Scissor lift robot

The main project for our first design and manufacturing class involves building a robot for a competition, much like FIRST robotics. For my design, I created a scissor lift robot that would drive over a thin see-saw without falling off or tipping, and then expand from 5 times its size, from 1’ to 5’, in order to throw a payload into a box. I made calculations to test feasibility of ideas, created CAD models of my robot, used mills, lathes, sheet metal tools, drill presses, a waterjet, a lasercutter, heated plastic benders, used gears, fasteners, springs, motors, and batteries, and iterated over various designs and modules of my final project. In the end, I qualified for the finals in the competition.

Here are some more photos!

To start, we created a mini bot the get acquainted with many of the tools we would be using

Mini Bot

Then we started with initial sketches of our ideas. These were pretty rough ideas of what we wanted our bots to do.

Design sketches

After that, it was important to build and test our most critical module, or the thing that we believed to be the hardest part of our design and would make or break our robot. For me, this meant the scissor lift mechanism. My first iteration did not work, since the tolerances in the rotational bearings holding the links together were too great, and the weight of the plastic was too much. I decided I could remedy this with another iteration, so I continued with my idea.

Most critical module: The scissor lift

After another major iteration, along with some small minor changes and additions, I reached the final design:

Final design of the scissor lift

Final design of the scissor lift, in expanded view