Team R.A.C.E’s capstone project is to undertake Robot 3D Motion Capture Integration. The primary objective is to build a detachable guard that will clip onto a robot to protect it from any extraneous damage that could occur when new users are testing the product. The secondary objective is to control a robot in 3D space using motion capture cameras. The largest obstacle this project is facing is putting forward the system that will test the guard’s design capabilities.
The design requirements include, but are not limited to: funding of $1000, made of a lightweight material that will not hinder the robot’s performance significantly, clip-on style quick-attach/release system which will allow the guard to easily be removed from the robot, and an audible warning system that activates if the guard becomes shifted, or if an object becomes within a certain proximity of the robot.
Proof of Concept
The main objective of Team R.A.C.E.’s proof of concept (PoC) is to prove that the spring and PVC pipe will stay in place after impact (Figure 2). Everything in this PoC will be 3D printed with ABS filament, excluding the compression spring and the PVC pipe. The block on the right represents the robot, while the block on the left represents the guard. On top of the left block, is a clamp that will hold the PVC pipe in place. This clamp can be locked together using a single nut and bolt. In between the two blocks is a low load plastic compression spring.
With the results from the FEA analysis, Team R.A.C.E. has concluded that the PoC meets the standards set from the engineering calculations for this PoC to be manufactured.
This project came to life because of the fact that grad students and teachers today are damaging their expensive robots when trying out new code on them. Dr. Logan, the team’s sponsor, made it clear this was an ongoing problem for him and his robotics team and was going to remain one, especially once they moved into the 3D Motion Capture Lab. In time, Dr. Logan would like to have up to ten robots moving around and functioning in this lab. This is where Team R.A.C.E. came in, Dr. Logan asked us to create a design that would protect the robots when collisions happen between multiple robots. This guard would also protect the robots if they were to run into anything else in the lab, like a wall or any kind of obstacle that could be in the way. The design that was created can be broken up into two parts, the bottom guard and the top cage. The bottom part is a 3D printed circular guard that surrounds the bottom part of the robot. The guard is made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or ABS and has eight compression springs between it and the robot. This will protect it form any kind of damage that could be forced upon it when a collision between two robots were to happen. Then there are clamps, which were also 3D printed from the same material, that sit on top of the bottom guard that serve to clamp in the top cage. The top cage is made out of pvc pipe and its main objective is to protect the expensive netbook that will sit on the turtlebots. The netbook needs to be on the robots for coding purposes, and Team 27 thought it would be good idea to build a design that could protect it as well. The bottom guard and top cage needed to be built at a light enough weight that would not affect the normal use of the robot. In order to do this, many calculations and tests were done to get them to be the right weight and size.
As stated above, the purpose of this project was to design and build an application that could protect robots from damaging themselves when functioning in a 3D Motion Capture Lab. The team’s sponsor, Dr. Logan, made it clear that harming expensive robots was going to continue to be a problem for him and his robotics team at the university. The design that was built for this issue will be very useful to the target audience because of its adaptability and functionality for the robots. The target audience and consumer for this project are grad students studying robotics or anyone in general that has robots they would like to protect from outside damage.
Now that the product is in the early stages of completing the prototype, the team can reflect back on the PDS to make sure that it is meeting the product design specifications. According to 27.PDS.1.1 the product is on track to remain under the $1000 budget. 27.PDS.6.1 says that the product must be able to hold and protect and onboard netbook. The top cage that was designed will be able to protect the netbook in the way the PDS states. Under a functionality requirement, 27.PDS.5.3 says that the product must be designed to not affect the normal function of the robot. The design of the guard and cage was tested multiple times to make sure it is light enough to protect but not affect the normal function of the robot.
Team 27’s manufacturing process consisted almost entirely of 3D printing. Around 80 percent of the final product was printed. The components that were not printed consist of the compression spring and the top guard which was built out of various PVC piping.
The assembly process of the guard was designed in SolidWorks. In the picture below from top to bottom, it consists of 8 guards, 4 poles, 7 clamp, 8 nubs, 7 clamp attachments, 8 springs, and an iRobot Create 2. To attach the guards, slide each of them in from the top one by one and then screw them in. The clamps attaches in the same way but it slides from the back of the guard and then screw them. The clamp attachments are aligned parallel to the clamps and then screwed in with a ½ PVC pipe in between to secure it. Using 3D printed nubs, one side of the nub attaches to the spring and the other side attaches to the robot using an industrial strength adhesive. The poles are used to attach a base plate (not pictured) at the top base of the robot on the holes already drilled onto to the robot by the manufacturer.
Testing and Results
Team R.A.C.E. completed several tests on the final product. The first test consisted of the full assembly. The team made sure every part fit correctly and there were no loose ends. After the lower guard was built into a complete circle, the type of adhesive for the springs needed to be decided on. Multiple tests were completed to see which worked best. Double sided gorilla tape was chosen. Keeping the weight of the guard low enough to not affect the normal function of the robot was one of the most important aspects of the design phase. To ensure the guard did not significantly hinder the speed of the robot, the team used a stopwatch to see how long the robot took to go a distance of ten feet. The guard and cage were attached to the robot and several tests were ran in order to observe the velocity.
