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 TE Connectivity

  • The Wooden Menace-Robotic Arm

  • Created: Mar 21, 2015

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TE Connectivity's 2201855-3 I/O Connector demonstrates a reduced ¼ the size of a standard RJ45, which replaces the latter in robotic applications. It saves valuable PCB real estate and users have more freedom with smaller designs and additional port counts. The goal of this project is to create a robotic arm that can move in most any direction like a humanoid arm. It uses 2201855-3 as a connector for getting robotic commands from the microcontroller. It should have grippers on the end that can grip trivial objects like a piece of paper or a pen/pencil.

The hardware schematic for this project is fairly straightforward. The PIC microcontroller has one control line feeding to each servo. The TE Connectivity I/O 2201855-3 connector is used for getting input from the PIC18F4523-E/P. Each servo has 3 wires coming out of it, which are power, ground & signal (PWM). Power & ground are tied directly to our 6V source. Each signal pin from every servo is tied to a unique pin on the PIC as seen on the schematic. DC servomotors M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5 are correspondingly linked to pins RA1, RA2, RA3, RC1 and RC2 of the controller. The power circuit is just a 9V Battery hooked up to the LM7805 with a 1uF capacitor attached to the output & ground of the LM7805 to keep a steady 5V DC supply. Pin VPP is effectively a reset pin that is tied high (LOGIC 1; +5V) using a 4.7kΩ pull-up resistor. The PIC microcontroller will Restart-Memory Clear when this pin is low (LOGIC 0, +0V). PIC18F4523-E/P will always be running as long as it is powered.

Measuring one-quarter the size of conventional RJ45 plugs, Mini I/O Connectors are commonly used as an RJ45 replacement. It features a latching mechanism, a connector ability to prevent accidental unplugging. It can save installers and users from expensive troubleshooting and downtime.