Internet led me down an interesting path today, check this out: https://www.disneyresearch.com/publication/computational-design-of-mechanical-characters/
More importantly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfznnKUwywQ
TLDR: Disney found created a way to make realistic motion easier. Lots of good uses with FRC Manipulator design.
This is a fantastic video. It takes you through all sorts of cool ways to achieve motion profiles. That being said this is maybe a bit over the top for most FRC mechanisms (definitely not all) where simplicity generally is king. Awesome none the less 10/10 would watch again.
Another good thing to put on while you are board: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhoXNQqrCmEfAaTf0AfQ1Ztxmz2DoZiCk
Ahh, the mechanisms playlist. I’ve passed a lot of time with it.
It’s almost sad how much of my free time went into watching that playlist…
This stuff is really neat. By parametrizing not just the design, but also the results of any design configuration, it becomes possible to do some really advanced stuff by handing off some of the planning to the computer.
I’m currently doing research with one of the authors of this paper, and in the time since, the concepts have been expanded to allow easy design of modular robots, with motion planning integrated into the geometry of the parts. There’s a video and link to the paper here for anyone interested.