Monday, February 16, 2009

Robotics Monday: Life-Size ABB Flexpicker Assembly Line

Name of Model: Lego FlexPicker
Created by: theonlyshep
Found at:
This is really a hard project to sum up quickly - there are 3 NXT programmable bricks in use, but also pneumatics, tread links, a remote control, 9V power for a compressor...this is actually a fully realized portion of an assembly line. While the conveyor belts look great, the real feat is the life-size flexpicker, based on the robots sold by ABB for use in manufacturing. The engineering of the machine itself is pretty clever (even if it is a copy of an existing non-LEGO robot), but there are a few other engineering feats here as well. Anyone who has tried building a robot on this scale knows the challenges of creating a sturdy frame out of LEGO - or even just building something out of LEGO that can handle the weight of several motors moving quickly below. While other large-scale 'bots I've featured here have used metal frames (and received no criticism for it!), this one goes all-out.

I'm a little jealous - if I were trying to make a flexpicker, I'd probably have done it on a small scale, with a metal frame, and without realistic conveyor belts. This goes a bit beyond just capturing the mechanisms or building the robot - this is a work of beauty.
Since I know people are wondering - I will be trying to round out the week and see if I can get this blog going again.

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