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Robotic Arm Project

A student research project supported by the Drury University Physics Department , in conjunction with the NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program.

Objectives

Arm model

We wish to examine the differences between human arm dynamics in microgravity versus normal gravitational conditions. The main objective is to improve upon the experiment from four years ago in the goal of predicting the motion of the tip of the arm within experimental uncertainties, given a set of servo angle positions as functions of time. Improvements to fidelity of the arm, better methods of position data collection and the collection of the two-dimensional components of microgravity should provide better comparisons between predicted and observed data than those recorded in 2006. Reducing the mass of the arm will also allow for smoother motion. The addition of optical encoders allows more precise measurement of the armís movement. The addition of accelerometers allows us to account for the small 2D variants in gravitational force experienced during the flight. The experimentís hypothesis is: The tip of the arm will follow the prescribed trajectories, predicted from numerical integration, within experimental uncertainties.