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This tutorial details the construction and basic programming for an Arduino and servo based SCARA (Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm) designed to dispense 4.5mm ball bearings. The design is open and easily modifiable, so with only slight modification this arm could be used for a variety of other purposes. All components needed are either common off-the-shelf parts or 3D printable, so hopefully this will be classroom friendly.

This arm was designed for 9-12 grade classrooms due to small components and manual wiring.

Standards for Technological Literacy

12 - Use and Maintain Products and Systems

M/N (troubleshoot and maintain systems) - This robot arm, while designed reasonably, will require significant calibration effort and will need to be reprogrammed and developed for other tasks, much as real robot arms do.
O (operate systems) - As this arm has no GUI or simulation software it must be programmed and operated through code manipulation and mathematical prediction.
19 - Manufacturing Technologies

O (manufacturing system types) - This SCARA is an example of a continuous production machine. Provided it is fed bearings it can continue repeating a task endlessly. It also demonstrates the process and effort needed to prepare automation in batch and continuous manufacturing setups.
P (part interchangeability) - All components on this machine are common and standard (great for repairs), and this robot operates on the assumption that the bearings it feeds meet those same expectations.

Automation & Robotics

Lesson 3 (Automated Systems) - This SCARA is an excellent demonstration tool for assembly robots, and with modification and additional hardware be programmed to carry out basic pick and place tasks in an assembly line.”

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