Designing a new robot neck joint

This weekend I finished up the new neck joint for Salvius. After traveling around last summer with the robot it quickly became apparent that a few modifications needed to be made. The main problem that I was facing was that the neck was too unstable to support the robot's head. As a result the head wobbled around quite a bit during transport and this led to some of the joints and connectors becoming damaged.

The new neck design I needed to create had two main requirements. First, it needed to fully support the weight of the robot's head. Second, I the new neck should allow the head to be easily detachable. I added the second design parameter for the purpose of making it easier for my self to disassemble the robot for transport and development when needed.

To accomplish this, I moved the universal joint in the robot's neck, which allows for left, right, forward and backwards tilting of the head, closer to the back of the robot. By increasing the distance between the universal joint and the linear supports that move the head I was able to improve its stability. The second major change I made was that I moved the neck rotation servo from the base of the neck, up into the head itself. This alteration was to help ensure a more modular design of the head and neck. Last, a metal axle with new bearings was added to the top of the universal joint to ensure a smooth movement as the neck servo rotates the head from side to side.

The new neck was finished just in time for Salvius to appear for a visit to the Tech Foundry for a talk about robotics.

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