The Ultimate LEGO Technics Crane Claw

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I’ve been working on-and-off for a couple years now on a reliable LEGO Technics, Crane Claws which will pick up balls reliably. Initially I started of with a two sided clamp type claw with a rounded cage to secure the ball, but this only worked reliably if the claw was directly over the ball. There had to be a better way!

LEGO Technics Four Finger Crane Claw in Action!

After may revisions, and a lot of time spent seeing just how many different ways I could use LEGO Technic Connectors in joining parts. Besides function and reliability, the unit had to be as compact as possible. Finally, my goal has been reached after many, many revisions. I’m that confident of the design, that I spent this afternoon constructing a LDraw Model, that can be seen below of it to share. The design is based from footage of the Claws used in wrecking and recycling yards to pick-up scrap.

Crane Grab
Four Finger Crane Claw Open

The Claw mechanism is built around a central Worm Gear, which drives 4x 24 Tooth Gears situated at 90 degrees around it. These 4x Gears are driven via the Worm to raise and lower the for arms. It proved rather frustrating initially, when it came making the gear housing robust, yet compact. This achieved, the remaining finger assemblies where thankfully strait forward in comparison.

Crane Grab Closed
Four Finger Crane Claw Closed

The Finger Assemblies can be easily lengthened to accommodate larger balls, like the HiTechnic Infra-red Electronic Ball (IRB1005). The Claw Version shown here, handles the Large LEGO Mindstorms NXT Balls with ease. Replacing the LEGO Part #6629 fingers with ones using LEGO Part #32140 you can easily pick-up Pin-Pong and similar sized Balls.

Technics Four Finger Crane Claw Instructions:

 

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