WinchBot 2.0 - a robot arm made of winches
Norbert Heinz created the WinchBot 2.0 - a project sponsored by RS Components which includes numerous standard components such as motors and drives and development boards.
The WinchBot 2.0 is a robot that anyone can replicate: the plans, assembly instructions, parts lists and RS parts lists are available online here .
The robot is in the form of a suspended equilateral triangular frame with three motorized winches at each of the vertices. These shorten or lengthen the cables, which in turn move a slider on a central, pivoting square rod which is held in position by a centrally mounted bearing.
The motor/cable assembly moves the robotic gripper module (located at the bottom of the square bar) so that it can be positioned under the triangle frame within the work area.
The WinchBot 2.0 is a further development of the WinchBot, an earlier design by Norbert Heinz. By using high-quality stepper motors, it can be controlled more smoothly and precisely than the predecessor model.
With the WinchBot, Norbert was primarily interested in inspiring students and students in technology.
At the RS Components booth of the SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg in November 2017, Norbert Heinz inspired curious students and engineers by giving them the opportunity to program and operate the WinchBot 2.0. The WinchBot 2.0 was in action and the visitors could talk to Norbert and ask him questions.
Of particular interest in WinchBot 2.0 is the remote access and programming and how it illustrates the capabilities of the IoT in a very simple but very effective way.
Although the application looks small compared to typical industrial robots, the underlying principles can be adopted for many professional solutions. An advantage of the design is that it can be easily scaled by simply using longer cables. Another advantage is that the construct hangs from the ceiling - a kind of overhead crane and no components taking up space on the floor.
The popularity of Norbert's YouTube channel and the many viewers of his videos clearly show that there is a great deal of interest in this type of project.
Norbert says from his experience as a developer: "There is no" typical "working day - every day brings something new and new projects to work on - often these are very different than expected. The WinchBot was originally planned as a much more conventional robot. "
Norbert advises aspiring engineers to follow a similar path, as it has helped him to succeed. He explains, "Programming is not about clicking on colourful buttons. After all, it's mathematics and you need a very thorough education to get ahead in robotics. "