April 25, 2011
Last August, we launched the Put Us to the Test 2010 challenge. High-difficulty engineering projects were submitted, and the 3 most challenging entries shared more than $25,000 in prizes. Today, we are happy to present the projects that were delivered to our winners.
Nothing is Impossible - The Walking Horse $20,000 grand prize winning project
The main goal of the "Walking Horse" ideaman Benjamin Julian was to build a mechanical horse that would faithfully reproduce the fluidity of the equine walk. In order to do that and in line with the budget allotted, Creaform's mechanical engineers started the project with a literature review on existing walking quadruped robots. They worked at developing the 3D model and full 2D drawings of a 1:10 prototype replica, as well as a complete bill of materials.
In short, the acrylic and aluminium prototype developed should be able to walk on a straight line while keeping its balance, and also turn to the left and right. While a living horse's leg has 8 degrees of freedom (DOF), the prototype's leg will have only 4 DOF to control in order to decrease the complexity level of the robot. Each degree of freedom will be controlled by a servomotor typically used in the radio control (RC) world. Moreover, another servomotor has been embedded in the structure to simulate the hip movement. All the servomotors are controlled by a servo controller programmed using the LynxmotionVisual Sequencer software to define the angular position of each joint in time.
According to Mr. Julian, his experience collaborating with Creaform's engineering was more than he ever could have asked for. "They were quite amazing to work with because there was never a question in mind that they knew exactly what they were doing. Their expertise in robotics and mechanical engineering allowed the mechanical walking quadruped to come to life because they went above and beyond with their efforts. The team focused on delivering exactly what was needed during this early design phase, a digital model of the prototype, which will now be realized in 3D with an advanced CNC milling machine."
Watch the prototype in motion!
Consider it Done! - $2,000 prizes
FP Innovations's Aboriginal Totem Pole involved 3D scanning of an Aboriginal totem pole and post-treatment of the 3D file generated. Using the high accuracy data file obtained, the company carves reduced-scale totems using a 5-axis CNC machine. First Nations artists of Canada can market these small replicas and share their fascinating art with the population.
Lastly, Globe Composite Solutions' Hand-Made Diving Helmet project involved 3D scanning of the helmet fabricated, and reconstruction under CATIA to create a 3D file for manufacturing of an aluminum mould for ongoing production of the helmet, so as to replace the soft tooling currently used that require substantial maintenance and re-working.