While some robots are well designed from the start, with a large budget and all new components, this series of robotic arms by Rue Mohr apears to go the other direction entirely, using a variety of recycled parts. The results, however, are quite impressive; he’s able to actuate one of these manipulators with a linkage-based device that tracks his finger movements and responds in kind.
It’s a neat action to watch, and he can open and close the grippers by doing the same with his thumb and index finger, and manipulate the gripper wrist, elbow, and shoulder as needed. Custom control software streams positions at (most likely) 9600 baud, and an Arduino Pro Mini is used in the controller fixture, the base of which is made out of a recycled enclosure from some sort of “media converter.”
The result is something that looks very cyberpunk, and perhaps has a bit of the “used space” feel of Star Wars, where things generally work, but can also be cobbled together at times.
Mechanically, the arm Bowden cables for much of the motion, allowing servos to be placed where needed to counterbalance the weight of the gripper and other components. Each of the four robot arms is a bit different, and Mohr notes that making them got addictive, but was forced to stop when he ran out of room/money, which, along with time, seems to be where many of these type of projects meet their end. Regardless, this series of projects is worth checking out for anyone that enjoys custom-built devices made out of whatever is available!
Thanks @fxrseen for the tip!
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Author: Jeremy S. Cook