martes, 27 de mayo de 2008

Flying microbot


Some physical abstract concepts are easier to acquire by means of the accomplishment of experiments. The " law of universal gravitation " Newton's, the relation between mass and weight and the concept of centrifugal force they can work with the proposed experience.

With this experiment the different behavior of a vehicle tries to reveal type Microbot in normal conditions in the terrestrial surface and in conditions of weightlessness on board of the ISS. The analysis of this behavior will allow to deduce which are the physical conditions to which this submitted the "microbot" in the ISS and to level of the soil.

The school curriculum of ESO (Secondary Obligatory Education) includes on one hand, physical concepts related to the acceleration of the gravity, and for other one, knowledge related to the electronics of control, the microcontrollers and the robotics. These aspects of the curriculum develop from different matters, such as the physics, the technology, the technical drawing and the languages.


The base of this experience is the kit of the company OPITEC (Piece 102.115). The electronic robot-set "Six legged monster" is one 6 legged monster will walk past anything in its way due to its IR-Diode light eye sensor. The IR-diode sends a reflected signal to photo-transistor of any objects in its way. The robot then in turn moves left or right around the object as long as there is free room for it to pass.

In the original design the "microbot" it uses six legs of insect to move on the soil in gravity conditions. This mechanism might not be in use in the ISS, since there does not exist any force that him presses against the walls and allows him to advance at the time that his legs move. In the ISS the microbot has to can evolve in gravity absence.

To adapt the microbot to the conditions of the space we have to replace the mechanism of oscillating legs with a couple of propellers joined his two electrical engines. A support has to be constructed for the electrical engines, once dismantled the whole mechanism of the legs.

To do his slightly surer use, the set of the electrical engines and his two propellers will get in two pipes constructed with sheet of plastic. Of between the models of OPITEC, we will have to choose, a couple of propellers that are OK with the electrical engines of the kit. The model of reference N º 204.426 might serve.

Accomplishment of the experiment

The experience with the microbot can do four times to him, in different conditions. First, on board of the ISS, the microbot will be used in gravity absence and promoted by propellers that will stimulate the air and will make move to the vehicle for a phenomenon of reaction.

In the terrestrial surface, that is to say, in the classrooms of our school center, it is possible to realize the experiment of three different forms. The first way of doing it would be using the microbot with the mechanism of oscillating legs that come with the kit. The second one would consist of using the same configuration that will be used on board of the ISS, that is to say, endowing the microbot of propellers and hanging it of the roof by means of a resistant thread that will eliminate, of fictitious form, the gravity.

Finally, the third way of realizing the experiment would be using the microbot as a ship, providing him with some way of flotation and using the electrical engines with propellers for the water.

Aspects to bear in mind

So much to assure the traction of the electrical engines and for the correct functioning of the infrared sensor of distances, it is suitable that the electrical batteries have a good level of load. For this motive, every experiment has to be begun by the loaded well batteries.

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