The Robotic Arm
      One of the reasons that I selected the Modelblock kit was that it could be modified or enhanced.  One of the first upgrades that we acquired for the basic kit is the robotic arm otherwise known as "the grappler".  This upgrade provides us with an important function ie. the ability to grasp objects and potentially the ability to manipulate them.  Once our order arrived, we are anxious to open the box and continue assembly of our robot tank.

     
      Pictured above is the kit which includes more anodized aluminum components, a control board and a preassembled "claw".  We began by assembling the scaffold that supports the arm for the "claw" which will eventually bolt on to the chassis of our robot.
      We used two more aluminum side beams to create a sturdy arm that rotates off our scaffold using a nickel plated axle.  The robotic class attached to the arm in a similar fashion.  A belt drive powered by a separate motor attached to the scaffold will provide the vertical movement for the robotic arm.  Marcos and I wanted to recheck the polarity of our drive motors to be use that the robotic arm was oriented forward. 
      With the installation of the robotic arm, we have completed the assembly of the robot, the addition of the robotic arm and performed a successful "road test" insuring that our bot performs as designed.

     The next step in our project is to develop ways to utilize the add-on pack of motion and light sensors while looking for ways to increase functionality.
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