robot with vacuum pump

I'm wanting to design a robot that uses a vacuum pump mechanism. Do you have any idea where I could find a vacuum pump that I could
control with a microcontroller? I do not need a very powerful vacuum, it just needs to be able to pick up small objects.
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http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGIC_enUS221US221&q=suction+pumps

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On Wed, 04 Jul 2007 17:37:24 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@keenebroadband.com wrote:

For very light weight stuff, keyboard vacuums like below might work to supply a light vacuum pull. Dustbusters would be the next stepup in size, then moving up in size, shop vacuums can supply the high volume service. Small motors can be controlled via transistors. Larger motors can be controlled with a combination of transistors and relays.
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On Jul 4, 5:17 pm, shb*NO* snipped-for-privacy@comporium.net (Si Ballenger) wrote:

Thanks for the advice. I should've been more specific in describing what I need. I am not simply building a robot, but a page turning machine, and I need a vacuum pump that is able to lift up individual pages in order to turn them. I am not sure what vacuum would be too powerful or not powerful enough. I have included links to two different vacuums that might do the job. Could you tell me which one would be the best?
http://www.metrovacworld.com/Shopping/product.asp?catalog_name=metrovac&product_id=Shuttle
http://www.metrovacworld.com/Shopping/product.asp?catalog_name=metrovac&product_id taVacPC
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On Jul 5, 12:08 pm, snipped-for-privacy@keenebroadband.com wrote:

I will throw out a bunch of ideas...
I know this sort of paper handling device is used in the commercial printing industry. I came across something like that as I was searching for a vacuum source for another project. Here is a link I just Googled that has all sorts of sucker feet for paper handling. http://www.printersparts-nc.com/sucker%20feet.htm You might call a commercial printer to see if they can direct you to a source of pre- made paper handling equipment.
But, perhaps you are looking for something more home made.
A computer vacuum cleaner may be too noisy.
You have a fairly smooth surface to attach to, and may not need much air flow or vacuum pressure. I wonder if you can use something like a small CPU cooler fan, and attach the fan directly on the manipulator arm.
I wonder if a diaphragm pump, like used in a fish tank air line would be possible to adapt. Obviously it is designed to blow air, but I wonder if you can somehow adapt a connection to the suction side.
For a quiet do-it-yourself fan with more air flow, I recall the centrifugal fan in a toy musical organ I had as a kid (pre- electronics). It had a small fan motor, typical for a small desk fan. The fan was attached to a plastic disk about 6" diameter. On the disk were perhaps 8 ridges, about 1/4" high. This disk spun just above a 2" diameter hole in the bottom of the organ, and sucked the air into the chamber. Then when keys were pressed, the air would blow out through the pipes.
Actually, you may be able to adapt one of the bonnet-type hair dryers. This is the kind that has a 2" diameter clear hose to attach the blower to a vinyl bonnet. It is very quiet. Of course, you need to take it apart and mount the fan so that you can get suction.
Joe Dunfee
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It doesn't look like it should be all that difficult but making a page turning machine that can be sold at a reasonable price just isn't that easy.
A few suggestions that I hope will be worthwhile...
If you want to use small suction you will likely need to play around with different pumps and see what works best.
You probably need to be able to control the amount of suction so that the machine can handle a range of paper qualities.
Consider using something like a syringe to generate the suction.
There is a wide range of silicones that can be used as suction cups. You may need to cast your own. Check out moldmaking supply houses.
Rodney Brooks, the MIT guy, has a very creative approach when trying to solve problems.
Do a survey of what's available. Then try something different or opposite.
DOC
On Jul 5, 1:08 pm, snipped-for-privacy@keenebroadband.com wrote:

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On Thu, 05 Jul 2007 17:08:33 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@keenebroadband.com wrote:

You might search the group via google groups for similar page turning request. Seems I remember previous post needing page turners for the handicaped, and for scanning book pages. As for the vacuum source and strength, you need to do some experimenting to see just what you need for the particulars of your project. I'd go to walmart and get some of those clear little suction cup hangers and some aquarium tubing. Attach the tubing thru the suction cups, then gently suck on the other end of the tubing to see just how much air flow is needed to lightly grip the page with the suction cup and move the page around as desired. Some real world testing should give you a better idea of what you are going to need, then start spending the $$$. If the required air pressure is low, you might make a quiet air flow source by placing half a dozen computer fans in series and get the required air flow and pressure quietly.
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