Neil's News


14 May 2004

[Photograph of gimbal] This gimbal is a mechanical joint that can pivot 90° left and right, forward and backward. Essentially, it can point anywhere within a hemisphere. I've finished the mechanical aspect of construction (bones and muscles), next is the electrical control and sensors (nerves), followed by an on-board microcrontroller (brain).

Originally designed as a wrist joint, the gimbal is a failure due to its mass. TMA-1 and TMA-2 are designed to lift and manipulate a brick, unfortunately this gimbal weighs about the same as a brick, so adding it as a wrist reduces the payload to nil. Although it is not suitable at the end of any robot arm I'm likely to build in the foreseeable future, the gimbal does have potential in a number of other areas: camera mount, broom balancer, crane-based robot. Its modular approach (completely symmetrical with androgynous connectors at both ends) makes it a reusable building-block for multiple projects. This should be interesting.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

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