3D Printed Robotic Hand: Part 3 -- The Glove Build

In this post I will be going over in the making of the glove that will control the 3D printed hand. I started off by first soldering the 5 47K ohm resistors onto the LilyPad's pads a0, a1, a2, a3, and a4. I also soldered the resistors together as shown in the picture below.

From there I went ahead and started to create holes at the top of each flex sensor by using a needle. I will be sowing through this hole to the glove to create a good attachment to the glove.

Traxxas TQi Telemetry Radio and App: Part 1 -- Project overview

Project overview, goals, methodology, process/tool (April 2015)

I have been given a generous opportunity by Boca Bearings to replace all my bearings in my Traxxas Jato 3.3 nitro Truggy. From the moment this car was purchased the intent was simple, go fast, and go very fast. It is a 3.3cc nitro methane engine using a "somewhat" stock RTR. The reason for Traxxas was the readiness of available parts and the most importantly their TQi (Top Qualifier intelligent) 2.4 GHz 4-Channel radio system. There is a little known fact that this data can be exported from the "Traxxas Link" app. It is this amazing feature which makes this workshop possible.

A little background.

As mentioned, I have a background as a technician mainly electrical but also mechanical / pneumatics. My work experience has led me to data acquisition using VBA (another hobby of mine). Since electrical is my day-to-day I like my extracurricular to be non-electrical. I make no bones about it and realize that brushless 3 phase motors can out perform my 3.3cc in a heart beat (but my fun only stops when I run out of fuel;). I've always loved the tuning, and physics behind internal combustion. This RC hobby lets me combine the things I love the most, remote control, engines, and data! I am new to this hobby as of 2012. I experienced a health scare that put me in a wheel chair. My brother, Richard, gave me a chance to start my recovery process ... I needed to stand up slowly for longer periods of time. He gave me a reason to; at my work bench. He wanted his old nitro truggy running again. We got that thing ripping up a storm, and so it began! Thanks Ricky!

This is my gear.

Traxxas Jato 3.3 1/10 2WD Stadium Truck https://traxxas.com/products/models/nitro/55077jato33

Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 | Scan-o-tron | Bocatron

Boca Bearings attended the Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 held in Tampa, FL during the weekend of April 18-19.

This family event featured technical, creative and professional exhibits, workshops and sessions covering everything from patent development and the inventive process, to 3D printing, programming, mechanical and electrical design, green tech and open source technologies, and much more!

With close to a thousand makers in attendance, we demonstrated the Bocatron, a full-sized stand-up 3D body scanner, with the help of the wonderful folks of Eureka! Factory.

3D Printed Robotic Hand: Part 2 -- Pre-build


For the design of the robotic portion of this project I will be using a 3D printed hand that was created by InMoov. InMoov is a open source 3D printed life size robot. The link to their website is:

InMoov provided the 3D printed files that I am currently in the process of finishing printing. The color I used for the hand will be glow in the dark green since it was the most abundant of PLA that was in stock here at Boca Bearing. I still have some more parts that I need to print. At the moment the 3D printer is down due to connection issues but should be fixed soon.

To control the robotic hand I will be using a regular glove that I will be getting soon probably from Wal-Mart. The glove doesn't have to be special. It just has to be fabric and have space where I can sow the flex sensors and the LilyPads onto.

Materials List and Cost:

As mentioned in the previous phase, I have compiled the list of the materials that I will be using for this project. The parts that I ordered from SparkFun.com are the following: 5 4.5 inches flex sensors for the fingers, $12.95 each, to detect when the hand is being closed in a fist or open.

A LilyPad Arduino Board with 6 analog inputs, $19.95, to program it with the flex sensors. And a LilyPad FTDI adapter for $17.95. Without the adapter, I won't be able to program the LilyPad.

Introducing Miami artist maker and robot sculptor Jorge Roldan

My name is Jorge Roldan -- I was born in Los Angeles and raised in Miami.

I went to the International Fine Arts college in the early 1990s and graduated from F.I.U with a bachelors in Commercial Design.

Since I graduated from college I dabbled in painting mostly and illustrated cartoon strips for friends and family and an occasional local newspaper. I am presently a graphic designer and art director, handling everything from Logos to Package design.

About six years ago I saw a wonderful "Robot Sculpture' that caught my eye. I thought to myself I could build on that idea and there was the answer to my craving to make something 3D.

As a designer, work was not flowing and I figured to give robot sculpture a shot. The main body of the robot was made from an old Atari game cartridge as its main body. The robot sculpture alone ended up in a French magazine and an I received an invitation to a show in Paris, France.

By then I knew I was onto something. I now work as a self employed graphic designer and sculptor.

My sculptures can be found in homes all over the United States.

I started with sculptures with a coconut picked up in my front yard; chopped the front off to get a nice large hole, got some pieces of junk and antiques from my shed. The result -- a wonderful "Fish Sculpture", which currently resides in a mansion in Manhattan Beach,  California.

I love the beauty of the textures each piece features. I try not to paint my robots, so you can see the textures each piece of the robot presents. On the other hand shapes come into form and remind me of something else.

I let my imagination run, and junk turns into something NEW again. Like a NASA Space suit or a cool deep sea "monster" fish.