After these tests, the team needed to observe that the guard could protect the robot from damager. In order to do this, the team would get the robot up to top velocity and have it collide into the same objects it would run into inside a 3D Motion Capture Lab. In time, Dr. Logan wants anywhere from 10-15 robots functioning inside of the lab at the same time. He made it clear that the other robots would be presenting the largest threat of damage to each other. Since Team 27 did not have any other robots at its disposal, similar objects were used and ramped up to the top speed of the robots for collision. This simulation was as close to a test that could be done in order to make sure the guard could withstand the force.
The guard that was designed by Team 27 proved to protect the robot from anything outside force that could be exerted on it, while also not affecting the normal function of the robot. Several changes were made during the design phase to the type of 3D printing material in order to decrease the weight. The most important of them being the switch from a high density to low density ABS material. Also, the 8 pieces that make up the bottom guard were changed from solid to hollow which decreased the weight almost in half.
The guard will make robotics easier because it will give the owners a relatively cheap insurance plan to protect their expensive robots. With some of these robots starting at $2000, Team R.A.C.E. wants to offer a device for cheap that will keep the robot safe. Also, the guard being detachable makes it very user friendly. Dr. Logan has shown a lot of interest in the final product since it has been completed. He has agreed that the design matches its purpose but also does not get in the way of its primary function.
Meet the Team
My academic accomplishments include learning SolidWorks enough for me to make my own printed parts for my camera and my electric longboard. Learning circuits enough for me to understand batteries and voltages to build a Quadcopter. Learning engineering concepts enough for me to help out the SAE Wolf Pack Racing club in their mission to build a car and compete.I am from Fairfield, CA and my family had moved to Reno, NV in 2005 for business. After graduation, the plan is to obtain a job that will allow me to use the engineering concepts I have learned in classes and from projects. Engineering has given me the opportunity to tinker with things, which I am always excited about. I want to keep advancing my skills while moving up in the world.
In high school, I never knew how to study for tests; as a result of this, I did not have the best GPA coming into college. Since then, I’ve put my best effort forth and currently have a 3.3 GPA. Not only have I learned to effectively study, I have also learned what it takes to succeed in my academic and lifelong pursuits. I was born in California in the suburbs of L.A., but my family moved to Las Vegas while I was starting Pre-Kindergarten. One of the biggest reasons why I decided to go to UNR instead of UNLV like most of my colleagues was my draw to the unknown. I had visited Reno a few times, but this was the first opportunity I ever had to get away from family and to start my own life. After obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UNR, I plan on moving back to Las Vegas.
My biggest academic accomplishment was when I decided to switch majors after my junior year here at the university. I started as a business student when I first came to Reno after high school. Even though school and my education took longer than I would’ve liked, I could not be happier I am less than a year away from graduating with a mechanical engineering degree. Since switching majors I have found a career in the engineering field I really enjoy working in and have been lucky enough to get an internship with a company the past three summers.The past two years I have earned scholarships through the mechanical contracting unions in the Bay Area which have paid for my tuition. Earning these scholarships have made the switching of majors feel that much better and more worth it. I grew up in Mountain View, California up until 6th grade when my family moved to the Sacramento area. I loved my time in the Bay Area and still keep in contact with a lot of my friends I grew up with when I was younger. With that said, Roseville, CA was a great place to move to when trying to get out of the craziness in the Bay Area. After college I plan to take a little time off to do some traveling and also relax before starting my career. After that time, I will most likely move to the Bay Area to begin working full time for the company I’ve been interning for the past three summers. I’ve been lucky enough to work for an awesome company in the field I enjoy working in and can not wait to get down there to begin my career.
I graduated from Reno High School, best high school in Nevada, in 2011. My Gpa and extracurricular activities were good enough to earn the millennium scholarship. During my freshman year at the University of Nevada Reno I earned a congressional award for my paper on the Institutional Review Board and how it would be beneficial for them to change their human research criteria. Having finished a majority of my class requirements I should be graduating from the University of Nevada Reno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in the spring of 2017. I was born and raised in Reno Nevada After graduation I plan on taking some time off to travel and see the world. When I return I will begin look for an engineering job, hopefully in the automotive industry, aerodynamics or working on the infrastructure of this country.
Citlali Hernandez Vite
My biggest academic accomplishment is making it this far while have had Guillain Barre Syndrome. Pre Guillain Barre learning a new concept was not a problem for me, the instructor had to go over it once and I would be able to pick it up. I was enrolled in honors and AP classes while being successful in them. Post Guillain Barre things were just not the same, I was no longer able to pick up the concepts, It felt like they would just go through me. I had to take it slow, go back to the basics, learn to be patient and ask for help. Being patient and asking for help were definitely my biggest challenges, now that I have been able to balance both I have been much more successful at my academics. I am from Truckee, California. After I graduate I plan to seek an engineering job in the medical field. To slowly make my way, to ultimately work with a company who designs devices for children with disabilities, for them to experience the freedom of movement. This goal goes back to my Guillain- Barre experience, I was blessed enough to gain movement after hard work and several sessions of physical therapy. Later in the process I learned not everyone has this outcome, I am one of the few rare cases who attain this type of recovery. This inspired me to set this goal to make a difference and potentially give the children who go through this or any other experience their freedom back.
The team would like to thank Dr. Logan for this project. He was a great mentor and constantly offered sound advice and guidance. Dr. Jim La, who let the team borrow a lab robot to work on and build the guard for. Finally, Tony in the machine shop, who offered his shop for tasks that needed to be done in order to complete this project. All in all, Team R.A.C.E. worked very well together throughout the year, and are very happy with the final product.