Let's Make Robots!

Robotic Arm (AIM System)

Basic Robotic Arm - Able to manipulate a variety of objects within large size and location parameters.

My Learn-As-You-Go project...

 A few specs for the finished project:

  •  6 degrees of freedom - base rotate, shoulder, elbow, wrist, wrist rotate, gripper.
  • 12V SLA Battery power supply
  • Controlled by PICAXE 28X1
  • Sensors - Microswitches in each gripper, ultrasonic unit underslung on the gripper, possibly more.
  • Output devices - 8 servos (2 each for the shoulder and elbow joints), LCD and possibly a buzzer for debug.
  • Mainly aluminium construction, some brass and MDF parts where required
  • ALL HAND BUILT PARTS. I don't buy modules, or kits, because there's nothing they can teach me the net can't.
  • No existing plans. This is almost entirely my own design drawing influence from the lynx series of kits.
To date, this is my first project that looks like it will work. As a result it's slow going. I machine parts usually using a dremel rotary tool. At the time of writing I have finalised a ball bearing housing that I plan on building in the near future alongside a new wrist servo bracket... until then, the gripper remains the only completed part of the project (and that took a year or so of experimenting!)
I take any suggestions for it's construction, as long as I'm not told to buy a kit or module, scavenge systems from old equipment (individual parts is ok, but not a whole working system) or that I'm sacrificing functionality for aesthetics. I take some... strange design routes, but a lot of it is simply to impress the guys at school more.
I have lost track of how long I've been working on this, and how much spent, but both are quite high...  and my budget is running out, which has been a recent issue.
 On a final note, AIMS, or AIM system, stands for Artificial Intelligence Manipulation System.
Gripper Servo Connections
The gripper servo connections
The gripper touch switches
Actuating Mechanism
Side View
Bottom View
More updates to come! 


UPDATE 28/6/09 - Wrist Completed (Lower Arm still to be added)







 Sorry for some blurry images... Camera focus really wasn't working. 



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$50NZ - the 11kg version of that servo is the one in the wrist (not the rotate, thats a futaba). I'd need four, so I might need to save up a bit.
Good find Robologist, I am not sure about shipping cost but it is worth a look.
Looks pretty similar, shipping may be a hassle. It would probably cost twice that of the servo.
I got 4 baby servos shipped from them to here in the US, cost was about $20 total (about $5+ for shipping) and took about a week, maybe 8 days. I was impressed by their speed. You're even closer to them being in New Zealand, but that doesn't mean the shipping would be quicker or cheaper.
I think you will find that even with shipping this will be a lot cheaper. It may be slow though. My orders from futurlec usually take about 2 weeks to arrive once they've processed the order. Futurlec are a different company but from that same part of the world.
I can occupy myself for a fortnight, especially if they're the same dimensions as my futaba servos (the wrist one was) which I would be able to use as a template. I've got a lot of aluminium parts to cut, and all the electronics to do.

This is the kind of thing I use to make in my spare time when I was an apprentice. Weight will definitely be your enemy on this, I know from experience. You will need strong servos. These servos from Jaycar are metal gears, ball raced and have a torque of 13Kg/cm


If you get 5 or more of these then they are about $35 each AUD

Yours is pretty cool. Mine is quite big an heavy... the gripper was so heavy that even without anything in the gripper, a Futaba standard S3003 servo could barely lift it at the wrist (hopefully not a sign of problems to come, I'm going to use another couple) and I was lucky to find a near identical servo, that for only $20NZ more than the futaba, could provide 3 times the torque - sufficient to lift pretty much anything now. Unfortunately If I need to invest in more powerful servos for the elbow or wrist, for each joint, I'm $100 out of pocket... I haven't even bought any of the components yet! Except those for the power supply, I got those ages ago. So far all my testing has been done with a home made servo tester and calibrator.


Lol... If I hadn't forced myself to actuate both grippers from a single servo it looks like I would have saved myself a lot of trouble... 

i have allready made a 6 DOF robot arm myself, it think my is 12 times smaller when yours is done(i think!):


maybe it will inspire you! :D