Saturday, January 5, 2013

Global Village Construction Set

Marcin Jakubowski is the founder of Open Source Ecology, which describes itself as a “network of farmers, engineers and supporters building the global village construction set”. He has determined what the “50 most important machines required for modern life” are, and is working to make a prototype of a low-cost DIY version of each so that anyone anywhere can build them.

The global village construction set:

It would be interesting for students to brainstorm what they would put on the list of the 50 machines required for modern life. Then compare their answers with the list on the website.
The Global Village Construction Set Design Specifications are: “Our design needs to balance a number of different elements that include:
1.     Ease of fabrication
2.     Modularity
3.     Affordability
4.     Lifetime Design
5.     Performance”

Each machine is described in terms of what it does, and how to make one. This is very useful for technical description, process description and instructions.

The global village construction set:

Here’s the example (and picture) from the website for industrial robot:

Industrial Robot

a robotic arm which can perform certain human tasks – such as welding or milling – for performing tasks that are not better done by humans.
“The industrial robot is an automated machine that performs a wide variety of functions, (including welding, assembly, and CAM, etc...), all depending on which tools its hand is equipped with.

Detailed description:
The industrial robot is a rotating multi-axis machine that can hold various modules (called end-effectors) for performing different tasks such as welding and cutting. These tasks can be done in repetition (through proper "teaching") and with precision (based on the robot's repeatability, which is a measure of how far the robot deviates from a certain position when going there multiple times). The volume in which the robotic arm can travel is called the working envelope (rear of robot is typically restricted), and the axes of rotation are called degrees of freedom (6 or more for higher-end flexibility). A versatile industrial robot can significantly improve the accuracy, precision, and completion times of multiple production tasks while significantly reducing the need for operator involvement.
The industrial robot is task versatile, multi-way programmable, repeatably accurate, and modular with scalable reach and payload. The industrial robot serves a universal function mimicking a human arm, so can fill in (after being programmed) for any repetitive operation not better done by humans; other times, the industrial robot can be directly operator-controlled to act as a mega-arm machine where the high reach, payload, and working envelope are advantaged.”

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