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Jonathan Spitz made a fun robot he calls Charlie, the cricket. In his LinkedIn post, Jonathan explains that Charlie uses four motors. Two of the motors are used for walking and the other two are used for sprawling. The four motors are controlled by two Baby Orangutans, which also handle the closed-loop feedback from encoders to free up processing on the Arduino Micro.
Charlie’s novel propulsion system of spinning legs that can be tilted was inspired by one of Jonathan’s colleagues. They allow Charlie to traverse difficult terrain as shown in this video:
Charlie is a follow-up design on an earlier robot Jonathan made named Billy, the blue beetle, which was larger and lacked the ability to sprawl. Charlie also was designed to have the ability to drive on its back, which is something Billy could not do. You can read about Jonathan Spitz’s experiences with Billy in his LinkedIn post.
Thomas Schoch, who previously built the PiBot-B we blogged about, built another robot with a Raspberry Pi. His robot, the PiBot-A, uses our DRV8835 Dual Motor Driver Kit for Raspberry Pi B+ with a Raspberry Pi Model A+ to control two 100:1 Micro Metal Gearmotors. The robot also uses our S7V7F5 Switching Step-Up/Step-Down Regulator to supply the Raspberry Pi with 5 V from the motor power supply, allowing the whole robot to be powered form a single source.
The PiBot-A is controlled by a Web-App from Thomas’s iPhone. It communicates over WiFi to the Raspberry Pi, which is running lighttpd and PHP. The Python program on the PiBot-A uses the WiringPi library to send signals to the motor driver kit to drive two 100:1 Micro Metal Gearmotors that are connected to the chassis with our Micro Metal Gearmotor Brackets. Thomas also added an array of Sharp digital distance sensors to give the robot obstacle detection. You can find a video of the PiBot-A avoiding boxes below:
For a complete write-up of the robot, check out the PiBot-A page. It is written in German, but it has a link at the top to translate it into English using Google Translate.
11 February 2015 update: Thomas added support for our QTR-3A Reflectance Sensor Array to his PiBot-A to make a line follower and posted about it on Let’s Make Robots. The sensor array is interchangeable with the array of Sharp digital sensors used for obstacle detection. You can find a video of his robot following a line below:
One of our customers, Gary, made a heater box and ventilation system for a custom car and posted about it on our forum. His system uses several servos controlled by one of our Micro Serial Servo Controllers. The servos actuate the different valves in his air system to allow him to control the air source as well as things like the defog/defrost system.
Gary chose to use our board because it allowed him to stop sending signals to the servos when they are not moving. For others considering using our Micro Serial Servo Controller in their next project, we recommend using our Maestro servo controllers instead. They have the ability to stop sending signals to the servos like the Micro Serial Servo Controller and are newer and better in almost every way.
You can find more pictures and read more about Gary’s heater box and ventilation system in his post on our forum.
DeWitt Godfrey, a sculptor and professor at Colgate University, used our custom laser cutting service to create a 15% scale polystyrene prototype model before moving on to the final full-sized sculpture. The final installation, located on the Colgate campus, measures approximately 40′ × 20′ and weighs 13 tons. In the video above, the styrene model appears at 2:10, and again at 2:40. You can also see a time-lapse video of the sculpture’s installation here.
This week at the Consumer Electronics Show, some of our engineers got to see Spider Dress 2.0, which was being exhibited by its designer, Anouk Wipprecht, at the Intel booth. The dress is designed to react to invasions of the wearer’s personal space with threatening insect-like legs controlled by servos. Two Maxbotix proximity sensors are used to detect movement, and two 12-channel Maestro servo controllers (one under each shoulder pad) control the response of the legs. The whole dress is controlled by an Intel Edison.
Anouk explains the dress in detail in this video, which was produced by Make, and features a brief cameo by yours truly:
Forum member jr1985 posted about Sparky, a robot that uses a Micro Maestro and custom Visual Basic software running on a laptop. The goal is for sparky to one day become an assistive companion robot that entertains and helps elderly or disabled people. Currently, Sparky is able to avoid obstacles and navigate through rooms while logging movements to map the areas it encounters. And it has some dancing skills:
For all the Sparky videos, take a look at jr1985’s YouTube channel.
Happy Holidays everyone! I thought it would be fun to share this sumo bot that features Darth Vader/Santa Claus and uses our Zumo chassis.
Erich has also posted to our forum about his projects before; you can find a list of the forum posts he made that we blogged about below:
March 2013: Zumo Robot with FRDM-KL25Z Board
September 2013: Zumo Robot with Pololu Plug-in Modules
October 2013: Zumo Robot with Pololu Plug-in Modules, assembled
December 2013: Zumo Tournament Videos
Inspired by this robotic arm tutorial, Andrew Hoover recently posted on our forum about a robotic arm he made for the Nashville Mini Maker Faire. The arm is constructed from laser-cut acrylic and actuated by hobby RC servos. The servos are controlled by a 12-Channel Mini Maestro, which reads the signals from joysticks and converts them to target positions using a Maestro script. You can see the arm in action in this video:
For more information on the project, you can check out Andy’s blog post for his robotic arm project, which includes a parts list, instructions, and code.
Bruno Schneider posted the above video on our forum that showcases an automated ball path machine he made for last year’s advent season with his brother and father. The contraption uses a 24-channel Mini Maestro and is displayed in the window of his mother’s sewing shop. The machine is fun and impressive by itself, but the video (with accompanying sound effects) makes the project even more entertaining.
If you make or have made any festive projects using the Maestro or any of our other products, we would love to see them! You can post them in the comments below or in the Share Your Projects section of our forum, which is also a great place to browse for inspiration or ideas for a new project.
Khan Academy user mbbackus created a demo that allows users to visualize the effects of sending different pulse widths to the SM-S4303R and Parallax continuous rotation servos. (You can use the up and down arrow keys to change the pulse width, and more instructions can be found as comments in the code.)
For those who are interested, you can learn more about standard RC servo pulses in this series of blog posts about hobby servos.
You can see the demo on its Khan Academy page.
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