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Mechanical Arm for the Disabled Youth

By Michael Henderson |

For our mechanical engineering senior design project we were tasked to make a robotic arm for a young boy with muscular distrophy. In this task we had to pick up a variety of different sized and shaped objects. With this being said we needed a universal gripper. We ended up using a balloon filled with coffee grounds that was then connected to an air pump. When the balloon was pushed on an object the coffee grounds would mold to the shape of the object. Then when we turn on the airpump the air is sucked out of the balloon, which causes the coffee grounds to get extremely compact. This holds the pressure around the object allowing it to be picked up. We needed to create an arm that would reach objects high and low, and move forward and back. For the translational (forward backward) movement we used a robotic kit (channel slider kit A)that we recieved from your website, along with some additional parts and motors from your website. Your kit allowed us to have the translational movement of the arm, and the additional joint and motor we also got gave us our rotational movement. We had to complete this project in a month and your channel slider kit really helped as it was very lightweight, yet productive for the use of our project.

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