Final Project – Robotic Arm

For the final project, I wanted to make a robotic arm and a p5js sketch that would ask the user to stack blocks of different colors in the right order. As I started working on the project, I realized how difficult it was to make the robotic arm work.

I selected double layered popsicle sticks for the construction of the arm connected together by cardboard squares with slits in them. I wanted the arm to have 4 degrees of freedom. I used big servo motors for the base rotation and the 2nd degree of freedom. For the next two, I used small servos because the bigger ones were too heavy for the popsicle sticks to handle. Then, I went on to make the buttons for moving the arms which I needed 8 of, to account for each movement back and forth. The hardest part was to get the buttons working because there were so many wires and connections that there was always some variable not working properly. One thing that I didnt know at first was that I needed an external power source for the bigger batteries. So I got that working, but then what I didnt know after that was that I needed to ground the power source and the signal from the arduino both into the arduino. Being oblivious to this, I lost a lot of time. Finally, after getting buttons to work, I made the connections more permanent with screws, a lot of hot glue. I soldered the connections to the motors because the arm had to move and the jumper wires would fall out. There were 9 connections to solder for this.

Lazy Susan:

At the beginning the professor recommended me to use a lazy susan for the base rotation, and I constructed the whole thing with the lazy susan but it turned out to be less than ideal because the motor I was using wasn’t enough to turn the lazy susan, so that was a lot of time wasted as well.


For the base I made a box out of cardboard and I used 8 big momentary switches as the controls. I had to solder all 8 momentary switches, which was 16 connections. I cut holes in the cardboard for the switches and left a huge opening so the base could rotate properly. I also layered several cardboard pieces around the base motor for more stability.

Progress Videos:

Video 1

Pic 1

Final Video

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