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A project log for Robotic Painting Arm (made from cardboard)

This is a robotic arm that will be able to paint paintings, it is made from cardboard, scraps, and Servos (quarantine project).

weffWeff 06/30/2020 at 08:130 Comments

June 30

I added a circuit diagram to the images associated with the project, hopefully with this and the code posted on GitHub it can be easily replicated. ( Sorry I didn't do this sooner! I probably should have done it first thing).

Second, I've gotten the arm to point to locations on the real world canvas (RWC) by clicking inside a pseudo canvas on the screen. The next step will be to tie this function to my image recognition code. The RWC so far needs to be at a pre-determined distance to calculate the forward kinematics, I do however have the Maxsonar EZ1 readings being input and displayed. This will be used to determine the distance in the future (but I was also thinking of writing a setup function that creates some kind of "heat-map" of distances. The reasons I would do this are, 1. it's totally cool and would make this project more versatile, and 2. I don't think it will take much extra coding from the original intent to get there ). The "hand" is also auto-leveling now, so as it accesses any point on the RWC the paint-brush is level to the ground, one next step will be to add brush strokes associated with the image content once it arrives at the correct position.

One note, that seems important to mention, is that the servos aren't terribly accurate, specifically the MG66R's...I'm looking into some ways of reducing the margin of error (adding more power, and a handful of other ideas I've found. I will update on any failures/ successes of that ). The reason I'm not using stepper motors is...I didn't have any. If I have to break down and buy one, I'll of course mention that, but one of the tenets of this project is: make a robotic arm that anyone interested in robotics could make with as little cost as possible. I think stepper motors tend to cost a little bit more, especially for the size I would need. But! I also don't want to have a wildly inaccurate arm. To be continued! 

Lastly, I will likely post two sets of code for this project, the simplified one for just manually moving the arm (which is a good thing to start with anyways for calibration, testing, and fun) and the more fully developed code to include the art making processes. The former should be updated within a matter of days, and the latter perhaps by the end of next month (if I have a really productive month).