Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Robot Progress (THR_33)

The gubbins have been fitted to the robot shells. Some cosmetic work has been done and  progress has been made on integrating the mechanical and electronic components.

Shawn O'Grady in the UM3D Lab built some parts for RDO_002 on the FDM. Since the build envelope on this machine is so small the 'speaker grill' had to be built in two halves. However, I took some shavings from an off cut of ABS plastic and dissolved them in Acetone. This makes a great glue. I had used this technique with ABS sheet stock before, but not with an FDM part. It worked out even better than I expected - the Acetone/ABS slurry wicked right into the part and the whole thing is one piece, now.

One of the big challenges left to overcome is the specific mechanism for the toaster cycle of TST_003. In the picture below you can see the toasting 'drawers' mocked up in cardboard and masking tape to see what potential interferences there might be.

Testing MXR_011's 'spin cycle'.

RDO_002 is too cute for its own good.

Using a servo and a gear to prototype the toasting mechanism of TST_003 was less than encouraging.

As an alternative, I've ordered a linear actuator. If it works this should free up some real estate and get rid of some additional weight.

In the THR_33 installation, the robots will 'live' on counter tops within the tea-house structure. We need a way to keep the robots from driving off the edges. Osman Khan accelerated the development of this  by writing some code for some QTI sensors so the robots will follow a line.


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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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