Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It seems the claw I bought is not going to be an option. It weighs too much and I can't find any worm drive motor to raise and lower it (at least not an affordable one). Most DC motors are too hi speed for useful movement.  By using gears, the speed is reduced and torque increased which allows for productive work. The use of belts and pulleys, while reducing noise, are only helpful in hi speed, low torque situations.  The problem is finding gears and pulleys to fit your needs. You really have to purchase pre-engineered sets that have been designed to work with a certain motor. I struggled to put motors and pulleys together and I couldn't find any inexpensive gear sets. I did find one worm drive gearbox that I will probably use in my project but it is limited to 4.5 volts (not strong enough for the claw I had in mind). I now realize why most robotic type projects utilize kits from Knex, Lego Mindstorm, and Vex Robotics to name a few. They are pre-engineered to fit precisely the built structures. The drawback is, of course, the expense. So, I will press on with what I have and probably make my own claw. The following are useful sites I used in researching my project:

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