Reverse bend radius energy chain

We plan on mounting our power cell shooter on a turret (Armabot Turret240) this year, but we still need to figure out how to wire it up. We want to feed power cells through the inner radius of the turret, so we can’t run wires through the center axis. I’ve looked into igus energy chains as a wiring solution, and it looks attractive, but the only way we can rotate a significant distance is by using chains with a reverse bend radius (can flex in both directions, no rigidity). The problem is that we can’t figure out which models/series of ready-to-ship igus energy chains feature an RBR. I sent an email to igus, but in the meantime, does anyone have experience with RBR energy chains, or know which models would feature RBRs?

Not seeing your setup, I don’t know if this will work, but can you make a hook that reaches over your turret and lets the wires down along (or at least near) the axis of rotation up there?

We’re trying to make our robot fit under the control panel if possible, so I want to find a wiring method that doesn’t add any height, as a hook would. However, if we decide that fitting under the control panel is unfeasible, then we’ll use that wiring method instead for simplicity.

The amount of rotation you get is dependent on the difference between inner diameter and outer diameter of your energy chain, so if you have a good amount of room could you get a decent angle with one bend.

I have also seen seriously heavy duty tie wraps or banding strap used as reverse bend radius spline. Put the tie wrap and wires all inside a sheath; the strap will only allow flexure in one dimension.

We’ve done some study of Igus energy chains, from our look at what we needed to do something complex for a non-FRC project. For what you’re describing, you need their Triflex series chains. The one you’ll likely need (unless you’re feeding a lot more than a couple of power cables) is one of the smaller versions, like the TRE-30 or TRC-30. These things have 3-D movement and the smaller ones can curve into a very small radius, so small you can literally tie a knot in them. They’re specifically made for robotic applications that require multi-dimensional movement.

Look at how a steering wheel clock spring works and see if you can reverse engineer something that works for you.

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