I'll paint patterns on my robots, too, sometimes. 

You'll see my Robot Sculptures and think, man I think I saw this robot somewhere in a movie or an old sci fi magazine.

I am grateful that I can make things out of pure junk, and be so HAPPY to own something
that I normally would not be able to afford.

Each piece is well thought out when made. Balance and weight are everything. They are also built almost like a real robot, indestructible. My robot sculptures are my life.

They are hard to part with when they sell. But I always tell myself as long as I am around I can build a new one that unfortunately will never be the same as the last.

Which is OK!

I love my small fan base. I am grateful to them also.

For those who read this bio, I accept all sorts of donated old broken antiques, old chairs, etc. Any old piece of junk, old radio, camera , tea pot ... I would be glad to turn that piece into a cool robot for you.

This way you can remember something older that you have in a preserved piece of art.

Check out my website: www.roldanrobot.com

Jorge Roldan

3D Printed Robotic Hand: Part 1 -- Project proposal

April 7, 2015: Gerardo Ramos


The purpose of this project is to learn to use a 3D printer and to further my skills in using the Arduino. My goal is to have a functional hand that will mimic my hand movements through the use of a glove with flex sensors attached to it. The robotic hand will be assembled out of 3D printed parts from files that were obtained from an open source project called InMoov.

Initial Design Concept:

The design of the hand is already pre-made from the project InMoov that provides all the 3D printable files. The other part of this project would be just a glove where I will attach flex sensors and a LilyPad Arduino placed on top of the glove.


Traxxas TQi Telemetry Radio and App

I (Konrad) believe I can get an absolute tune with my small 3.3 cc nitro engine. My guess is that the top rpm with that 3.3 cc engine will be higher and more consistent.

Here are some findings of tests done with my new Boca Bearings ceramic bearings.

I've collect a quick 59 miles per hour speed run at around 7 seconds. Besides the fact that the bearings take a brutal beating at 30,000 rpm and temperatures are close to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, they spin effortlessly. These bearings are so smooth and perfect -- it could be felt just by spinning them in my hands.

A typical clutch engagement happens at 15,000 rpm as data indicates. That type of spin-up would destroy typical bearings quickly from my past experience. The best advantage being the bearings arrived without lubrication. Oil in the clutch bell is a sure way to cause slip between the plastic-carbon clutch pads and the steel clutch bell housing. This was the case with the new stock bearings purchased.  A quick test of the newly installed Boca bearings was to spin the clutch bell by hand. It was so outrageously smooth that the clutch bell it seemed it would not stop spinning. It was at least 3 times longer than the stock bearings.

In the two graphs of data shown below, capture a simple comparison between stock and the new ceramic Boca Bearings.  Note the green rpm graph line which indicates the initial engagement of the clutch.  It is not as erratic, rather smoother and more consistent with the new ceramic bearings.

From what I am seeing, besides the durability, and seal superiority, there is high probability we will be seeing data with speed improvements with further ceramic bearing replacements.

Konrad is a technician with specialized training in tele metric data acquisitions -- currently collect rpm, and GPS data every 11ms and process them through a customized VBA macro in excel.

Modified Bike Project: Part 3 -- Engine build

The most exciting part of the build so far -- the engine!

A nice fresh rebuild with the best bearings on the market. The rebuild was super smooth, and I cant wait to rip this thing and show it off!

Of course the engine will be better though when I'm twisting the throttle. This is a Minarelli v1, 50cc moped engine that has been rebuilt and features the cutting edge ceramic hybrid bearings from the great folks @ Boca Bearings. It's almost too ridiculous how smooth these bearings roll in the engine.

Ceramic bearings need to be installed with a shop press, specifically by pressing the inside race. They went in with ease.

Now I will admit, I was wrong initially about whether the bearing shields needed to be taken out. After researching and discussing my concerns with the reps at Boca, I went ahead and removed the shield from the internal facing side of the bearing. Even though they are internally greased bearings, this is definitely a precautionary measure needed to be taken. I keep the engine stock for the most part, purposely to truly show the gains from using these bearings.

Obviously a hop'd up motor will be fast but I was worried that would overshadow the natural benefits of a ceramic bearing upgrade.

The next step of course will be completing the build, ripping the throttle wide open, then sending the bike down to Florida to live its life at the Boca Bearings complex!

Arduino Robot Project: Part 4 -- Shield and Software

Adding Headers to the Motor Shield:

So I finally came across some stackable headers that I ordered from Karlsson Jupiter. I ordered them online and they were available for pick up the next day. The headers came in a 6 pin header, two 8 pin headers, and one 10 pin headers so they connect directly to the Arduino. The headers are important so the Arduino can communicate with the shield. Since I do not know which pins are being used to communicate with the shield, it was important for me to get the whole complete kit. The headers are the stackable kind so I can still connect things on top such as the sensor reading wires from the sensor board. So I placed the headers through the holes of the shield and just soldered one pin from each header.

Once I did that, I went ahead and stacked it on top of the Arduino to make sure that the headers were aligned well and that they go into the pins of the Arduino perfectly. If not, I had to reheat to solder to adjust the position of the header. When I checked, all my headers were aligned well. So, I removed the shield carefully and finished soldering the headers onto the shield.