We’ve noticed that [Carl Bugeja] likes flexible PCBs. His latest exploit is to make PCB-based springs that combine with some magnets to create little devices that jump. We aren’t sure what practical use these might have, but they are undeniably novel and you can see them — um — jumping around, in the video, below.
[Carl] did many experiments with the spring construction and design. You can see several of the iterations in the video, not all of which worked out well. A PCB coil in the base becomes magnetized when current flows and this repels or attracts the magnets at the other end of the spring. What can you do with a PCB spring? We aren’t sure. Maybe this is how your next microrobot could climb stairs?
Adding stiffeners produced springs too stiff for the electromagnet to attract. We wondered if a different coil design at the base might be more effective. For that matter, you might not have to use a flat PCB coil in that position if you were really wanting to optimize the jumping behavior.
Usually, when we are checking in with [Carl] he is making PCB-based motors. Or, sometimes, he’s making PCB heaters for reflow soldering. We’ve seen jumping robots, before, of course. we will say the magnets seem less intense than using compressed air.
4 thoughts on “When [Carl] Says Jump, PCBs Say “How High?””
With two PCB coil electromagnets, some weight budget could be saved to have a tiny battery on board also. Though might be hard to get the current needed.
It seems to me that using 3 springs instead of two is liable to get higher jumping because the magnet will have less tendency to twist and more of its kinetic energy will be directed upward.
But do you even need the springs? If the magnet(s) were placed in a loose fitting tube that has some stopper on the end the magnets will jump and then fall back down. Will you get more force if the magnets start off in physical contact with the coil, or at some distance above it?
that’s evading the mission statement of the project in order to get the goal result
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