Honors student creates 3-D printed robotic hand

Honors student creates 3-D printed robotic hand

Tyler Gragg, a senior mechatronics major and honors student, used 3-D printed parts to create a robotic arm as part of an Honors Learning Experience requirement.

Each semester, honors students are required to have an Honors Learning Experience, which can be a project or presentation. Gragg decided to build the robotic arm to satisfy this requirement.

The robotic arm is meant to mirror the movements of a user’s hand via a connected glove. The arm consists of three main components which include flex sensors, an Arduino Nano board and the servomotor.

“The flex sensors will measure the degree your fingers are bent at, the Arduino nano will then take that degree bend in form of a voltage and that will output a value to the servomotor to spin to a specific degree that holds the positions,” Gragg said.

Gragg said the project took about 45 hours in total with most of the time being spent 3-D printing.

“It took a lot more drying time than anything,” Gragg said.

Gragg used the InMoov project, a humanoid robot that is constructed entirely out of 3D components, as inspiration. He is currently working on writing a code library to be able to release the code used on the hand. When his code library is complete, he will share it on Arduino, an open-source computer hardware and software company and community.

Juan Pablo - Tyler&RoboHand2-2.jpg

Gragg said the project took about 45 hours in total with most of the time being spent 3-D printing. Photo credit: Juan Pablo

Along with being an honors student, Gragg also currently serves as the vice president of the autonomous underwater vehicle team at KSU. A main part of AUV is competing at RoboSub each year in San Diego, California, where teams compete by building submarines.

Gragg plans to continue his studies to receive his master’s degree and is interested in either the University of Toronto or the University of Waterloo, both of which are recognized for their computer science and engineer programs.

“Most likely, I am going down the academic route to be a research professor,” Gragg said.

Currently, Gragg does not have any big projects that are 3-D print centered. He also recently visited a primary school to show off his robotic hand for young students.

“I might be making 3-D printed sunglasses. That will most likely be a thing,” Gragg said.

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