Bluetooth Robotic Arm

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Presented By:
Jake Roorda
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Tell us briefly about your project. Is it a work of art or does it serve another function?

This robotic arm was built from scratch for the Science Olympiad team of Grand Rapids Christian High School. It was built to move pencils, nails, batteries, and PVC pipes to various goal boxes, but it can clearly do much more.

When did you start working on this project and how long did it take you to complete?

Our team of 5 students started drawing up the design last November and has been working on it for hours each week ever since. This is the 4th major iteration and the last for this year's round of tournaments.

What was your goal in building this project?

The main goal for the students was to win the competitions, but the project was also an excellent way to teach high school students a lot about electronics, engineering, and programming. This is something that is not always emphasized in regular coursework, so giving students the chance to try computer, mechanical, and electrical engineering while they are still in high school is a worthwhile goal.

Does your project help to solve a problem? If so what problem?

Moving things around quickly without any wires to the outside.

What makes your idea unique?

It was made in one year by students who knew little to nothing about electronics going in.

In what capacity are you using bearings and what type of bearings?

There are all sorts of ball bearings inside of the motors, but we also added two 5mm ID ball bearings to help support the shafts of the stepper motors. This was important due to the large radial forces we were applying to these motors. There is also a 6 inch lazy suzan ball bearing under the platform to allow the arm to rotate.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about your project?

It is just plain cool and a great opportunity for learning.

How will you use the $5,000 prize?

It would go to help support the Grand Rapids Christian Science Olympiad team. In this way it would help buy balsa wood for towers, hardware for homemade musical instruments, and defiantly some new parts for this robot arm. Our hope is to upgrade many of the arm's components and also make the arm autonomous.

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