Project MeBot

This project, called the MeBot was the Master's thesis work of Siggi Orn.

The MeBot went through several iterations throughout its lifetime, and Siggi was preparing a new and improved version for his Master's thesis. This new iteration was jam-packed with new features and devices, and new degrees of freedom. Siggi and I collaborated on developing 3 DOF arms for the little MeBot; big enough to create arm gestures, but small enough to effectively move their own weight around and not obstruct the motion of the neck.

The proposed actuators for the arms were two types of micro servos. One would control the forearm, and one would control the full arm's "swing" DOF. To then mobilize the whole arm for up and down rotation, we used a mini gearmotor paired with a custom gear setup to give us the necessary torque to move the whole arm while keeping to a confined space. We used a common prototyping method of creating 3D shapes by using standoffs and waterjet-cut plates to construct the arms.

To create the sympathetic interface, I designed a controller that had each joint rigged with a rotary potentiometer that relayed position information back the robot. Each plate that connected to a joint had a shaft collar mechanism designed into it, to give complete control of how tightly each joint was gripping the joint shaft. This allowed the controller to move similar to a posable action figure; the MeBot arms could be puppeteered into exactly the position the user needed.