Apr 27 2011

Camera, motor, kittens

Going through the workshop, making small improvements and sorting some things out.

For one, after several months of it bothering me, I knocked together a better mount for the angle-poise webcam.

Doesn’t look like much, but now the tilt is on top of the pan pivot rather than the other way around. The previous one was smaller but meant the image was only level when looking directly forward (along the line of the arm). Turning to show what I was doing to the left or right meant the image turned on it’s side. This way the image should remain level and I’ll be able to manuver the camera closer to the action.

In my sorting, I also scrapped some broken battery drills that either had dead batteries, broken chargers or damaged electronics. So I have four sets of low-voltage motors with reduction gearboxes and torque-limiters, and one electric screwdriver with just the motor & gearbox.

I haven’t checked yet, but Wikipedia suggests about the maximum torque you can expect from a battery drill is around 30Nm.

I’d been considering using them to make a large track-mounted robot arm, but at only 30Nm it’s unlikely they’d be able to make the arm move under it’s own power, let alone do anything useful.

If I packed out the torque control spring I could have them continue to run at higher levels, but I’ll still need more powerful motors I suspect. I’ll be looking into what’s cheaply available. Initial enquiries suggest radio-control vehicle motors won’t have enough torque. Steppers may be another option.

I’m envisioning something of a comparable reach to that of a human arm, so about 30cm between joints.

And finally, we still have some kittens looking for good homes.

Awwwww

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