Rad Grabber 3000

built by Edward Rupp

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Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors 3 Wheels
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
IR sensors
micro switch sensor on gripper
stepper motors
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
PIC Microcontroller None
Programming Lanuage Weight
Time to build Cost to build
URL for more information
This robot was constructed for a competition between the Front Range Robotics Club in northern Colorado and the Denver Area Robotics Club.

The basis of the competition is for a robot to find, identify and move objects that have specific characteristics.

The objects are PVC pipe cylinders that have specific height, color, weight and 'taste' which is a resistor across a couple copper bands.

My robot is geared to figure out what the object is by its height. There have been some varations of trying to detect and grip the object in the early days of this robot. The original design was set to see the object between a series of IR sensors in a V shape in the front of the robot. Which IR's light is broken would determine the objects height. The robot orginaly would maneuver forward until the object was in the base of the V and hit a micro switch. When an object was detected a single finger moved by a servo motor would come out of the robot and pin the object to the base of the V. The over all idea worked however the IR gap sensors were messed up by ambient light and sun light from windows. Also the simple gripping method was fairly limited for future contest levels when the game gets harder.

For a short time a CMU camera and ultra sonic sensor platform on a pivot was tested. However ultimately the best solution was the present system which used a IR range sensor mounted on a moving Z axis slide to move the sensor to detect the object's height. Then the home made gripper grips the object. The robot uses my favorite construction methods and materials, expanded PVC plastic cut by home made CNC and then glued together. The robot has a very integrated structure designed to hold motors, battery and my SIMM style PC boards, enclosed to make the bot look very professional and shield the electronics.

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