So today is the day of the Robot Hacks Show & Tell, and I'm not sure if everything will come together quite in time. For the record, I'm totally fine with that and I'm pleased with the progress we have so far.
I'll be meeting up with Alex from Seacoast Makers today and I believe he's making a bot of his own.. so we may have a showdown on our hands!
As of right now, we've got the vibration motor mounted to the milk jug chassis, and it works! But we've still got some issues..
I found a cat puppet that I made a while back and it looks like a great candidate for our Scaredy Cat's body! I found some fabric to make a simple sensor, and you can see it being modeled below.
It's taken a while to get the sensor actually mounted on the cat's head because I needed to buy myself a new glue gun after my old one shorted out. (That was a bit frightening!)
It's cool to see the robot coming together, but there are still some significant challenges at this point..
1) Do we want to include two sensors to trigger two different effects? How can we program that?
2) Can we trigger multiple effects (two LEDs & vibration motor) off of one sensor? How can we modify the circuit to make everything work? (In particular, we have one DC motor that would be fantastic but it doesn't run off of the 5 volts from the Arduino, so..)
These are pretty basic questions, and I know there are solutions out there. It's just a matter of finding the answers and learning more.
Got any ideas? Want to drop some knowledge? Tell us about it in the comments.
We unveiled the Robot Hacks project at our Seacoast Robotics meet-up last week, and much of the time was spent trying to figure out how to make a tinfoil capacitive sensor work. We had no luck that night and we've been troubleshooting for the past few days, but we're slowly figuring all of this stuff out.
This evening, I rigged up a capacitive sensor and ran a program that triggered a touch to turn on an LED. The LED in this video is on the Arduino board, but it's pretty hard to miss. This means we're one step closer to creating our angry robot cat that does NOT want to be touched!
What I really love about this process is how the challenge keeps drawing me back and I keep learning so much more. The problems that I saw a week ago are gradually unraveling themselves as I am getting more familiar with how things work.
Our concept is the "Scaredy Cat" which is a cat that reacts when someone tries to touch it.
We'd like to build a capacitative sensor our of tinfoil, but our backup plan is a Ping ultrasonic sensor.
A couple possible reactions we're thinking of:
Here are a couple sources of inspiration (and code..)
Bare Conductive: Capacitance Sensor
NOTE: If you try this yourself and you use a laptop, make sure your laptop is plugged in so the sensor is grounded! This was very frustrating but now it works like a charm! :)
Want to join the conversation? Check out the Seacoast Robotics Robot Build group on Facebook.
I've been working my way through this fantastic book, because as you may know, I'm a noob at Arduino.
Up until now, I have used 123D Circuits to virtually simulate the basics of hooking up LEDs and such to a breadboard. This morning, I'm playing with the real thing!
We have an idea for our Robot Hacks bot, but I've learned over the past few days that a simple modification isn't so simple after all, so I'm going back to the basics...
We'll share what we've got at the November Robo-Meetup tonight. Maybe I will see you there!
We found out about this awesome opportunity through MAKE to participate in their "Robot Hacks" series, where teams can apply to receive a kit of parts and make something cool. Check out the Robot Hacks community on Google+ to see what other teams are planning.
We put together a team with Alex of Seacoast Makers, and we just got an email that a kit is on its way.
Join us on Facebook and see how you can get involved.
Read Lindsey's thoughts after the jump..
If you joined us at our Robo-Reboot meetup, you probably played with something resembling Play-Doh. We called them "Squishy Circuits" although "Sticky Circuits" would have also been accurate.
Curious? Read more about our experience after the jump.
Next month's project may get a bit noisy. If you want to play along, please bring a musical greeting card.
RSVP here for our November Robo-Meetup.
Join our mailing list to get another hint head of time.
Look out! The robots are back!
We took the summer off, but in a few days we will be having a Robo-Reboot meet-up over at Port City Makerspace. After our adventure at World Maker Faire, we've been loaded up with ideas and inspiration.
As a result of this mega-influx of inspiration, we've decided to try something new.
Each month, we will feature a simple, cool DIY project for everyone to try out. If you join our mailing list, you'll get a sneak preview and we'll let you know if there's anything you should bring along to the next meet-up.
The photo above is from our last trip to Radio Shack to get supplies for our first Featured Project. If this makes you curious, you should join us and see what we've got planned.
Do you have any suggestions for easy DIY projects we could feature? We already have some things in the works but we're always looking for new ideas!
We made it to World Maker Faire NYC!
It feels silly to try and put our experience into words. We didn't take too many pictures because we didn't want to miss out on seeing everything, but we're already planning for next year's adventure.
What inspired us the most?
There were a lot of really cool things, but we were really excited when we saw recycled crafts and simple robots that anyone can make. The Brooklyn Robot Foundry had a hugging robot made by 5th graders out of recycled materials, and Crafts for Learning had an awesome cardboard-and-duct-tape hydraulic arm. Crafts for Learning also had a book on robotics for kids, and you know we snagged that immediately!
We're brimming over with ideas now, and we can't wait to share them with you. All I can tell you is last night, we picked up some materials at the dollar store, Radio Shack and Home Depot... Curious?
Have you ever been to a Maker Faire? What did you enjoy the most?