Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Civil/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering
Shunafrica White - North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
Co-Author(s): Jason Farmer, Elizabeth City State University, NC
Robotic arms have been around for many years and are widely used within industries. In the decade of 2010 the availability of low-cost robotic arms increased substantially. These types of robots are an ideal solution with applications in automation, laboratory, and education because of their adaptability to various industries and tasks. The objective of this project was to design a low- cost/affordable robotic arm including a manipulator and end effector with similar functions to a human arm and fingers with educational applications. The mechanism of the manipulator is similar to the articulated robot so that the links of the manipulator are connected by joints allowing rotational motion. For the end effector, a two-finger gripper was designed that allows the robot to pick up and place an object. The proposed robot has five degrees of freedom and operates with Dynamixel AX-12A and RX-24- F servo motors and mechanical components to perform a variety of tasks and operations. All the mechanical components including links, gripper, connectors, spur, and bevel gears were designed by SolidWorks and Cero computer aided design (CAD) software. A 3-D printer was used to manufacture the parts. The Arduino microcontroller and software were utilized to program servo motors so that the robot can do desired tasks. The design of this robot will provide an opportunity for educators to learn the knowledge of mechatronics that will eventually open up a whole new world of learning for them. For future research, the existing robotic controller can be enhanced with an autonomous- controlled system. The autonomous- controlled robot would be able to perform tasks on its own using a set of programmed instructions or code.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) who is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Faculty Advisor: Akbar Eslami, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Using SolidWorks, I designed majority of the mechanical components, including the end effector, links, connectors, and spur gears. I assisted with using the 3-D printer to manufacture the parts. I also designed the electrical circuit used to aid in controlling the servo motors.