This week the SCP actuator team succeeded in fabricating three actuators. For the first one, Pooja and Wenzhong decided to switch our precursor material from sewing thread to fishing line. With this transition, we were able to supercoil the precursor completely without it snapping; the subsequent annealing process worked as well. Encouraged by our success, we then tried making actuators out of sewing thread again. Although the thread would snap in previous experiments or not supercoil properly, depending on if the dead weight was too high or low, spinning a 30cm precursor string at 200 RPM with a dead weight of 100g producing tension resulted in two correctly fabricated actuators. We annealed them at 3V for 2s each.
Devon and Anthony have also been engineering a paper robotic arm, in which the functional SCP actuators will be implemented. Working with Inkscape and Silhouette Studio, Devon has started creating designs for how the arm will look and fold from a sheet of paper and where the actuators will be inserted. Using the esp8266 microchip and Arduino, Anthony has started the code that will enable the actuators to move either autonomously or with remote control. Additionally, we have tried to reproduce the paper servo-controlled robots, a project that started this week and that will continue into the next. Here is an image of the paperbot connected to its Arduino code.