A Glitch in the System-Solving our Problems

10/25/2018

Things are starting to heat up, deadlines are approaching quickly and despite lots of progress, our robot buddy still has a good ways to go until he is camera ready.

The week of 10/22/18 started off with a solid work day on Monday as we had no guest lecturer or lesson plan other than to get down to work on our our projects. We took this hour and a half to establish a game plan. Our robot’s body had been sculpted and sanded but something was still off. After consulting the source material, we decided it would be necessary to taper his waist a little bit more to get the shape we want. So we added that to our to-do list. We had decided on giving our puppet “floppy” arms to be easily puppet-able and we had yet to attach these to the body so that was another item on our to-do list. We still only had one semi-functional hand for our project 3D printed, so my task for this week was to print the other hand in a higher quality in order to ensure the joints fit together better than our initial print and that it looked good on camera. The reason this hand needed to be printed in higher quality is that after consulting our source material, our robot only needs one functional hand, which so happened to be his left. (We got lucky)

 

So our initial, sloppier print will be used as a “dummy” right hand that doesn’t have finger movement and our new print would be used as the functional left hand. On Wednesday night I went to the UT Makerspace to print our higher quality hand and fingers but after the fingers failed to print three consecutive times, due to the ABS plastic not sticking to the printing bed. Since we had gotten a solid print of the fingers from the Foundry I asked Alex to do those while I printed a higher quality palm. The palm print was only supposed to take two and a half hours but ended up taking just under four plus the time from the failed prints.

On Thursday 10/25 our team met to assemble a bike brake cable mechanism to move the fingers of our figure. However, we realized that bike brakes typically work with gravity, not against it. Therefore it was difficult to keep the bike brake cables in tension like needed. A massive over sight on my part is that the brake cables need to be in tension to work properly but if the cables attached to the fingers are in tension, the fingers are curled by default which is not what we need. In the process of dealing with this problem we realized that the structure surrounding the forearm was far to flimsy to support the needed amount of tension to adequately curl the fingers.

As of Thursday night our team was working on creating a bone-like structure from PVC to support the hands and wrists along with developing work around for the brake cables to curl the fingers. This is the point of the project where it seems as though everything is going wrong that possibly could but I have hope that by the end of the week we will have a solution implemented.