Students use linear guide system on one-of-a-kind invention
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. – September 2, 2008 – Students from Troy High School in Fullerton, Calif. designed the first known remote-controlled tree climber with the help of donated products from igus® Inc. The team used a DryLin® QuadroSlide linear guide system on its coconut tree climber, which was built for the 2008 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams event. Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams — a national grants initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program — fosters inventiveness among high school students.
The QuadroSlide was used for the linear travel of the motor and wheel assembly. It enables the coconut tree climber to accommodate changing tree diameters, while also serving as a stiff and accurate platform for the assembly. The students chose to build the climber because many communities worldwide have relied economically on the coconut tree, also known as the “tree of life”, for centuries.
Traditionally, coconut harvesters are faced with the task of climbing 100-foot coconut palm trees to retrieve the nuts by cutting them down with large knives or machetes. Wealthier communities often use an apparatus to brace the climber as he scales the tree, but the Troy High students wanted to make the task easier. With their machine, an untrained climber can easily travel up and down the trunk of various palm trees.
The DryLin QuadroSlide is wear-resistant and corrosion-free and so is ideal for the invention. Since the climber is used solely outdoors, the Quadroslide’s resistance to dirt and debris is also crucial. With other devices, climbers with little experience can only scale five to 10 trees in a day, but with the students’ invention, even an inexperienced climber can scale more than 40 trees per day.
QuadroSlide linear guide systems are comprised of DryLin S hard-anodized aluminum shafting and DryLin R linear bearings. Both components boast a low coefficient of friction and are maintenance-and lubrication-free.
In conjunction with its Y.E.S. (Young Engineers Support) Program, igus has donated products to various InvenTeams for three years running. Through Y.E.S., igus aims to further the mechanical design aspirations of students and educate them about the merits and benefits of plastic components. Students, teachers and engineering and robotics competitions are encouraged to contact igus for information on how to request products or sponsorship.
To learn more about Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, visit web.mit.edu/inventeams. To learn more about Y.E.S., visit www.igus.com/yesprogram. To see which DryLin QuadroSlide is right for your application, visit www.igus.com/drylin/quadro1.aspAbout igus
igus Inc., founded in 1985 and based in East Providence, R.I., develops and manufactures industry-leading plastic cable carriers, continuous-flex cables, plastic bearings and linear guide systems. With more than 28,000 products available from stock, the company meets the motion control and machinery component needs of customers worldwide. Product lines include Energy Chain Systems ® to protect and house moving cables, Chainflex® continuous-flex cables, iglide® self-lubricating, oil-free, plastic bearings, DryLin linear guide systems and igubal® spherical bearings. For more information, contact igus at (800) 521-2747 or visit www.igus.com.
igus, DryLin, Energy Chain Systems, Chainflex, iglide and igubal are registered trademarks of igus Inc. All other company names and products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.