Robotics 102-Intermediate Robot Design

  Makeblock  10 in 1 Advanced Robot Kit
        Bobby and I  were looking for a robot kit that provided us with a challenging build experience with Bluetooth capability using an Arduino compatible control board.  Furthermore, we were looking for a kit that was age appropriate whereby some of the kits resembled toys and featured cheap components and limited functionality.  Our goal was to acquire a robot kit that was a step above the Makeblock Starter Kit that featured additional robot configurations, greater functionality and some programming options.  In addition, it would be vrey desireable if our choice of kits could interface with the Makeblock Starter kit in terms of structural components, fittings etc.

       After careful research, we selected the Makeblock Ultimate 2.0 Robot kit.  Once again, we liked the quality of materials which consisted of structural components made from anodized aluminum.  This particular kit provides us with the ability to construct at least ten different robot configurations ranging from the basic Ranger Robot Tank, a bottle pouring robot, a massive robotic arm and a six legged Spider Robot.  Watching this last robot in YouTube really sold us on the kit.  We also liked the fact that the control module was Arduino compatible but at least one step above the basic kit featured in Robotic 101.  The parts from this kit will easily interface with the parts from the basic kit which is another added benefit.  And so, our build begins with the robotic arm mounted on the Ranger Robot.

 Chassis/Road Wheel Construction
        The first stage in our assembly of the robot is the chassis and road wheels.  The wheel hubs are made from  a white, Delrin type material and are mounted using sealed bearings and plastic or nylon spacers.  Other robot kits used plastic axles which did not seem strong enough to withstand heavy use but ours are made from nickel plated steel.  We also liked the fact that our kit comes with all necessary fittings as well as several simple tools- torgue wrenches and a screw driver.  However, we would be using our own torque screwdriver set which makde assembly quite a bit easier.

     We have successfully completed the assembly of the two front and rear wheels.  Next, we secured the two motors to each of the two hubs and then secured each component to the side frame rails of the chassis.
     Once we completed  the chassis, we began the assembly of the framework that supports the robotic arm which includes the scaffolding that supports the grappler component as pictured above.  We could not help but notice that the gear on the boom does not use a rubber serpentine belt as on the basic kit but actually meshes with a gear on the motor mounted on the frame (see below left).

  The Robotic Arm "The Grappler"
        Another observation that we made during this part of the assembly is that the structure that comprises the robotic arm appears to be much stronger and possibly better equipped to lift larger weights that the grappler arm on the basic kit.  The picture above right illustrates how the black gear meshes with the smaller gear on the scaffold mounted motor.

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