I'm planning to build an emulation of an arm of the da Vinci Surgical Systems robot. I'm looking to build a small unit, roughly 12" per arm segment - two segments, plus a gripper hand and room to mount a small camera module and some (possibly IR) LED lighting. Build material has not been discussed with my group yet, but I've been considering some thin steel rods mounted in a square arrangement.
Do you have any suggestions for my drive mechanisms? I plan to build something akin to a single-plane ball-and-socket joint which will permit only flexion and extension - similar to a human elbow - for the arms, and emulate this robot gripper: http://www.generationrobots.com/aluminu ... R-DAGU.cfm for the manipulator "hand". I've been considering 3-12V gear motors offered by ServoCity for the "elbow" joints and a servo or pair of servos of some sort to control the gripper, but have not committed to any specific components yet. Any suggestions or advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.