Contact Model Of Spherical Elastic Bodies
As a part of an international project, initiated by the European Union, which involves in building an autonomous machine to harvest fruit and vegetables, a demand for this project was made. This project’s goals are to find the mechanical properties of a material, and performing experiments that test the validity of an analytical model which describes the mathematical connections of movements to forces between spherical elastic bodies. The project dealt with a number of disciplines, beginning with finding standards and methods, through ordering, manufacturing and user interface writing, to experiment performing on a system which was built
in order to validate the model. We chose to model the material as Quasi-Rigid, i.e. deformation occurs only around the contact point. Assisted by new devices that perform tests in a non-destructive method, we carried out tests, which were needed to verify the spatial contact model as developed by Prof. David Elata, in a goal to implement it in the mother project and promoting it to completing its objectives.
This project involves Development & Construction of a system which is able to assess the forces aplied on a semisphere body subjected to movements upon its surface. Using a 3D precision stage configure against 6-Axis Load Gauge connected to a sample, all controlled by a software build specifically for this use, we were able to perform experiments that test the validity of the model.
In order to use the mathematical model, the material's mechanical properties, must be implemented to it's equations. These were measured with an Un-Destructive-Testing metod using ultrasound waves, And with the same 3D stage sustem to assess the friction coefficient between the contact materials.
This project was led by fourth year B.Sc student - Alon Miller and was supevised by Phd - Amir Shapiro, and PhD student - Alon Ohev Zion at The Robotics Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Dept' at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. IL.