Stack-a-bot is a robotic arm intentioned for photographing body parts in order to make precise 3D models for producing prosthetic splints. In this photographic version the arm will have four degrees of freedom. This photographic arm can also be used for making 3D models of unique items for example for those that sell antiquities on Ebay. The stack-ability of the arm and the versatile usage of the joints in the arm will probably open for other usages of the arm where extreme precision is not needed. This stackable robotic arm can also be used for teaching robotics and programming of robots for beginners.
A search for DIY robots on the Internet did not reveal a lot of things done in this field before. The legendary Delta Robot is a great project of “Pick and place” robot, but the usage of the robot is somewhat restrained. Other robotic arms such as Linx and Ponoko are static robotic arms, where you can’t rearrange the movement or add degrees of freedom easily.
The main focus of this final project of mine is to develop the joint of the robotic arm and write a basic code for controlling it. The delivery of the project is fully developed Prototype II of Stack-a-bot, where I should be able to stack four joints into a fully programmed arm designed for photographing.
Following tasks are to be completed to accomplish that:
Design and build the arms of the robot
Design the main circuit board for the Stack-a-bot (due 11. May 2012)
Design the C- code for controlling each motor of the robot (due 15. May 2012)
Design the C- code for coordinating the movements of the arm (due 18. May 2012)
Test the capacity of each joint (nominal torque with acrylic gears) (due 10. May 2012)
Assembly of the first unit. (due 10. May 2012)
Testing the first unit (due 21. May 2012)
The prototype will be made from various materials such as acrylics, steel, and milled/printed plastics where I make mostly every part of the unit. Prototype III that I will make later this year, will be made with Carbon fiber reinforced tubing, aluminum and bought gears (those I make now are from acrylics).
Estimated cost for building a 4°freedom Stack-a-bot is US $ 70-100
Detailed information on the build and materials of the joint and cost estimates are to be found here.
Detailed information on the build and materials of the circuit boards for the robot are to be found here. (coming later)
You can build a Stack-a-bot with the standard equipment of a Fab Lab;
Epilog Laser cutter (acrylics)
Roland Modella milling machine (circuit boards)
ShopBot milling machine or 3D plastic printer. (end units of the gearboxes)