Real Robot One Is… Real

Most of the robot arms we see are cool but little more than toys. Usually, they use RC servos to do motion and that’s great for making some basic motion, but if you want something more industrial and capable, check out [Pavel’s] RR1 — Real Robot One. The beefy arm has six degrees of freedom powered by stepper motors and custom planetary gearboxes. Each joint has an encoder for precise position feedback. The first prototype is already working, as you can see in the video below. Version two is forthcoming.

When you see the thing in action, you can immediately tell it isn’t a toy. There are four NEMA23 steppers and three smaller NEMA17 motors. While there are 3D printed parts, you can see a lot of metal in the build, also. You can see a video of the arm lifting up a 1 kilogram barbell and picking up a refreshing soft drink.

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Robot Repeatedly Rearranges Remnants In The Round

Sisyphus is an art installation by [Kachi Chan] featuring two scales of robots engaged in endless cyclic interaction. Smaller robots build brick arches while a giant robot pushes them down. As [Kachi Chan] says “this robotic system propels a narrative of construction and deconstruction.” The project was awarded honorary mention at the Ars Electronica’s Prix Ars 2022 in the Digital Communities category. Watch the video after the break to see the final concept.

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[Kachi Chan] developed the installation in pre-visualizations and through a series of prototypes shown in a moody process film, the second video after the break. While the film is quite short on details, you’ll see iterations of the robot arm and computer vision system. According to this article on the project [Kachi Chan] used Cinema 4D to simulate the motion, ROS for control, PincherX150 robotic arms modified with Dynamixel XM 430 & XL430 servo motors, and custom 3D prints.

We’ve covered another type of Sisyphus project, sand tables like this and the Sisyphish. Continue reading “Robot Repeatedly Rearranges Remnants In The Round”

Dead Spider Becomes Robot Gripper: It’s Necrobotics!

Robot arms and grippers do important work every hour of every day. They’re used in production lines around the world, toiling virtually ceaselessly outside of their designated maintenance windows.

They’re typically built out of steel, and powered by brawny hydraulic systems. However, some scientists have gone for a smaller scale approach that may horrify the squeamish. They’ve figured out how to turn a dead spider into a useful robotic gripper.

The name of this new Frankensteinian field? Why, it’s necrobotics, of course!

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Industrial Robot Repurposed To Make S’Mores

It’s summer time in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means campfires for cooking hot dogs, keeping the mosquitoes away, and of course, making s’mores. For our far-flung friends, that’s a fire roasted marshmallow and a square of chocolate smashed between two graham crackers. So called because when you’re done, you’ll want s’more. It’s an easy enough recipe that any child can tell you how to make it. But what if you’re not a child? What if you don’t even have hands, because you’re an industrial robot? This is the challenge that [Excessive Overkill] has taken on in the video below the break.

Starting with a Fanuc S-420 i W industrial robot built in 1997, [Excessive Overkill] painstakingly taught his own personal robot how to make S’Mores. Hacking the microwave with pneumatic cylinders to get the door open was a nice touch, and so are the vacuum grippers at the business end of the S’More-bot.

We know, we said you were supposed to make them on a campfire — but who wants to risk cooking their vintage robotic arm just to melt some chocolate?

There’s a lot of story behind this hack, and [Excessive Overkill] explains how they acquired, transported, and three phase powered an out of date industrial robot in another of their videos. Of course, this is Hackaday so it’s a subject that’s come up before in the reverse engineering of an industrial robot that we covered some time back.

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Robot Arm Has The Touch

[Maurizio] built a robot arm, which is always a great accomplishment. But his project includes a very cool touch interface for an Android device that sets it apart from many other similar projects.You can see a very fast summary of the construction in the video below.

The design uses Fusion 360 and there are good explanations of each step in the process. The gripper is adapted from an existing design. Various 3D printed parts make up the wrist, shoulder, elbow, and rotating base.

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When Combat Robot Wheels Need To Be Nice And Cheap (But Mostly Cheap)

It started with [CHORL] making a promise to himself regarding constructing a new combat robot: no spending of money on the new robot.

That rule was violated (but only a little) by making his robot’s wheels out of EVA kneeling pads. EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) is a closed-cell foam that makes for durable yoga mats, kneeling pads, and products of a similar nature. [CHORL] found a way to turn them into light but serviceable wheels for his robot: the Susquehanna Boxcar.

Nested hole saws create concentric holes. Perfect for wheels.

Here’s how the wheels were made: [CHORL] began with two hole saws. Nesting a smaller hole saw into a larger one by putting both on the same arbor created a saw with two holes, both of which were centered with respect to one another. The only problem was that this hole saw was not actually deep enough to cut completely through the thick foam. Luckily, cutting roughly halfway through on one side, then flipping the sheet over and cutting through from the other side was a good workaround. That took care of turning the thick foam sheet into round wheels.

A 3D-printed part served as a wheel hub as well as gear for the drivetrain. We want to call attention to the clever method of reinforcing the connection between the parts. [CHORL] didn’t want to just glue the geared hub directly to the surface of the foam wheel, because he suspected it might separate under stress. To address this, he designed six slots into the hub, cut matching slots into the foam wheel, and inserted six spline-like reinforcements in the form of some ABS strips he had on hand. Gluing it all together with E-6000 and leaving it to cure overnight under a weight resulted in a geared wheel assembly that [CHORL] judged to be about as round and rigid as a wheel should be, so the robot had a solution for nice light wheels that were, above all, cheap!

Lots of robots need wheels, and unsurprisingly, DIY solutions are common projects. [CHORL]’s approach here looks pretty scalable, as long as one can cut some accurate holes.

Interested in knowing more about the robot these wheels are destined for? [CHORL]’s still working on the Susquehanna Boxcar, but it’s almost done, and you can read a bit more about it (and see a few more pictures) here.

Hackaday Prize 2022: MasterPi Is A Capable Robot With Fancy Wheels

When it comes to building a mobile robot, often maneuverability is more important than outright speed. The MasterPi robot demonstrates this well, using fancy wheels to help it slide and skate in any direction needed.

Four DC gear-motors are fitted to a metal chassis, each one driving a mecanum wheel. These are special wheels with rollers fitted around their circumference at an angle that allows the robot to move in all directions and rotate in various ways depending on how each wheel is driven.

On top of this highly maneuverable chassis is placed a 5-degree-of-freedom robotic arm. The robot also gets a ultrasonic sensor for avoiding objects, as well as a camera for line-following duties. The camera also allows the robot to pick up blocks and identify their color, and it can then sort them into boxes. It’s all powered by a Raspberry Pi, running a bunch of Python code to make everything happen.

It’s a neat project that shows off just how capable a robot can be with some smart design choices and modern computing hardware on board. We’ve seen some other smart block sorters before, too. Continue reading “Hackaday Prize 2022: MasterPi Is A Capable Robot With Fancy Wheels”