It is the end of summer, and school will be starting in less than two weeks. I recently finished working on Robocon, which was a great experience. For details on that, check out the 2.007 and Robocon link, also on the left.
Before Robocon ended I was working on 2.007 style robot I have dubbed DragonBot. It was basically a more legit remake of a demo robot I made as a 2.007 UA in the spring to pick up a toy police car for the contest. I already waterjet some parts out of ABS plastic and assembled the grabber, but it is in my room at school. I am currently at my girlfriends house so I'm not able to work on it, but I should be able to finish the robot shortly after classes start. However, I still have my cad files! Here is one of the grabber, which is a rack and pinion.
The design allows for a strong grip due to the small radius of the pinion gear, applies force only in the same direction regardless of object size, and can let go cleanly without applying any torque to the object its lifting. This is key for precise placement of objects, which was critical in the 2.007 contest. Most of it is assembled using t-nuts (as seen in the lower left corner of the picture above), which I learned about from Charles. They are really handy when waterjetting parts; all you need to do use bolts to piece things together (I can explain in more detail if anyone is interested). So why is it called DragonBot?
That's right: waterjet dragon wings on a four-bar mechanism. The grabber simply slides into the slot you see on the bottom.
Well I guess that's all for now. I am also starting to work on a new super-secret project which I will reveal in my next post (lies), so check back for that later (or subscribe)!