We all bring our own areas of expertise to our work when we build the projects that find their way in front of Hackaday writers, for instance a software developer brings clever brains to their microcontroller, or an electronic engineer might bring a well-designed piece of circuitry. [Yvo de Haas] is a mechanical engineer, and it’s pretty clear from his animatronic tentacle that he has used his expertise in that field to great effect.
If you think it looks familiar then some readers may recall that we saw a prototype model back in February at Hacker Hotel 2020. In those last weeks before the pandemic hit us with lockdowns and cancellations he’d assembled a very worthy proof of concept, and from what we can see from his write-up and the video below he’s used all the COVID time to great effect in the finished product. Back in February the control came via a pair of joysticks, we’re particularly interested to see his current use of a mini tentacle as a controller.
At its heart is a linkage of 3D-printed anti-parallelograms linked by gears, with cables holding the tension and controlling the movement of the tentacle from a set of winches. The design process is detailed from the start and makes a fascinating read, and with its gripper on the end we can’t wait for an event that goes ahead without cancellation at which we can see the tentacle for real.
If you’d like to see more of [Yvo]’s work, maybe you remember his wearable and functioning Pip-Boy, and his working Portal turret.
Continue reading “A Tentacle That’s A Work Of Art”
We probably don’t have to promote the benefits of a third hand or PCB holders in general, such is their obvious utility. While you can arrange some boxes and pile up tools on your bench to get a similar result, a good grip and flexibility to move the PCB around during soldering or performing any other work on it makes life just so much easier. Thanks to 3D printing there have been plenty of inspiring designs that go beyond the usual clumsy-yet-cheap croc clip version of it, and [SunShine] adds one on to the list with his spring-loaded print-in-place PCB gripper, demonstrated in this video and available on Thingiverse.
The gripping part’s design is based on a spring-loaded box [SunShine] created a little while back — which you can read more about in his Instructable. The holder itself comes in two varieties: one that brings its own stand, and one that has a GoPro mount. The first one is really more to show off the design, and while the gripping part is fully functional, it might not perform too well with heavier boards and easily tip over. Sure, a bigger bottom or mounting it to something more sturdy will fix that, but so will the GoPro-mount version, which also adds the whole flexibility aspect.
If you do prefer something standing more sturdily on your desk though, have a look at the concrete-mounted solder squid from earlier this year. And if you’re interested in more of [SunShine]’s work, check out his 3D-printed brush collection.
Continue reading “Print-in-Place Helping Hand Grabs A Hold Of Your PCB”
With a background in software engineering, [Kris Temmerman] decided to make a physical demonstration of his knowledge in the form of a six axis robotic arm… the final product is a delicious display of mechanical eye candy.
Built from mostly aluminum stock, [Kris] machined the bulk of his parts with a CNC mill which he picked up for cheap from China. These custom pieces coupled with some hefty stepper motors ensure the arm’s accuracy as it twists freely and slides along the gantry it’s mounted to. Though the majority of the arm is metal, the hand at the end of his robot was built with 3D printed parts and can be switched out with the future attachments [Kris] plans to design. This classic gripper piece is driven separately with its own Arduino brain controlling the individual servos in the fingers.
Each finger includes some load bearing sensors which [Kris] harvested from an old scale so that the gripper can tell whether or not it has a hold of an object without crushing it. To orchestrate the robot’s movement, he wrote some nice looking software in C++ which visualizes the inverse kinematics at work in each point of articulation. For the sake of demonstrating his creation in action, he whipped up a basic demo that can locate and move colored blocks laid at random on a surface. A small camera mounted on the hand determines the orientation of the blocks relative to the machine so that the wrist can rotate itself in the proper alignment in order to pick them up.
[Kris] documented the build of his robot in a fascinating speed video which includes footage of the finished arm in action at the end:
Continue reading “This Home-Made 6-Axis Robotic Arm Is Quite The Looker”