Exam completed and playing with robotics...ish

So, I completed my exam for my Open University course S217. I'll be surprised if I only get a little over 50%. Three hours just doesn't seem enough. Especially with having to write out the answers in full. I'm not happy with myself mainly, I could've done better.
I suppose I could put it down to the years of programming I've done, where I'd learn what I needed in order to accomplish the task, and then forget it afterwards.
Even now I have to refresh my memory a little if I go back in Java or Swift. Shouldn't take too long with VB Script though.

My next module started on Saturday and it has a residential side to it too. Where I'll get to play scientist in a lab. Should be fun :)

Half-Sphere iris project...

Getting a feel for how things'll move about
I started, or should I say attempted, designing this today. I kind of kept hitting a mental block. This may end up being an abandoned project.
But I'll persevere for now. On the right is a snapshot of my mindless wanderings through 3D-ness.

I think for this to work I need to design multiple parts at the same time, just to make sure they interlock. Plus approach it sideways. I'll figure something out :p

Robotics shenanigans...

Early last year (or maybe longer) I stumbled across a short article on Science Daily which detailed the use of Nylon thread or Nylon fishing line to make artificial muscles.
This involved twisting a thread until it coiled up like a spring. After stretching it out, it would pull itself back in when heated. Since this route of using artificial muscles seemed nice and accessible (funding-wise) I thought I'd have a go at this.
So after joining Science AAAS in order to gain full access to the published article (not linked for goos reason) I then sat on it till now.
I can't remember why I left it so long, but I do know that once my OU course started up I wouldn't be able to concentrate on it.

But now! I have been!

So I've designed and printed a small rig for twisting the nylon. A bit rushed as is my usual style, but I got together everything I needed, fitted some nylon into the rig and...snapped the thread.

How things worked...
The elastic band on the left to aid with keeping the thread under tension, while the right-hand side rotates.
You can see in the picture my method of securing the thread using some metal crimps, which are then pinned into place.

Lessons learnt from this failure are;
  • Too much tension and sliding section has too much friction.
  • The right-hand side holding the thread is too close to the middle. I forgot to take into account the length of the metal crimps.
  • Use thicker thread. I've got some 0.5mm fishing line on order.
  • Pay attention. Yeah...far to eager to turn the turny thing.
A bit of a scattered explanation, but it's too warm at the moment and dogs are barking outside.


I went for a walk around Castle Cary yesterday and took some pictures...
Castle Cary train station

A hill. Probably called Steve.


Popular Posts