Initial restrainment mechanism design

After scorpion collecting last night in South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona (June 28) it became apparent that the mechanism used to hold the scorpion down must not contact it near the end of its body as, when it strikes, it arches its entire body high above the ground. Therefore, the restrainment mechanism must be constructed to allow for this movement.

It does not seem likely that the restrainment mechanism will be able to work if the point(s) of contact are on the legs. First, it will be very difficult to strap individual legs down, and second, the legs may be too fragile to be take the force. Therefore, it seems the most appropriate location to contact the scorpion would be near its head (thus allowing for the body arching). Also, after the scorpion has been refrigerated it is quite docile, in fact appearing dead. This may be useful as when active the scorpions are quite fidgety and aggressive.

Due to the observations above, my initial design for the restrainment mechanism was a block of wood with a slanted top at the angle of the scorpion’s body when in a defensive (arched) position with a velcro strap. This way the scorpion could be in the correct position to sting and also be securely attached to the block.

A Google SketchUp version of John’s mirror box with my restrainment mechanism added:

The small slanted object at the bottom of the box is the restrainment mechanism (without the velcro stap, because it is extremely difficult to draw curved objects in SketchUp).


Initial mirror box design

John’s initial box design:

Project goals

At the start of my participation in the project there were two goals: Get high speed video of the scorpion stinging from multiple angles, and get MR (magnetic resonance) images of the tail to determine structure (see Work with SMoRG for more in depth introduction).

I was assigned to work with an undergraduate student, John De La Cruz, who is a bioengineering major, and was also working on the project. We decided to first tackle the problem of getting the high speed video from multiple angles; John decided to work on the construction of the box and mirrors and I decided to work on the scorpion retainment system and the remote mechanism to trigger the scorpion sting.

Conversion to quad (build)

I am currently in Denver, Colorado visiting my grandparents. Before I left Phoenix I received my cnchelicopter shipment, but did not receive my hobbyking shipment. This means that I will have all the parts for the conversion, except the USBasp AVR Programmer, meaning that I will not be able to set the board configuration to quad. However, I wanted to build the quad frame and make sure everything fit, and then convert it back to hex so that I could fly while in Denver.

The quad build:


Frame complete except for lower plate:

Speed controllers on:

Power distribution bundle installed and attached to speed controllers:

Motors installed:

Motor close up:

CRIUS SE, receiver and Bluetooth module installed:

Finished with feet:

The hex build (electronics installation same as quad and therefore not shown) :

Upper plate and arms:

Speed controllers installed:

Power distribution bundle installed and attached to speed controllers:

Bottom plate installed:

As mentioned above, the rest of the build is the same as the quad (motors, electronics, etc.)