Artist in Residence at Evil Mad Science!
I’m currently an artist in residence at Evil Mad Science! I get to work on some interesting tasks, play with some great robots, and learn tons of new skills!
On Thursday we had a Robot Party LIVE from EMSL! There were many technical difficulties, but we appreciate everyone who showed up to the Ustream and participated in the hangout afterwards! Next week will be better because there will be faster internet. Yay!
While I’m here one of the things that has to get done is making RoboBrrd as a kit form. There’s lots of questions and redesigning. Here’s some revised CAD! As you can see, much more thick than the previous versions.
The beak mechanism is going to be a little different too. It will be a hinge using the same plasticky material as on the eggbot. I tried unsuccessfully to rip this material, it’s extremely durable!
Speaking of material, this is the 6.35mm (1/4inch) basswood. Wood is significantly less expensive than acrylic, more sturdy, can assemble strong using wood glue, anyone can drill into it easily, and best of all you can paint on it
Trying to figure out the kerf was a little horrible. With this material, a friction fit isn’t entirely necessary (because you can glue it), but having a bit of friction is nice. It took me a lot of tries, it was an epic fail, but eventually figured it out in the end!
Next time I’ll do a better job at figuring out kerf values. Live and learn.
Laser cutting the pieces is pretty fun! You have to mask the basswood before cutting otherwise there will be goop near the edges, making the piece a little discoloured and sticky. The basswood smells great!
Sometimes there are issues with cutting all the way through since basswood is a natural material. Sometimes it heats up a lot and you get bright sparks. You really have to keep an eye on the laser cutter and make sure you have an action plan if things get out of hand!
Inventor is so fantastic to figure help make sure all the tabs are lined up. I found a pretty cool program on Windows that can take timelapse screenshots, so this weekend perhaps there will be enough for yet another funky timelapse video!
Skipping along to the boards now, the boards didn’t really work before- but the issue was found and solved! Turned out the reset line didn’t have the capacitor and right resistor on it. Wooops! When that fix was made, it FINALLY WORKED! Uploading code and blinking an LED!
It also works great with the Googly Eye shield 😛
However it did not work with the LoL Shield just yet. Perhaps it might be as simple as a power issue (because the 5V header is messed up on this one because I was trying to desolder something but failed). This will be debugged later on!
Speaking of desoldering, check out this really cool soldering station they have! The soldering iron is a Metcal, it heats up via RF waves rather than a heating element. It takes only 7 seconds to heat up! Holey moley!
There is also a very nice microscope here. You can look at a breadboard so close you can see deep into the breadboard holes. It’s like your trapped inside a breadboard and you can’t escape! Here are some pictures of various things taken with my iPhone. There is a camera mount, but there needs to be a better lighting setup for the photos to be captured properly.
We have visited a lot of interesting places around. Sooo many interesting places around here! The electronic stores are REALLY STELLAR! We also went to the SawdustShop (kind of like the TechShop but for woodworking), and I saw this clever hinge on a box that was neat!
Here was another cool place to go to, the Homebrew Robotics Group meeting! It was really cool to be with other robot builders as well. There are some really great robots there, and a lot of them were very successful at RoboGames! I presented my RoboBrrd at the meeting, it was fun! (Thanks @mifulapirus for the pic!)
This here is one of the main things I’m tasked with while being in the lab. Sort of. It should be really slick when complete. It’s pretty challenging as it is some stuff that I haven’t played with before!
In addition to all this amazing brain food, I’m learning how to make real food too! A huge part of this is making bread. Bread is actually quite optimal to make, more people should make it! Most of the food turns out to be really delicious. There’s lots of lemons, since lemons grow on trees here! This here is one of the nicer things, we made sorbet in a gelato machine. It was excitingly good!
At some point this week I will make some robobrrd and robot party hackerspace passport stamps! I unfortunately didn’t bring my Wacom tablet, so I’m not sure how I’m going to get the drawings into the computer. Eek! Hopefully the drawings will be spiffy enough!
RoboBrrd is of course enjoying its time sitting on the desk and watching cool stuff happen! Chirp chirp!
That’s all for this week! (Actually it was last week- this was supposed to be posted on Sunday haha) I’ll be posting up some more interesting things in the future! Maker Faire is swiftly approaching! Thanks to Lenore and Windell for the help so far! If you have a robot be sure to come to the Robot Party this week! It is going to be really exciting!