There are 4 types of Manipulators that we have learned about, Plows, Grabbers, Friction Grabbers, and Scoops. All have different purposes and can be used in different ways to get the job done.
Example 1: Plow Manipulator
Plows are best for pushing things that can roll like balls on the ground, this is something the competition robots have looked at using because they need to push the stars across to the other side.
Example 2: Scoop Manipulator
Scoops are best for picking one or multiple things depending on the design. Actually this is sort of the design we went with for our own robot in the mine field challenge.
Example 3: Grab Manipulator
Grabbers are what the class are using for the mine field challenge as we have to grab balls off of pillars and put them into bins. Grabbers are good for grabbing all sorts of items and bringing them certain places.
Example 4: Friction Grab Manipulator
Friction Grabbers are used to hold specific items and to make sure they are snug and nothing falls out. This is a combo of the friction grabber and scoop designs as well.
Accumulators are robot mechanisms designed to pick up a large number of similar objects.
In this section we learned about 3 different types of Accumulators: Conveyors, Hoppers, and Magazines
Example 1: Magazine Accumulator
Magazines are used when a fixed orientation or order is needed for the items being taken up. For example, a gun magazine is a perfect example of this kind of accumulator.
Example 2: Conveyor Accumulator
A Conveyor Accumulator is a type of friction grabber that manipulates the items even when they are inside using a belt of some sort. A conveyor belt like in a factory is a good example.
Example 3A: Dumping Hopper Accumulators
In the last example of Hoppers there are actually 2 types: Dumping Hoppers and Reversing Hoppers. Dumping Hoppers are hoppers in which the way objects are released is different than the way they are gathered. In this example a robot grabs the balls and puts them into its own bin. Then the bin can tilt up and drop them all.
Example 3B: Reversing Hopper Accumulators
These Accumulators can be used for both gathering the items and releasing them. The rollers will roll the balls into the bin and then roll the balls out as well.