Group 3 – Dev 1

Dev 1
Group 3: Wentian, Nicky, Shipra, Gavin

For Dev 1, we wanted to experiment with the robot arm’s spatial movement. Primarily, the goal was to test how the robot arm could handle a 360 degree encircling of an object.  We attached a phone to the gripper, utilizing the phone’s camera to take photos/videos of the object. Additionally, we also wanted to explore shooting angles such as a top-down perspective. In these experiments, we are trying to figure out how fluid the robot arm can be, after we’ve programmed a series of moving commands into the console. We observed the speed of the arm transitioning to different points, whether it would collide with the object, and the quality of the photographs/videos taken on the phone. This is prep work for our Project 1, where the camera’s perspective will be crucial. This will also be very useful for Dev 2, where we plan to use the robot to 3D scan an object.


First, we placed our main character “Dead Panda” on the central area of the table beside the robot arm. To prevent the arm from reaching the maximum moving distance to the bottom, we put some wood blocks under the object to increase its height. Then we started to position the beginning waypoint of the robot arm and adjust the shooting angle of our camera. After all the initial preparation, we started our first attempt by inputting four waypoints that were programmed by each of us. Unfortunately, our first attempt failed. The gripper kept doing full rotations during the demonstration – a potential hazard for the object – because we were manually changing the positions and angles of the gripper. After another failed attempt, we realized we needed to control the gripper and arm on the pad rather than direct operation on the robot to resolve this issue. Although the camera collided with the object several times in movement due to inappropriate positioning of waypoints, we eventually accomplished the task and got a smooth video of an encircling shot of our main object.



VIDEO OF DEV 1 <— Click

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Learnings & Outcomes
While going through this process of trial and error while working with the robot arm, we were faced with a few of the aforementioned challenges. This process helped in understanding the limitations of working with the said technology. We realized the importance of working towards smaller goals helped in understanding the movements and familiarizing ourselves with the controls. The first step towards Project 1, resulted in a short 360 degree video of a small object placed on the table. The intent was to be able to create a smooth transition between camera angles and positions. We achieved that to an extent by working as a team art directing the scene. This exercise was able to add value to our Project 1 Ideation process.

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