Home > Electronics Cranny > Build This Semcon-1 Robot

Build This Semcon-1 Robot

Unicorn1-Robot11

By Wayne Lemons
Pondicherry Association News Electronics Expert

Robots are becoming very hot items these days. They already have made a name for themselves in movies, on TV shows and in basketball games.  This past January, a week-long conference and an exposition on Robots was held in Lankville City and a second conference (with hopefully fewer murders) will be held during the summer.

This article vaguely details the construction of a robot called Semcon-1 (Semcon standing for “Semi-Controllable”).  And although we may not be able to tell you how to build a device as elegant as famed Richard and the Postman TV robot “Cobbs”, we will explain step-by-step how to design a fully pushable robot with funny manipulator arms that will be able to grasp, tilt and carry.  These features, in combination, will enable your Semcon-1 to perform an incredible array of useful functions.

Since we are building a robot from scratch, it might be a good idea to become familiar with some of the components which may affect its operation.

There are two electro-mechanical parts which are used to animate your robot– motors and condenser pots.  Motors are used to impart continual motion and also will lift the funny arms.  Condenser pots are used for the full-arc spasm element of your robot and will be accompanied by gears in mathematical terms.  Quality and non-quality condenser pots will be available at any respectable electronics shop– there are a lot at the malls, for example.

rocket_schematic

Figure One

Now, let’s begin with the manipulator construction (see figure one).  Before we proceed, read and pay a lot of heed to the following precautions about working with robots:

-Always wear goggles or some sort of protective eyewear.  You can wear a mask with eyeholes cut out if nothing else is available.

-Never wear a tie while working.  It can get caught in the robots funny arms and cause serious injury.

-Hold  tools properly and towards the body or while filing metals.

Now we can move forward to the question of the two different diameter steel rods.  The cross members should be cut from 0.375-in. (3/4-in.) to somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 threads-per-moment.  The shoulder and elbow hinges and the two contractor-bar pivots should be cut from aluminum plate.  Review.

That accomplished, you should be about ready to put the head on. Take note of the Eprom Bulb which is, again, available at most mall accessory stores.  Important not to skimp here and I would strongly urge you to go with the Linear Lamp 10 over any of the cheaper options.

And finally, you can put the funny arms on.  While this may sound complex at first reading, it can be done and will yield a perfectly workable and funny robot arm.  You are encouraged to use some surplus sheets to keep costs down.  For convenience sake, however, a list of components and their sources is shown in the heavy parts list, available as an ancillary article in the “Special Projects” notebook.

Should you have a question about any part of this series, the author may be reached in care of The Pondicherry Association News who will forward your request on to my current location in the Lankville Protectorate.

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