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Arduino Robot Arm Follow Your Movement

Made by The Tactigon

About the project

We wanted to use The Tactigon ONE and T-Skin to move a robotic arm and have it follow our movements, like a shadow

Project info

Difficulty:

Estimated time:

2 months

Published:

2nd January 2019

Items used in this project


Hardware components

Genuino Uno Rev3 x 1
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B x 1
Tactigon ONE x 2
TACTIGON SKIN x 1
Robot ARM x 1

Software app and online services

Arduino IDE

Story


Introduction

Hello! We made this project since we wanted to use The Tactigon ONE and T-Skin to move a robotic arm and have it follow our movements, like a shadow. By using 2 Tactigon ONE, one on the arm, the other on the forearm, and a T-Skin, weared on the hand, we made this possible! Other devices we used are a Raspberry Pi 3, an Arduino UNO, a BLE and a Servo Shields, and, obviously, a robotic arm.

Hardware Architecture

Lots of devices are connected here, so a little picture helps this:

Hardware Architecture

The Raspberry Pi 3 plays a fundamental role: it runs handle inputs from the human arms, translates it in servos' positions and then send the new position to the robotic arm. Nice!

The Arduino Robotic Arm is equipped with a Bluetooth Low Energy shield, with whom receives new servos positions, and a "servo shield" which allows to uncouple Arduino power supply from servos power supply, and so use high torque servos without draining current over the microcontroller's limit.

First Integration

The first step was to assemble few cardboards to resemble an arm: 2 joints to emulate elbow and wrist. This was to speed up tests, and avoid unwanted movement of the arm.

After this step we designed a little case with our favourite CAD and printed it out.

Our 3D Printed (half) Case

Ci siamo costruiti le scatole e abbiamo realizzato il pezzo finale

Fabiano working on the system

Software Architecture

Now that we know how our nodes are linked, we can analyze the software running on each of them.

Tactigon One and T-Skin

They run an Arduino Sketch which process IMU's data and transform to Quaternions. This data is then published over Bluetooth Low Energy.

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is running a Python script which uses 3 threads to communicate with Tactigon ONEs and T-Skin (T1, T2 and T3), a thread (T4) to handle all connections (and reconnect if needed), one for the UI (T5), and one (T6) to send servo positions to the Robotic Arm. T1 to T3 process data from quaternions to an angle, the new position of the arm.

Thread structure of Python Script running on Raspberry Pi

Robotic Arm

The Robotic Arm is running an Arduino Sketch too, which receives servo positions and applies to its servos.

Conclusions

This Shadow Robotic Arm is awesome since it can replicate human's movements with an higher torque (well, not the small unit we used in this test tho!).

Next step is to make it able to learn the movements, optimize them and replicate endlessly for Industry 4.0 purpose.

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