Hello and welcome to RepRap Ltd’s website and blog.
We will use this blog to document the research and development RepRap Ltd are working on.
We are planning to work on both RepRap development and also other areas, but using RepRaps for prototyping and testing.
As an example of the sort of projects we are working on, here is a testbed pneumatic robot joint. Most low-cost robots rely on electric servos or steppers. But these have poor torque and speed, and no power amplification. Pneumatics, in contrast, offer the possibility of developing Boston Dynamics style robots. And with the power of modern microcontrollers these could also be low-cost if only pneumatic servos and valves were low-cost.
The joint above has a conventional actuator and valve (not shown), and is intended just to set up the control system, which relies on the magnetic rotary encoders from AMS. When we have got this working we will be replacing the actuator and valve with 3D-printed equivalents to see if we can match the performance of their conventional counterparts.
Gas-tight FFF 3D prints are tricky to make, as is well-known. But we think that, with the addition of just a few non-printed parts like O rings, short lengths of plastic plumbing pipe, and silicone tube, we can make a very modular parametric pneumatic control system.
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