Let's Make Robots!

The Pretzel Maker

Last night Grog and myself got to talking, and he said I should make a robot to do my job and allow me to reap the benefits.  While being a great idea, implementation would be troublesome.  I determined that to do every task I have I would need a variety of specialized bots.  Regardless the thought of making a robot that can make a pretzel is quite cool, so I am going to try and design one for me to attempt to make eventually.

 

So, the steps to making a pretzel that the robot would have to accomplish is -

  1. Remove Dough Slug from a pan.
  2. Place Dough Slug on rolling board.
  3. Roll out to a length of around 3 feet (I could be wrong, and will find out for sure at work tonight).
  4. Pick up ends of dough and pass one side (lets go with left) over the other (right side).
  5. Repeat above step with the new left side.
  6. Pick up both ends and firmly attach an approximate length from the center of the middle.
  7. Pick up pretzel, rotate 90 degrees to the left and place on the ovens conveyor belt. 
I will get some pictures to flesh out how exactly it will need to be done.  But the what I have though of so far is that the bot should have 4 arms.  A left and right arm with gripper hands to handle moving the dough ends for flipping the pretzel.  A middle arm with two gripper hands to handle the pass over of dough. And a lower middle arm with a scoop/plate to pick up the pretzel and place it on the oven after rotation.  Again, I will get pics of my work area and the steps involved to clarify.

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I know for some bread types, rolling, folding, etc. add to the texture of the end product. For pretzels, does rolling help any? The reason I ask is that it might be simpler to "squirt" the dough out of a tube rather than picking it up and rolling it out. Also, rather than picking up the ends and tying a knot, the "squirter" could be directed so that it squirts the dough out as the squirty head is making the shape of a knot. Ta-daaaa...

Of course, if the rolling is a vital part of the recipe then this is all nuts.

 

Sounds like Boa is describing a 3d printer. checkout this open source version of a "rapid prototyper" that can build its own parts.
Rapid prototyping of foodstuffs. Gross.
and thus the revolution came to a halt....

Great .. as Lao Tzu wrote "Journey of a thounsand miles begins with one step"
Yeah - video is a good idea so you can decompose the things you would imagine it doing - most probably require more strength than a servo can manage.  I personally found interfacing with large motors very challenging .  You might want to start by making a bot which can just grab something  small (e.g size of a doug slug?) - Fritz made one which grabbed a cup.

I just got an vision in my head seeing a bunch of little bots make breakfast !   That would be a cool video !  People would love it, one bot gets the bread - puts it in the toaster - another on slices a slab of butter, get an egg, break it (hey a new challenge!) - very  Rube Goldberg or like the evil guy on 5th element!

http://letsmakerobots.com/user/1266/robots

Did you ever make any robots? Start simple :)

Not yet Fritsl, but I am getting my Arduino tomorrow.  I just like to plan and dream.  That's all.

You go Chainer! Dream on. And share your crazy stuf with the other dreamers here. My robots-page is also empty - sort of.

And don't forget to take a video camera to work tomorrow.