Sortarm Project Log #3

November 20th, 2010

It’s been a long time. But finally some great news!

So I’ve managed to finish the whole structure of the arm and I ran into some trouble, a couple servo gears melted because of the load. From now on, I’m using only metal gear digital servos. Already replaced two, the others seem to be doing fine, but their not as stable as they could be, so I’m going to replace them soon.
After finishing the structure I’ve started to code the example applications. Initially there we’re supposed to be three demo apps:

  1. IrcArm – The Arm would have an IRC client, and it would obey the commands of users in a certain channel
  2. PS2Arm – The Arm would be controllable by a ps2 mouse.
  3. HIDArm – The Arm would be controllable by a USB HID gamepad

I’ve finished the IrcArm example and tested it live with GZORG and a couple of friends from freenode using the help of ustream so that users could actually see what they were doing with the arm :]. After that I’ve made the PS2 example which you can see in the video, but I haven’t decided on doing the HIDArm example. Right now it all depends if opendingux (a linux kernel for the Dingoo handheld gaming device) will be adding HID support for the device to act as a usb gamepad. If they, won’t I don’t see any reason to make the HIDArm example.
So the cad design modification and publication is next in my scheme, I’ll probably release these design without testing them myself so be sure to watch out for an “ALPHA” label, I’ll remove it once I test the designs myself. After that I’ll probably clean up the example code, release all of them and move on to the main Sortarm project, maybe make a Little breakout board for the mbed in between.
And finally I’d like to say thanks to Oleg of Circuits @ Home for the inverse kinematics function, to zear, z_man3007, ladderjack and GZORG for testing out the IrcArm.
See you next time!

Posted by mindw0rk

Sortarm Project Log #2

September 11th, 2010

So Guess what Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve got my parts manufactured!

And after some modifications and a lot of sanding, you can connect some parts together.

Then after a quick stop at the local hardware store to get some nuts and bolts it begins to take form.

Even though it looks like something it’s actually lacking a whole bunch of screws,the whole gripper part and it still needs some modifications, so the primary cad designs will be needing some changes from the ground up. So next update coming up soon!

Posted by mindw0rk

Sortarm Project Log #1

July 22nd, 2010

Okay, been a while since my last update so it’s arm project time!
So what is “Sortarm”, eh?  Well, it’s my project to build and develop a color object sorting robotic arm.

As you can see I’m already prototyping with the mbed. I’ve chosen this micro because of it’s great features that are stuffed in a tiny package. It has everything you’d expect on a 32bit development platform, but the features I would like to mention are 6 separate pwm outputs, a serial terminal over usb (on the same mini usb jack you see in that picture that is used for programing), ethernet pins that only require you to connect an RJ45 socket with (or without) magnetics directly to the uC and you a get internet connection.

I’m currently finishing with the CAD designs for the structual parts of the arm, also did some pcb design for a pwm brakeout board which also will have to be fabricated soon (I have quite a few boards needed to be done over this long time).
To tell the truth, this whole project was delayed tremendously by our countries postal offices. The order from sparkfun was delayed because they didn’t manage to find the invoice. I had to contact sparkfun, get a copy of the invoice, send it to the post office and then after weeks of delays I finally got it. But the order from for the servo hinges is already a month late and I still haven’t got any notice from anyone. GODDOMMIT.

And lastly a question for the Lithuanian readers: Anyone know a laser cutting company that is willing to do small jobs like this?

Posted by mindw0rk