For my last week of internship, I assembled the final draft of the rotation joint with the sensory. With the sensory in place, the rotation joint can now give feedback on its rotary position at all times. In order to use this information, I wrote some code in order to tell the rotation joint where to go. After a lot of writing code and testing its accuracy, I was able to finally program the rotation joint how I wanted it. I can enter in an angular variable to the program, and the rotation joint will rotate that far. With the rotation joint completed, that is one part completed for the robotic arm, and that brings this project one step closer to providing arms to those who need them.
This week, I printed out the rotation joint I had created. I assembled the parts together by running a metal shaft through the rotation joint and secured it with a set screw. Then, I attached the motor to the motor chamber using screws. Once the rotation joint was assembled, I needed to add sensory to the motor rotation. This sensory will allow the rotation joint to send information of its current rotation position. This is similar to how you can tell when your arm is rotated in either direction. I decided to add a hall effect sensor in the motor chamber. A hall effect sensor is a sensor that detects magnetic feedback and records their amplitude. I then placed magnets on either side of the gear chamber with opposing polarity. Therefore, the hall effect sensor will record how close it is to either magnet and thereby determine its rotational position. I drafted a new design in SolidWorks with holes for the sensor and the magnets in the rotation joint. Next week, I'll print out these new parts and assemble them with the hall effect sensory. If this works correctly, the rotation joint will be able to tell its rotary position, and I'll be able to write code and tell the rotation joint how far to rotate.
For the first week of my internship, I started working on CAD design for the robotic arm. I learned a program called SolidWorks, which allowed me to create 3-d models of parts and assemblies, then print them out of a 3-d printer. I practiced my skills by drafting various parts I found around the workshop, like motors and screws. After I had become familiar with the CAD program, I started working on a rotation joint for the robotic arm. I created a chamber inside the arm that would hold the motor. Then, I created a larger chamber holding an internal spur gear. The motor chamber can be placed inside the gear chamber, allowing it to rotate around it and simulate human arm rotation. After I had designed both the parts, I put them together into an assembly on SolidWorks. Next work, I'll hopefully be able to print the parts out and test their efficiency.
Today was my first day on the internship at Unlimited Tomorrow. I got started working with SolidWorks, and formed an understanding in the techniques utilized in the modeling of parts. Eventually, I'll be designing and assembling the parts of the robotic arm.
I am proud to present Unlimited Tomorrow's Robo Arm!
I will be working with Unlimited Tomorrow, an engineering company dedicated to making technology accessible to those in the world who need it most. Their statement is:
Unlimited Tomorrow’s mission is to make technology accessible to those who need it most. Our products enable humans to perform otherwise impossible tasks which solve today’s biggest problems.
When ideas are limited with technology, we strive. Always looking forward, we create technology to match our dreams.
Unique thinking leads to incredible ideas. We not only conceptualize new ideas, we make them reality.
Efficient design and cutting edge techniques mean that our products reach all audiences.
We cater our products to the user focusing on their needs before ours.
During my internship, I will be working on a program called SolidWorks. This program allows me to render and design 3-d parts and assemblies, then print them out on a 3-d printer. I will be designing and producing the parts for the robo arm in order to make the operations as fluid and efficient as possible. The design and assembly of the robotic arms are completely open source. This means that anybody and everybody with the skills necessary can access the files and create their own robotic arm.
I am very excited for this project, because I love the experience of designing robotics and helping those in need. Currently, prosthetic arms can cost upwards of $80,000, and often need to be replaced when they're outgrown. Completing the robotic arm project would mean allowing those without arms to finally have the four limbs they deserve at little or no cost.
I'm also ecstatic for the opportunity to learn how to design the parts essential for the robotic arm. Prior to the internship, I've done a lot of refining on my ability to properly use SolidWorks. I'm excited at the prospect of being able to take my skills even further and actually create my own robotic arm.
I will use the skills I learn during this internship to create the optimal design for a robotic arm and aid in giving technology to those in need across the globe.