This project's funding goal was not reached on October 15, 2012.
About this project
The Baccus robot arm is optimized for use in academic environments over a range of research and education tasks. University level class can use the arm for introductory courses covering topics and advanced classes covering motion planning. Software support for ROS enables easy integration and allows researchers to focus on their goals, like graduating.
The original design requirement was for the arm to be able to manipulate 12oz cans for robotic beverage delivery tasks. The Baccus arm is an ideal upgrade for your party robot.
Who are we
I Heart Engineering has contributed to a variety of open source hardware and software projects available on places such as Thingiverse and Github. We have a proven track record as a licensed manufacturer of the TurtleBot mobile robot which we sell in our online store along with many other robotics related products. On the software side, our team is an active contributor to the ROS community where we have provided several software packages, drivers and currently maintain a ROS Installer ISO for the TurtleBot. In our spare time, we also maintain the I Heart Robotics blog where we provide robotics news and information.
What is Left
We have a working mechanical prototype capable of lifting a 12oz can. Now, only a few tasks remain:
- We need to improve the rigidity of the base so that the arm can deliver beverages quickly, consistently and without spillage.
- Development of a USB interface for the arm. We have previously developed several open source circuit boards using KiCAD that are available in our Github repository and store. Building on this experience we need a controller that can control Robotis AX and MX series servos at the same time at high data rates.
- ROS interface needs to be developed so the arm can be controlled via interactive markers in Rviz similar to the TurtleBot Arm.
- The servos have individual PID controllers; we may be able to improve performance by tuning these controllers for the expected load.
- To grasp cans reliably we will need to mold rubber inserts for the gripper.
Funding beyond the initial goal would allow us to work on additional research and manufacturing tasks. This includes building a plastic exoskeletal shell for the arm, adding an option for an additional degree of freedom, and working to add support for the arm to MoveIt!
The entire project including software and hardware will be developed and documented as an open source project covered under the BSD license.
Please add about 10% for International shipping.
The Baccus robot arm can lift a 12oz payload at a full extension of 42cm.
The joint encoders provide orientation information of about 0.29 degrees per count.
The shoulder(vertical) and elbow joints have a resolution of about 0.09 degrees per count
We are planning to building a custom controller to implement a multi-port star network topology to maximize the bandwidth, reduce jitter and reduce the time difference between joint encoder readings. Our design target is to provide 1kHz pose updates.
- (25 days)