Robotics has been a fun and very informative elective for me. I have learned a lot about the planning process of producing items digitally. The whole process of ending with a product has been a lot longer than what I thought that it would be. Throughout this semester, I have run into issues, remade things, and had lots of fun. One of the best examples of the work that I have been doing is shown in the final project, the kinetic sculpture.
This semester in robotics I have mostly been working on making a box with a sun moving inside of it in an oval shape. The background should have LED’s that are changing according to the suns location inside the box. I wanted this to have the effect of a sunset when the sun is closer to its highest locations, the LED’s are bright and a color of light yellow. When the sun is located closer to the middle(before it goes out of vision), the LED’s would glow a soft purple to show how the scene is much like an actual sunset.
During the making of this box, I ran into a number of different calculation errors, planning errors, and time of bad organization. The first time the progress halted, was in the making of the box in Illustrator. The compound pathing and joining weren’t working as intended, so I wasn’t able to visualize what my box would look like in Fusion 360. So, when I laser cut the box, one of the sides weren’t cut right-the aligning of the holes on the side wasn’t on the right spot. I had to re-align it and reprint the side and assemble the box. Afterward, I assembled the joints together and visualized in my head how they would sit together. Turns out, I didn’t take into account the fact that the pieces had to be locked together with another layer of material and I completely forgot that I need to attach the joints onto the transparent wall in the middle of the box. So, after some disassembling of the joints (ripping the pieces from each other, due to me supergluing them. Oops!). Because of this, I ran out of small knobs for the joints(and yes, they broke).
While I was visualizing the way the pieces had to be placed, I also noticed that I hadn’t thought of the actual size of the motor. Turns out, that the motor actually protrudes 5mm out from the wall, which meant that all my pieces would have to adapt to the new height. I replanned the joint pattern and made new pieces in Illustrator. This is where I am now: assembling pieces, replanning, and preparing.
The skills learned in this class can be brought to the outside of classrooms in the future. As products become more and more mass-produced, having a flawless working model is fundamental. The process of making our kinetic sculptures has been just that: looking at what we have done wrong, making improvements, and of course ending with a good final product. Even though I may not be able to finish this project before the end of this semester, I feel like I have learned some very important skills and most importantly I have had fun while doing so(even though I might have felt like solving some of these errors has been almost impossible).