Who says robots shouldn’t have some fun? While most are destined to relieve humans of grueling, repetitive tasks, some are there just to keep us entertained. Like this robot arm. Its purpose? To built a never ending GIF #machinemagic
Unlike other animated GIFs, the one you will see below was created from a real loop, not an artificial one:
Christian Schürch is the creator of the bot, as part of his bachelor thesis. After getting viral, the student went on YouTube (where you can see a 10-minute footage of the toy train loop) to explain how the bot works. It’s something so simple, you won’t know why you hadn’t thought about it before!
“The gripper stops over the train to detect its current position. It does that with a reed switch on the gripper, which closes when too close to the magnet attached to the train. Basically the robot moves along a circular path while continuously waiting for the switch to close. When that happens it interrupts its current movement (skip function) to evaluate it’s current position and set the speed for its next movement. “, explained Christian. Extremely straightforward, right?
Afterwards, he added that no extra sensors were used so he had to “rely on the tracks to stay at the place I want them to be.” The robot used for the project is a FANUC M-2iA/3S from his school to which he added the gripper fingers.
If you happen to be in Lucerne, Switzerland, between April 28th – May 7th, you will get to see the “real GIF” in an exhibition at the Luga. As for Christian’s future plans, he said he is going to try to improve the experiment with three tracks instead of the one.