Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm not dead yet!

My loyal reader has pointed out that I have, indeed, been falling behind in posting. However, do not fret for I am back! I was on vacation with my family, enjoying the niceties of Las Vegas. My vacation has messed with the schedule of thingaweek so I've decided to put that challenge temporarily on hold.


In other news, I've made great strides in my drawbot project! I was originally going to create a 3d printer, but I decided to first make it into a drawing robot before having it create 3 dimensional objects (easier to code for). I transferred from using stepper motors to using continuous servos because it allows for less hardware that needs to be connected to the arduino. Unfortunately, continuous servos also mean that I have to add in odometry to the robot to keep track of how far the servos have turned. I used two small touch sensors from a printer that I took apart and mounted them near the theta and R axis (I'm using a polar grid system, not a Cartesian one).

I played around with the programming, and I was able to get java to talk to the arduino thanks to nice tutorial on how to interface an arduino with processing via firmata. It's really quite satisfying to be able to tell the computer to move 3 units, and the drawbot moves 3 units!

I'll post more on the robot as I work on it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thingaweek #3 - Bristlebot (plus a video!!)

Thingaweek #3 - Bristlebot

This week I made a Bristlebot, a tiny, vibrating robot. Typical bristlebots are created by taking a brush head of some sort (usually from a toothbrush) and attaching a button cell and a vibrating motor to it. However, I was too lazy to look for a button cell battery and an extra toothbrush, so instead, I used some insulated wire that I had nearby and taped it together using aluminum tape.

Thingaweek #3 - Bristlebot

I then proceeded to create the vibrating component of the 'bot. I had previously salvaged the vibrating motor from a broken cell phone that I found on the street, so I attached the proper leads to some wire to create a casing that would sit around a AAA battery. I was a bit worried that the battery would be too heavy for the motor, but it turned out that the motor had enough oomph to vibrate the bristlebot.

Thingaweek #3 - Bristlebot

I finished the project by taping together the "bristle" section and the battery/motor casing. Below is a sambot blog first, a video of the bristlebot in action.

Thingaweek #3 - Bristlebot from sambot on Vimeo.

Yay for creepy, off camera voices!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Arduino: the Documentary

I love using my arduino for electronics projects, so I was excited when I heard about Arduino: the Documentary. Currently the film isn't out yet, but I look forward to viewing it. Below is the trailer:

TRAILER Arduino: The Documentary (available on HD) from gnd on Vimeo.

Thingaweek #2 - Macbook Case

Thingaweek #2 - Tyvek Macbook Case

UPDATE: A picture has been added.

You may have thought that I forgot about thingaweek, but in fact, I didn't! (9pm on a sunday night is still part of week #2).

This week, I created a sleeve for my macbook. I used two tyvek envelopes and stuffed each envelope with two plastic bags. I made sure that the bags were secured inside of the envelopes and I sealed the envelopes shut. I then used my white duct tape and taped the envelopes together to create my case.

My main machine (my macbook) is currently "elsewhere" and contains all of the photos that I took for this post. When my macbook comes back, I'll add the pictures to this post.