You might be wondering, what we have been up too the last few month. The answer is of course: hard at work! Let's bring you up to date. Work has been concentrated on the control systems, structures, and organisation groups. As a result, the team is now 8 strong, and we're building our first prototypes.
But one thing after another. Let's check out the structures crew. We started off with a theoretical analysis of the various joints. Check out this page for the bigger picture. The formulas and geometry reveal sensible angular ranges. To find out, what angles are actually necessary, we salvaged the plethora of slow motion videos and scientific papers the web has to offer. That was all good and fine. But to really "get some grip" on the problem, it's just not satisfying. And this is precisely where the strength of prototypes comes in. Below are some shots of our fabulous tinkering.
Laser-cutters are awesome! Saved us a lot of work, to get some precision to the core parts.
Some more duct tape, paper, and skill later, there stood a useful, if abstract, shoulder joint model. And the assembly was as fast and crappy as intended. Nice.
The prominent rolled-paper-balance-thingy represents the humerus bar (upper arm bone). The thing hanging down in the middle of the circle is representing a piston of a hydraulic cylinder (obvious, right?). The two wooden manipulators crossing to the left, also represent hydraulic cylinders. In this photo we tested a dual cylinder actuation of the humerus. This greatly increases the useful angle.
We also tested a couple of other configurations, not documented by the photoelectric effect. But suffice to say, that we reached some conclusion of how we will arrange our kinematics.
Meanwhile in Switching-land: the first electronics are coming to life. The next crappy prototype will feature some hydrated hydraulics and electronic control. Of course they will be highly dubious and make-shift. This way we'll fail early and hard, as it's supposed to be.
Last but not least: organisation. Alas! To advance or not to advance — it all comes down to winning the hearts of additional comrades. Help is what we need most dire. Another campaign at the universities of Dresden is currently being prepared, which should bear fruit by the end of October.
PS: we fixed the share link below. It actually works now, yay!