Monday, January 18, 2021

Mechanical airball crufty prototype

In between bouts of work on "serious" things, I whipped together a sorta-prototype of the mechanical Airball concept, using two Hitec HS-81 servos I happened to have around, and a bunch of 3D printed parts. Here's the obligatory CAD:

I used glass beads (6/0 size) as ferrules for fishing line; this tended to have a bit more friction than I would like due to the sudden bends and means I should probably use pulleys instead. Here are some photos of the thing:

I failed to account for the tensions in the lines and how they would interact, which means that the left/right travel of the "ball" was limited. A future prototype should make a more full analysis of the ranges of motion desired, and also greatly simplify the paths of the "lines" controlling the ball so as to make it easier to put the thing together. All good lessons learned.

This is a brief video where you can see me moving the pulleys by hand and moving the ball around. Clearly there's too much friction to expect anything more from this particular prototype.

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