Activity 2.2.1 Observing Mechanisms
A mechanism is a device that transmits movements so that the output movement is different than the input movement. It can be used to change the direction, speed, force, or type of movement. The output of a robot or any machine is motion and force in some form. A drill press, for example, has two kinds of motion: rotary and linear. The drill spinning provides the rotary motion; moving the drill down through the material is the linear motion. The force or torque applied to the drill must be sufficient to turn the drill through the material. Also, the speed of the drill bit must be within a given range. If the drill is turning too fast, the drill bit will be damaged. To acquire the correct speed, the drill press must have a pulley or gear system. Changing pulleys changes the speed of the drill bit.
When you are riding a multi-speed bicycle up a steep hill, what do you do? Most likely you shift gears in order to get more power with the same amount of effort. Sometimes when a standard shift or four-wheel drive vehicle is being driven up a steep incline, the driver will downshift or engage the four-wheel drive in order to gain more torque. Can you think of other examples where force or torque is changed to make a task easier?
This need to change speed and torque is a problem common to machine tools, robots, automobiles, and airplanes. In this activity we will study several techniques developed over the centuries to accomplish this task.
1 Gears turn in a circular direction. There is an inverse relationship between torque and speed in gearing. A ten-speed bicycle has ten different gear selections. When you pedal up a hill, you use a gear train that provides more torque (turning force) but, in doing so, less speed. When you pedal on flat land, you use a gear train that provides more speed, but in doing so, less torque within the gear train. When pedaling up a hill, we trade off speed for torque. In other words a reduction in speed is a trade-off to increase torque and make pedaling easier. The drive gear is the input gear; the driven gear is the output gear. Label the drive and driven gears in the two diagrams below.
The gear train in which diagram provides more torque? < (Less)_____ The gear train in which diagram provides more speed? _> (More)____ Which gear train would you use to ride up a hill? ___< (Less Speed__
2. Fill in the chart below to show the relationship between torque and speed in gear trains. More Torque
When you travel up hill, more than likely you would travel at a low rate of speed.
When you are traveling on flat land then you tend to go quite faster
As the size of the driven gear decreases in relation to the size of the drive gear, output speed increases. As the size of the driven gear increases in relation to the size of the drive gear, output torque increases. 3. Complete the chart below. Show the relationship between drive gear and driven gear in a simple gear train.
Driven Gear Size
To Increase Torque
The gear size would be at the max.
To Increase Speed
The gear size would be at the lowest
4. Calculate the following gear ratios.
Types of Movement
A mechanism is a device that transmits the flow of power from the input movement to the output movement. Examine the Rube Goldberg cartoon below. Find the input and locate the different mechanisms until you reach the final output of the cartoon.
Mechanisms can change direction, speed, and force or torque. They can also be used to change the type of movement. There are four types of movement.
Around in a circle
Back and forth in an arc
Straight in one direction
Back and forth in a straight line
5. List 6 different mechanisms in the Rube Goldberg picture above and predict the purpose of each. Does the mechanism change...
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