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Topic Tag: robotics

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Hello to the community! My name is Bradford and I’ve arrived in Eindhoven for robotics research. The loose plan at the moment is to provide a framework for robotic of sorting plastics by material. It’s a huge goal and we’re still laying out the groundwork to take it step by step. I’ll provide updates in this thread as we go! But first, some background: The most common sorting method seen in industry uses compressed air to blast target objects out of a fast moving stream of waste. Check out an example here: https://youtu.be/zIPGUv35A5E?t=100 It’s incredibly impressive to watch and well suited to large scale plants. There are even versions that can do it with plastic that has already been shredded into 2 mm flakes! Machines commonly use near infrared sensors sensors to identify plastics, although some streams use standard cameras that may sort by color. These systems are also typically binary by design. Each machine can only sort the incoming stream into two groups as controlled by the machine operator. The cost and space required for these industrial sorters is significant, meaning they are not typically found outside of large facilities. On the opposite end of the spectrum, manual labor is also typical for countries with lower wages. Humans all over the world sort through the trash of others and collect bottles and other recyclable materials. https://youtu.be/dxsJVaL5vLc?t=483 There’s also sorting options that utilize the differences in plastic densities. There’s some discussion on that here: https://davehakkens.nl/community/forums/topic/plastic-sorting-a-personal-project/ With robotic arms getting more common and processors becoming cheaper, we feel there’s potential for a robotic solution in between industrial pneumatic air blasting and manual sorting. We want to advance to physical testing as soon as possible as I only have 3 months here in the Netherlands (Visas are complicated :P). That means the first step is choosing hardware! I’ve spent the past few days researching a huge variety of arms. Here are some quick thoughts: SCARA vs Delta vs 6DOF: These are the three most common robot types used for pick and place operations. 6DOF arms are the most common and are highly adaptable for different tasks. SCARAs are a little more specialized for picking up and placing, but tend to have more limited reach. Delta robots are typically known for their speed and resemblance to spiders. A more detailed breakdown is here: https://www.crossco.com/blog/6-axis-vs-scara-vs-delta-vs-collaborative-robot-cage-match A few options that look ideal for this research: Franka Emika Panda: Feature packed, safe to work around, and appears easy to interface with. ROS integration is huge as I have experience there. Dobot M1: Reasonably priced and seems easy to interface with, but the company has had some troubles shipping working products and I have yet to find any evidence of someone using it in the wild. Buying an industrial machine secondhand: Still diving into other robots that could fall under this option. The industrial options I've looked at so far are likely out of our price range if bought new. There's a few websites I've looked at that specialize in secondhand sales through Europe. This is a deep project and there's still a ton of challenges moving forward! For instance: Choosing a suitable gripper Interfacing with a near infrared sensor General programming If you have some knowledge to offer or want to help, feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected] Always open to suggestions or ideas.
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