Robotic, though once the purview of industry and research institutions, have at first filtered, and now gushed into the mainstream. This means robotic vacuum cleaners, robotic toys for kids, and, of course, the robots that hackers and Makers put together every day.
This Maker robotics revolution has been fueled in many ways by access to newly affordable computing and electronics components, including, of course, motors to allow your bot to move. Once important movement method that you don’t see much outside of industry and research is the linear actuator. This important device, unlike motors by themselves, allows for something to move in a straight line by translating the rotation of a motor into a push or pull.
These gadgets can be quite expensive, and getting one to fit your design can be a real challenge. After not finding anything suitable for his own project, Diego Porqueras decided to design his own. You can see, and even take advantage of, the results of his efforts via Kickstarter, which he’s named the Maker Muscle.
The core of this system consists of a length of extrusion, in which a drive tube is pushed in an out of using a threaded rod and motor to create linear motion. You can choose the length of your actuator, as well as the type of motor, meaning lots of options to fit your project’s requirements. Best of all, kits start at under $100, far less than you’d normally pay for a custom-designed device of this type!
Maker Muscle: Customizable and Affordable Linear Actuators was originally published in Hackster’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.