Robotics – Flipper

Date:  Nov 1, 2015

It’s all about precision when you do engineering.


Sometimes you need to do the experiment, or test over and over again, to figure out what is wrong with the system.


One must understand the problem he needs to solve.  It this week class, very simple.  Jay Jay is asked to designed a flipper.  A robot that can use his arm to flip a rotating board.

Looks easy.  Just flip the black colour board.  


Sounds easy.  But it is the touch of the robot hand that needed to be precise.  First you must touch the board so it swing half way, and then, use another component servo to flip the board over.  You can’s use strength, you can’t push it hard, the push has to be light.  Otherwise, the robotic hand will stuck there.

The code should be quite clean too.  All he needs to do is to figure out the timing, the angle, the force to push, the force to pull up and flip the board.


It’s fun seeing him doing this test over and over again, and you can see the young one start to get some frustrations.

That is normal.

Once must gone thru this in order to be calm, and think and be patience.


It turned the board half way, and it flipped the board by an inch.  Why?

Teacher Enzo is there to help.  And he come to the rescue too.

By moving the robot and slowly mimic the action Jay programmed, they finally figure out what kind of angle it needs to turn.

They also change a bit of the design so that it’s flipper can hook the bottom of the board and flip it.


Let’s get started to modify a bit.


After another 8-9 modifications.  Jay looked at me, point to his fitbit.  “Yes, you got all the time, don’t worry, I am enjoying watching here!”

And Jay continues another few tries.

and Finally.  Yeah.  Can go home liao.

Wait, teacher Enzo says must do the test 1-2 times more, so to see if the test result is consistent.

And here is the last test.  And it works as it planned.

Mission accomplished.

Sending him to Robotics I think is a correct thing. 

He loves learning how to program.  

It helps him to think.

It helps him to remember how to solve a problem.

And I think this kind of skill set will be very useful for him.

He has been in this Robotics class for almost 3 years.  At Wonder Works @ Liang Court 2nd Floor. 

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