Mechanical multiplexers are power transmission devices that permit a single mechanical input to drive multiple outputs. Ultimately this could simplify automation designs that are power or fiscally restrained, and cannot use servos or actuators.

Well, James Bruton is a popular YouTuber and mechanical engineer, and former toy designer. Last week he showcased a prioritizing mechanical multiplexer which he originally built for an animatronic he was building based on the comic book character Ultron.

Instead, Bruton decided to use servos, so he was left a beautiful, customer 3D-printed gearbox for which he's now fielding automation ideas.

In a prioritizing multiplexer, a single input dynamically switches between the various outputs. Bruton placed his small gear motor on a lead screw, which cycles between the individual gearsets. Potentiometers are used to measure the position of the various outputs and for the Arduino and logic programming to determine where the gear motor needs to go next.

Bruton said he's been fascinated by the project device and is looking for a good automation project for it. It would be useful for many applications, such as robots or production automation. If you have ideas, you can share them with him on his YouTube channel.

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