…I’m dedicating the next year to one of my dream projects: Building a 6DOF arm and making it available for everyone.
For the last two years I’ve been teaching myself what I need to know to build a robot arm. I started the Makelangelo to learn how to use stepper motors. I built my first Delta robot to learn how to calculate Inverse Kinematics. I Build the first Stewart Platform because I thought I could use it as a wrist for the robot arm and because I want to drive at least 6 stepper motors in the final arm. It’s like I’ve got the Minecraft blocks and now I can craft them together. The Makelangelo 3 is out, the Seattle Mini Maker Fair is over, and I have more time to work on what really matters to me.
How does it work?
Let’s start by naming the major parts. The finger is the triangle bit at the end where a tool would go. Connected to that is the forearm, which is a parallelogram shape. Connected to the forearm is the bicep, which also has a parallelogram. The two parallelograms are connected by the triangle piece at the top, which forces the finger tip to always be level with the table. The bicep is connected to the shoulder where all the motors and electronics are mounted. The shoulder is connected to the base, which is suction cupped or screwed to a table.
Between the shoulder and the elbow there’s an extra “tendon” bar that pulls on the back of the elbow. See how there’s two gears on the front of the shoulder? One of those gears is attached to the tendon. That way I can put all the motors on the base and make the arm lighter. The second gear is turning the shoulder.
In this first prototype I’m using Two Adafruit Motor Sheild v2 on an Arduino UNO for the brain. For the first test of the software I used the gcodecncdemo for AMS2 with 4 axis. I could type gcode command G00 Z10 and the robot would turn to the left, G00 X10 would move the shoulder, and G00 Y10 would move the elbow….
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.