Week 12 - 13 Build

Ryan O'Shea - Mon 22 June 2020, 9:42 am

Building and Materials

After collecting resources from the workshop room, including the wooden hand, wires to move it, servos and pulleys I started building the final product. Working off the feedback from the prototype the goal is to make a more sturdy hand where the fingers can move freely and be positioned in any way I wish. The wooden hand has stiffer joints which enable the fingers to stay in almost any position which should come in handy for that. With all the wires attached to the fingers however, it is clear that they will not pull themselves back up like the elasticity that was in the cardboard hands so wires will also be needed at the back to pull the fingers back up. Additionally wires will be attached to the wrist and back to the servos to move the hand, and need space to rotate and move around in order to properly pull the strings.

As you can see below, I made a huge mess with all the materials and building, where most of which was done by trying to solve a problem using trial and error. Building using odds and ends I found at home, I used a plastic container for the arm which turned out to be quite sturdy, but needed to drill holes into the top and sides to attach the servos in so they could rotate it. A servo was attached to the wrist and the hand was pulled off the of the arm it was attached to in order to attach the wrist servo to the base of the hand.

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Putting it together

The foam base from the prototype worked very well and the servo was placed inside the plastic container for the next stage where all servos were in place. Another box was used as the container for all the wires and Arduino back end to put it all together and out of sight. With the physical components set up, the next stage was to connect all the wires on the hand to the servos, code the Arduino components then attach it all to the box and battery to make sure the hand stays where it is while getting powered to move and perform gestures.

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With everything in place the wires were loose to not stretch themselves out of place before the exhibition while getting all other parts in place. Glue and lots of tape was used to keep the hand in place, all weight resting on the arm servo as the hand will have to move independently to wave, thus not resting its weight on the base of the arm at all. The two distance sensors were placed outside the box facing forwards, offering a simple method to see from which direction people would approach the concept, then the arm would rotate to face the side from which they approach. This was done easily by comparing the distances at each and then using the distance of the side which was closer, and then the action relevant to the distance detected would be performed.

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After all the time and effort payed off, the final product was finished and worked decently well, however the battery runs out very quick and when I attached the hand it turned out to be very difficult for the servos in the wrist and arm to rotate. I am quite happy with the look of the final product and believe that it works quite well for the intended concept, and if it wasn't too heavy it could have been a successful design.

week12 final