Saturday, January 23, 2010

GRASP 3 hardware setup

I will be using a mekatronix robotic arm. For the original GRASP I made my own frame and attached the servos to it. That was because I had a lot of time but now I have less time and more money so I bought the assembly from mekatronix (actually I bought it a few years ago and never got to use it).

The servos are standard hobby servos made by hitec (specs of the ones I'm using here).

So first thing's first: mount all the hardware.
See picture of the assembly above. It's simply a mekatronix mindstamp base and a robotic arm on top with 3 degrees-of-freedom, gripper, wrist and elbow. I screwed the arduino board in the back and a small breadboard to use as interface between the arduino and the servos. I thought I was going to oonly do that since I still have to go into the arduino language but I noticed that a) it's very similar to C which I have some experience with and it has a lot of libraries prewritten to take the complexity out of programming it. So I went to the examples just playing around and I noticed the servo sweep example. A miracle! It turns out that the arduino environment has very good libraries there begging to be used that deal with servo position control. So I opened it, qickly edited it to go from 1 servo in the example to 3 servos and you can see the video:

Next step is dwell into the processing language and get the servos moving through position commands sent from the PC. Wish me luck.

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