCB motor. You’ll also want to see the entry that is taking on industrial farming. Imaging slow-rolling behemoths that use computer vision and spinning tillers to take care of weeds, cutting down on herbicide use.
Right now we’re in the thick of the Power Harvesting Challenge. Show us how you’re getting power from an interesting source and you’ll be on the way to the finals. Twenty power harvesting entries will get that honor, along with a $1,000 cash prize. The five top entries of the 2018 Hackaday Prize will split $100,000!