The Handy Device is our attempt at making a robotic hand. Our main goal was to make the hand capable of grasping various objects.
We started the project with Imagining phase, where we figured out our essential goals for the project while determining what it was going to be. The imagining process looked like this:
Once we had a better understanding of what we wanted, our group was tasked with creating a rapid prototype of the hand. our rapid prototype consisted of toilette paper rolls, and straws. Although it wasn’t pretty, it was able to showcase how we wanted our fingers to move. each finger was connected to a piece of fishing line and when a line was pulled, that finger folded inwards. to guide the straw fingers bending, we had cut little slits on each straw as if they had digits so that they all bent in one direction.
With every project made at the south end tech center, project groups have to present the ideas for their projects and show what they had accomplished thus far in terms of planning. Here is our review:
Our main takeaway from the judges was that needed to find a better target audience for our project in order to narrow down our aim to finish one function of the hand. The next couple weeks were spent doing a variety of tasks: contacting college students and companies to help us, researching what has been done already and planning our next steps.
So Many Prototypes
Over the course of the next couple weeks, Betty and I had designed a variety of prototypes for the project. Most of our time was spent on different finger prototypes. While Betty and I worked on the overall structure, Gabriel and I worked on coding the motors to work with the fingers.
(Bellow) a new finger design. We planned to use acrylic for it was a sturdier material than wood and it looked better overall.
With all of the prototyping going well, we were finally able to make a hand. Here is a stop motion video of our progress thus far:
We then wired the hand so that each finger was able to be moved mechanically. All that was left at this point in project building was to attatch the motors to the hand and finalize the coding. I then designed the base to hold both the hand and motors to present it.
The project expo
Finally the project expo had arrived and we had to present what we had accomplished. the downside to the expo was that the project wasn’t where we wanted it to be. With the time given over the summer while teaching, we weren’t able to design the arm structure for the hand to move around with. The code didn’t work due to an unseen error, and we didn’t have enough power running through the overall project to operate all five motors. These were all issues that we weren’t able to discover and/or fix during the time we were given to make. However, even though the project wasn’t were we wanted, we were able to still show the hands movement without the motors, and was able to present the progress we did make over the summer (which was a lot being that i designed a 3d hand on a 2d medium.
More details on our progress can be seen on our project page here