Progress of actuator design

The goal of this actuator is to create an open source 3D printable robot arm actuator with an open source PCB and open source software for an ESP32 to control the actuator. The actuator just needs 20V fed in through the slip rings so there are no wires. Communication across the actuators happens over wifi or Bluetooth so the signalling is wireless. Making progress, but still have a long way to go.

Outside of actuator

From bottom to see touch sensor on end

With outer shell removed

With touch sensor removed

With fan removed

With stepper motor driver removed

With DC to DC converter removed

With stepper motor and actuator removed

Better view of ESP32 underneath main PCB

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Wow, that looks great. You must have put a ton of effort into this!

This is amazing work. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Yeah, it’s been some work, but not too bad. There are a lot of new ideas being worked on this actuator that I’ve not seen out there on the interwebs like the ESP32 driving it, or the Wifi, or the slip rings, or the touch sensors. The key as well is the 3D printable planetary gear. I think all of these combined could be a really great step forward. Just theory until it works though.

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Here’s an update. I got Gcode working for the actuator with acceleration/deceleration working via the ESP32 RMT hardware. The goal is to be able to send Gcode to all 6 axes plus the end unit, so really 7 or even 8 axes of Gcode. That way the robot arm can move in a synchronized fashion from the Gcode.

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