Practice makes this ball and socket perfect for robots

Ball and socket joints are useful, but to create a part slide on the surface of a sphere, held by a magnet, requires a lot of fiddling to get it right. We appreciate the perseverance and nail all the details. [Matthew Finlay] Doing just that with his ball and socket robot. He is in six editions, the idea being a testament to his desire to do justice. Fortunately for us, he documented each version as he went.

Version one, made from a DIY Christmas ornament ball, had no stability around the radial axis and was swaying badly. Version has shown the problem of centralizing the process between the two balls. Version 3 solves this problem (it is covered in the same video). Version four then solved many assembly problems and replaced the servo controllers with an Arduino, but the ‘arm’ part was too small and mechanically effy.

Version five uses a fabricated bearing. Matthew used the Airsoft round as a ball. Not a good idea. And the rally was a nightmare. So all these advances up to version six show its improvement strategy. Artists say ‘work in your process, not your piece’. He has become much more analytical about what is needed. He started measuring the robot’s power and handled problems like adding a limit switch so that it would not crash into the travel limit.

Funny construction, reminds us [Stephen Dufresne]Its BB-6.

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