Let's Make Robots!

Tulip manipulator

Pick small things up and put them down

I had this idea after I studied a tulip on my roof garden. In the morning the blossom opened, in the evening the blossom closed. If I forgot to water it, it let its head hang down. During the day the flower always tried to move to the brightest sunlight. The blossom is like a gripper, I thought, and the stem like a thin robot arm (maybe I should stop taking these drugs...).

However, next day I started to construct the robot prototype. The stem is made from a strong spring, a former toy RC TX antenna. The spring is actuated by a small cable winch. The cable winch is driven by a small geared motor and controlled by a magnetic encoder and a micro switch (position calibration at start up).

The gripper is made from 2mm ABS sheet and two small plastic gears and actuated by a micro servo.

The turn table is driven by a common unipolar stepper motor and has a micro switch on one of its two end positions for position calibration at start up too.

The next idea would be to construct a spring whose spring force could be electrical manipulated on different positions, so if you force it down, it only bent on according manipulated positions.



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Maybe this will give another slant to your stem... its along the line you are thinking.

I made this a while back (do you remember the PM tubes i made), well take 3 flexible tubes (maybe spring tubes like you have now) and bind then loosely together and feed a cable/fishing line through the center of each one and tie the three together at the top (this would be your gripper end).

Connect a servo or motor to each of the three cables coming out of the base (the base has to be secured well)

Pull any cable and it will bend to the side that the cable is through , or any combination allows a semi 3D neck movement.

When PM is brought into tension like this it is surprisingly stable, however super strength servos are required.

I missed this thread earlier. I might steal yet another idea for Venux from you, Gareth!

@Markus: Yeah for flower-inspired robots! The auto-flora will inherit the Earth!

Good idea, Gareth. Thanks for sharing :)

That reminds me one of these flower in the game. Nice thought!!

Very creative, I love your idea. I wish I could build whatever comes to mind 

Needs some sensors so that if someone brings their hand near it will try to bite them :P

thinking through flowers...   nice very nice