Robotic Arm.

My goal for ETRO 296 is to create a robotic arm. Prior to the start of this class I made a simple servo controlled robotic arm in preparation for a larger project. The arm will be controlled with an Arduino Uno/Mega with 4 to 6 degrees of freedom (4 to 6 axis). Stepper motors will control movement. The main parts of the body will be 3d printed in PLA and ABS depending on wear requirments.

Design of the arm will be completed on Rhino3d and may utilize existing plans that will be modified to suit project outcomes for use/demonstration.

The control software will depend on factors of how many stepper motors are implimented as well as tools and available head components such as a gripping claw, suction device, or sensors to allow sorting of objects by size, contrast or color. Limit switches might also be added to establish maximum movement ranges to protect parts and initialize or zero the machine. Realizing final aspects of the project may happen beyond the time frame of one semester.

Since control software is either non existent or proprietary, custom software will need to be designed to control the arm in C++.

Project steps.

  1. Define actual goals and uses of the arm.
  2. Create BOM for basic materials
  3. Break up project into main areas:
    1. Design/Engineering
    2. Hardware
    3. Software
    4. Publish specs on working end for potential projects other students can use to add on tools for working end, such as color sorter or other sensors.
    5. Documentation of materials, steps, challenges. Include videos, math solving, coding, documents, drawings, 3d Files (STL, 3dM, 3dS), lists of equipment, and complete BOM.
    6. Complete Instructables/”How to build it guide” using sources material from step 5 above.
  4. Create final presentation/demonstration on time – May 2017.