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Published on: October 23, 2013 / Comments: None

Keerbot uses steppers and g-code to draw on walls

Although it’s not a new concept, you can’t deny that it is awesome.  The Keerbot is a wall drawing robot.  By hanging on 2 known-length strings, the Keerbot uses stepper motors to shift from left and right, and move up and down by  contracting and letting out string on either side.  While moving a pen/marker/drawing aid makes lines of art.

In some of the demos I see the guys working on getting a spray paint fixture to work.  That could be more interesting than just dragging a marker.  Currently the guys are using vector art, and known CNC utils to generate g-code.  Very similar to how one would do laser cutting/CNC/and 3D printing.

Check out a few more pics and video after the break.  Also make sure to check out the full lineup of videos and details on keerbot.com.

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Published on: October 10, 2013 / Comments: None

SPiBot r/c tank uses Raspberry Pi for recon surveillance

SPiBot is a remote control platform with tank-like tracks.  It’s a work in progress, but will be fitted with a rotatable camera, microphone, and distance sensors.  It is to be controlled via the web on either a phone, tablet, or laptop.

The base for the platform is a Raspberry Pi.  WiFi is used for communication.  The HTML interface is served up using nginx and PHP.  Motor control happens via PWM from the Pi to motor drivers.   Video and pictures will be done with some combination of raspivid, vlc, ffmpeg, and raspivid.

It looks like the project is pretty far a long, but not quite finished.  Hopefully the author has some pets he can terrorize when it’s finished.

Source code on GitHub, and the original project link here.  It’s not in English so here’s the google translate link.  Video of the control test after the break.

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Published on: September 16, 2013 / Comments: None

Building a Delta style 3D Printer that does ceramic

Printing with plastic like PLA and ABS is cool, or even something more unique like Nylon or Tglas… but people are always looking for more.  In Johnathan’s case, he wanted to print in clay.  Novel idea.  This brings all sorts of ideas to potters.

The design is based on of a delta style 3D Printer, and uses MDF, plastic and steel rods with linear bearings.  On the electronics side its a set from Fabster3D which is a RAMPS board and runs a modified Marlin firmware.   The print head uses clay cartridges that extrude out of compressed air at about 30 psi.  The clay extrudes out at about 1mm per second.

Check out the full writeup on Johnathan’s site. More pictures and video after the break.

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Published on: August 2, 2013 / Comments: None

A handheld distance notifier for seeing impared

A couple of guys from Sulatan Qaboos University made a small handheld aide for blind people.  It uses an ultrasonic range finder, and has a headphone jack for audible tones and a vibration motor when there is no headset present .  The interface consists of volume buttons and a multipurpose button.   They’re using a ATmega8 and have their schematic up here.

Published on: July 30, 2013 / Comments: None

Amuse your pets with an Arduino, a stepper, and a fuzzy toy

Sometimes you make things because they need to be made, and well sometimes you make stuff for the hell of it.  Curtis decided to choose the latter.  Why not amuse yourself while amusing your furry friends ?  Curtis put together a motion activated cat toy using a motion sensor, an arduino and a stepper motor (oh and insert cat here).  The furry guy seems pretty into his robotic furry friend.

Source code available here.

Published on: July 27, 2013 / Comments: None

Magnets (on stepper motors) How do they work ?

I’m always a big fan of learning more about  Why  vs  How .  Once you understand what’s really happening inside the black box, you can interface with it better after you really know its needs.  Siddharth  is here to school you and teach you more about stepper motors.  If you’re thinking about building things like robotic arms, or 3D printers you’ll most likely use a stepper motor.  DC motors are good for most things, but stepper motors allow you to get accurate with your precise location while giving you lots of power at the same time.

This is one of those articles you need to bookmark for later when you are actually working on something using steppers.  The diagrams showing the differences between 4/5/6 and 8 wire configurations, and Full step, half step and microstepping are going to be valuable to refer back to.  I sware every time I hook up a 6 wire stepper to a 4 wire controller I have to google it each time.

Siddharth also has a follow-up article where he interfaces the stepper to a PIC microcontroller.