Older blog entries for aplumb (starting at number 6)

These Polymeric Artificial Muscles by Environmental Robots are way too cool! They are actuators that double as sensors and/or vice versa.

This is proving a lot more complicated than expected... Matching up the ink with a compatible cartridge distribution mechanism is beyond the scope of my own expertise. I'm electrical, not a chemical engineer.

That said though, conductive ink pens exist, and older pen plotter printers exist. Should be much easier to adapt the pen to the printer. It won't be as high-res as a more modern ink-jet printer, but it should work. Proof of concept is all I'm aiming for at this point.

I think I found a manufacturer of ink-jet printable, conductive ink which may do the trick. It's a company called Parelec. They mention printing via ink-jet explicitly.

Sending off e-mail to see what they have to say...

Buying spree! Just ordered myself:

Also, I'm pulling together some leads to see what it would take to convert common desktop ink-jet printers into PCB design prototyping systems, using various forms of conductive inks and adhesives. What better way to spin off a quick prototype than print the trace directly onto paper or mylar, "glue" the SMT devices in place, add some TiNi actuators and just add power?

Who knows? I may yet create the world's first radio-controlled (or even semi-UAV) paper airplane!

Me ambitious? Nah. ;-)

Decisions! Do I take a soldering class in the hopes that it covers some surface-mount techniques, a welding class to broaden my skill-set, or a machine shop class to start milling my own hardware.?.

I'm actually leaning toward none-of-the-above and focusing on finding people with the skill-sets in Ottawa to play with ideas as a group...

The December issue of Circuit Cellar has an interesting article on MEMS Gyroscopes, not to be confused with the MEMS Accelerometers you can get free samples of directly from ADI.

These open up some interesting options for personal UAV design, namely measuring Yaw Motion. Pitch and Roll can be captured by accelerometer, relative to the gravity-down vector.

I love this Robotic Origami thing!

I've been playing around on paper (if you'll pardon the pun) with Origami Robotics. Very basic stuff, but the general idea is to use Origami folding techniques as the joint+actuator; when you pull the edges toward each other, the joint moves...

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