Cable Assembly Robot

Sponsors: Bojo Inc. and TerraLuna LLC


Iteratively develop an inexpensive, general purpose, tabletop machine for semi-automated assembly of coaxial cables of various types and sizes.

This team is a potential customer of the SME Robot Kit and Linux-based Automation Controller, and will be evaluated in part by its ability to respond to the supply-chain issues these dependencies will produce.


Make extensive use of COTS components such as R/C servos, laser-cut plastic, 80/20 rails.

Design and build self-centering or iris-like gripper for centering and handling of cable and submillimeter-scale connector parts.

Design and build magazine feeder for feeding connector parts to gripper.

Specify or design and build a motion table to hold grippers, migrating them and cable between assembly tools.

Work with sponsor to specify or build tools for the various stages of cable assembly, including automatic stripping, soldering, and crimping. Some of these tools will be purchased by sponsor, some may need to be designed and built.

Use a general-purpose set of Linux-based software and hardware for sensors and motion control, with scripting in Python for customization for specific combinations of cable and connectors.

Use sponsor-provided project management web site ( for documentation, status, and issue tracking.

Industry sponsors will provide access to lab including laser cutter, solid modeling workstations, EDM and other machine tools, pneumatic and electromechanical components, project management and mentoring, and computing infrastructure support.


Solid models of all parts, servos, and other mechanical elements.

Source code of any software developed for the project.

Early delivery of requirements to the SME Robot Kit and Linux-based Automation Controller teams, with followup as needed.

Demonstrate semi-automatic assembly of a microdot (10-32) connector onto the end of an RG174 cable.

Demonstrate semi-automatic assembly of a BNC connector onto the end of an RG174 cable.

Demonstrate semi-automatic assembly of a BNC connector onto the end of an RG58 cable.

Each demonstration must complete in under two minutes, with no unplanned operator intervention. Changeover between cable or connector types must be able to be performed by operator in under 5 minutes, with minimal use of tools.