As we concluded our last blog with the “under construction” of the tail, and left without revealing our final concept that would allow us to make a fluid motion in order to mimic the tail and successfully integrate it… It is time to reveal what we have been working on.
After much discussion and brainstorming, we initially redesigned our tail to use pneumatics. What this means is the tendons (joins/hinges) in the tail would be controlled by air pressure being generated by a pump that would flow threw a number of pipes and into hydraulic cylinders that would contract or extend the section of the tail. As we prototype it out of technics-Lego we found that this system worked really well. It solved a number of problems that were raised in the previous prototypes such as:
How would we retain tension while the x-axis and y-axis were moving around in order to contract or extend exactly when required? As the pipes can bend and move around, and still pump air regardless of their positioning, this was an optimal solution for the mobility of the arm.
As this was one of our major issues, we unanimously decided this was by far the best option at the time to allow us to further develop our tail.