When automating virtually any reasonably complicated mechanical activity, the actuators and power electronics can get pricey briefly. Relatively than the usage of an actuator for each and every movement, mechanical multiplexing may well be an choice. [James Bruton] has regarded as the usage of it in a few of his many robotics tasks, so he constructed a prioritizing mechanical multiplexer to reveal the concept that.
The fundamental thought is to have a unmarried actuator and dynamically transfer between other outputs. For his demonstration, (*12*) used a motor fixed on a transferring platform actuated by way of a lead screw that may interact quite a few other output gears. Each and every output turns a dial, and the objective is to compare the location of the dial to the location of a potentiometer. The “prioritizing” phase is available in the place quite a few outputs want to be adjusted, and the gadget should make a selection which to do first. This briefly becomes a job scheduling drawback, since there are a selection of things that can be utilized to resolve the concern. See the video after the damage to look other algorithms in motion.
As an alternative of transferring the actuator, the entire outputs can hook up with a unmarried major shaft by means of clutches as required. Imaginable use circumstances for mechanical multiplexers come with dishing out machines and manufacturing line automation. It appears, the Armatron robot arm bought by way of Radioshack within the ’80s used a equivalent gadget, controlling all its purposes with a unmarried motor.
(*12*) is aware of or two about robotics, having constructed a lot of them over the previous couple of years. Simply check out (*3*)OpenDog and his (*11*).