Design of a Mechanical End Effector Matt Robson and Mike Severance Idaho Mechanical Engineering Senior Capstone Design The Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Idaho incorporates a real world engineering design project into its senior curriculum. The goal is to produce a working product and/or design solution to the customer with a given time and budget constraint. Bechtel Hanford, Inc. Bechtel Hanford, Inc., the project customer, has been contracted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up the nuclear waste left from the Cold War era at the Hanford Site on the Columbia River in southeastern Washington. Bechtel’s Problem The current design of the robotic gripper is capable of handling most of the objects in the hot cell, but is incapable of effectively plugging and unplugging Staubli fluid couplings. Bechtel needs a mechanical device which can attach to the existing gripper, known as an end effector, to manipulate the fluid couplings more efficiently. Major Design Considerations End Effector Park Stand Testing Platform (mock up of a power manipulator gripper for testing purposes) Design Constraints Connection tolerance of ¼ inch and 5° misalignment. End effector must be able to operate within a 2.5 by 5 inch envelope to avoid interference with other objects in the hot cell. End effector must be able to hold up to 60 lbs. of deadweight. $5,000 budget. Conceptual Designs All conceptual designs must meet the design constraints, and even further, should meet or exceed the functional performance requirements of the design expected by the customer. The following conceptual designs are broken down to the individual parts of the design which must be considered to meet the functional requirements. End Effector Park Stand Test Platform Testing the Design Statistical experiment design Design must successfully connect the fluid couplings with a probability of 95%. End effector must be picked and placed from the park stand successfully with a probability of 99%. Test Platform design Apparatus has 3 degrees of freedom, or 3- dimensional motion. Simulates all forces applied to and by the power manipulator arm and gripper. Conceptual Design Highlights Design Recommendations Questions?
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