Recent blog entries for phooky

Assembly docs are coming together. I'm going to have to disassemble the XY assembly and reshoot some of the pictures, though; I have the Y stage on backwards in some of the images. I hate taking apart a working robot.

The prototype Cupcake CNC robot lives! Cupcake is a small, relatively cheap hackable CNC platform. It's designed to accept a number of toolheads-- so far we have an ABS extruder and frosting extruder prototyped (yes, you can decorate cakes with it). If we seem a little woozy in the video, it's because we filmed it at two in the morning, after getting the first successful build running.

We're selling the Cupcake as a complete kit through Makerbot Industries, accepting preorders today. You can also get just the electronics, individual servos, etc.

Whew. Now to sleep for about sixteen hours.

In this troubling economy, who has the resources to build a hexapod? Thus, I'm building a pentapod-- the people's robot.

The skeleton is up on thingiverse. I'm using one of Raph's awesome, hacked-up twitchie boards to carry the chip. Some observations so far: I need a shorter thigh member, and I'm going to need more powerful servos for those joints-- hs-311s aren't cutting it.

Reminder: robot workshop tonight, at Eyebeam, for those of you in NYC.

Mindstorms Workshop - This workshop, intended for ages 12 and up, will teach participants of all ages how to build and program their own robots using LEGO Mindstorms (small computers with programmable behaviors) in order to address a specific challenge. Participants will work with an artist to learn the Mindstorm programming language, experiment with the design of a physical computing project, and test the results in their own mini-robot "runway show".

Feral Robotic Dogs - The Bureau of Inverse Technology will lead a workshop on building feral robotic dogs. These semi-autonomous activist robots are created by disassembling and rebuilding commercially available robotic toy dogs. The toys are 'upgraded' by installing a new nose (data collection sensors), a new brain that programs the dogs to "sniff out" contaminants in the environment and by mechanically improving them so that they can traverse outdoor terrain.

New York-Tokyo robots tomorrow at the same venue, followed by a robot-DJ'ed party.

simonthehappy: this is creepily similar to what I'm working on, only I'm only dragging the paper in one direction, and using several head positioning assemblies from hard drives to actuate the pen...
hudson: thanks. A friend of mine has a running installation; I'll give backchaining a try. Until then, I guess I'll stick with eagle.
hudson: how on earth did you get ExpressPCB running under Wine? I've had no joy. What version are you using? Are you linking against an existing windows installation?

Finished my stupid electroluminescent handbag today. People seemed to like it. I am rapidly turning into a fashion designer for Mondo 2000. Ugh.

Maxim's site has some very good tutorials, and you can now order parts directly from them online. Got myself some MAX712 chargers. Will see how they work out.

Can't post on the front page, but a friend bought this to my attention: autonomous robot water spider ballet, this weekend in Boston. From the page:

Eight giant robotic spiders, programmed with artificial instincts (and painted in Beetle colors by Scott Volkswagen), will dart about a Charles River cove in a spirited ballroom dance of avoidance. Pioneer cyberartist, Remo Campopiano, designed and built the spiders with the help of the Robotics Art Club of New England, a group of 10-13 year olds. The spiders will be dancing to an original composition by critically-acclaimed composer/conductor, Ernesto Klar...

Urgh. Last night's lesson: just because your old servo can deal with a very low current on its control line doesn't mean your new, beefier servo can. Replace that resistor with something reasonable.

On that note, does anyone know where I can find resistors with the values silkscreened on the side? Being partially colorblind makes coping with color codes (especially in poor lighting) a wearying task...

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