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Robotic Fingers

A community project at the Construct RIT where we built a google robot. I specialized in programming, designing, and manufacturing the forearm.

Team Members

Sebastian Seun


This was a community project I worked on at RIT. I was given the task of actuating the fingers of the robot arm. Although the frame was already given to me, I needed to sort out the electronics and programming and make it easy to integrate into the raspberry pi controlling the robot.



It was just a simple circuit to set up the electronics where the servos' power was connected to an external power supply. However, I also found out the hard way that if the Arduino and the servers are not connected to the same power supply (Arduino being powered by a USB), the servos will not act appropriately and turn the incorrect amount. So I also equipped a force sensor on the fingers.

The other significant portion of this was integration into a small board computer, so how we set up each system is that the USB port can accept and relay commands to the pi with a USB external. This allowed each system to output and took inputs to control the robot. So I would get a series of numbers such as 1 2 3 4 5 close. This would close the robot's hand fully. We will talk more about it in Mathematics.



It was a fantastic project where I got to exercise my skills in critical thinking. I learned that I needed to stop trying to solve problems and work around them; just because I can argue that there are better decisions does not mean it is optimal to change them. I joined a little over the halfway point in the project. I realize change is destructive, but I understand the difference between speaking up when you see a potential problem vs. suggesting something to increase its efficiency by a nonsignificant amount.

It also showed me how I need to present ideas to get people to listen while also developing a sanity check on my thoughts and talking to people for a sanity check. Not being able to communicate my ideas is the most frustrating thing. Still, once you figure out how to relay the information correctly to your audience, it becomes as smooth as butter.



Tell the servo what is close, open, grip, or interpolate. To do so, I integrated the calibration phase for closing. First, we mechanically set the servo at position 0 to be open. In the close position, we determined with a 3D-printed cylinder of different sizes and waited for the limit switch to trigger. Once we got about 5 samples, we interpolated an equation with different percentages of closed and open for each figure. The grip was just a function to grab items with a decent grip. In high sight, we did not need a close function as it would just be interpolated at 100%, but a close function came before interpolating.

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