Sometimes research can be tedious. Very tedious. The robots that I build use actuators made of Nitinol to move its legs and other parts. Nitinol is a type of material called a shape memory alloy that contracts like muscle when electrical current is passed through it. In the picture below you can see an example of one of these actuators on our robotic lobster:
This week I needed to build more actuators so me and a co-op student from a local high school started by machining the end cap portion marked by a red circle in the photo above. We did this over and over again until we ended up with 400 of them:
Sometimes building robotic lobsters isn’t as glamorous as people think.