Since I have been in Menomonie, WI, the almost two weeks have flown by! Besides working, I haven’t done much mainly because the people I ask here say there is a limit to things I can do. I was very impressed with all the positive attributes about campus during the academic year there is about Stout. One thing I have been doing pretty consistently is talking to the workers at the desk in the residence hall I live in. I have met some awesome people! I really enjoy the buildings on campus and all the different labs there are to look in. The fun activity I have done in Menomonie so far was Freedom Fest on the 4th of July with some other REUer’s that included eating Nitro Ice Cream, looking at vendors, listening to live music, watching fireworks, and just hanging out by the lake.
As I am getting used to working with new people, I am really excited to start getting into the nitty gritty of our project. After some difficult time deciding on a logical project that we can make within budget and would be helpful to others, we have finally ordered all the parts we think we need to complete our simplified, cheap, robotic claw that will attach to a wheelchair. There have been a lot of robotic arms built, but our groups claw is very simple and will move vertically and horizontally controlled by a joystick being able to do some reaching that would otherwise be difficult for a person in a wheelchair.
Since mechanically I know very little, I was not much help with the design process and finding the correct items needed for the claw. Now that I know how many motors there will be and knowing we will be using an Arduino, I can start the pseudo code of the robot. So that is what I have been refreshing my mind on and thinking about. My next step will be to figure out what components will be needed for the motors to work and work on getting a schematic drawn for that.