Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Have you seen this book: Make: Lego and Arduino Projects? It’s all about adding in Arduinos to your Lego robot projects! This is really helpful if you find you want to do more with Lego robots, but find the NXT too restrictive.
It’s written by John Baichtal (@johnbaichtal), Matthew Beckler (@mbeckler) & Adam Wolf (@adamwwolf)! I’ve met these people at Maker Faire before, they are really cool. They asked me to write the foreword for their book, what a great honour!
This book goes along with the Bricktronics shield for Arduino. It’s how you can connect the NXT motors and sensors to the Arduino. They sent me one, cause even though I don’t have some Lego anymore, I’ll probably use the L293D for something (can never have enough of those chips eh!)
Here is a closeup of the board, not a lot of empty space and the TIP120′s will be standing up:
Here is the board when it is assembled. When following their kit instructions, the steps aren’t ordered from shortest components to tallest, so you may want to jump around a bit.
Look at this, the plastic connector things make it look like a giant compared to the Arduino / Diavolino!
CONNECTOR THINGS ARE STARING AT YOU!
Back in the day of RCX’s, the ‘connectors’ were much simpler and didn’t cost as much, they were just a few wires attached to a custom Lego brick. It was a lot easier back then to wire up your own lights or whatever.
I’m looking forward to using the L293D in some project at some point in time. As for the rest of the board, perhaps use it as robot artwork or something. Or if I find someone that is in to Arduinos and Legos, give it to them
Thanks again to the authours for the invite to write the Foreword. I hope it will get the readers motivated and ready to build (and read)!
More to come later about the latest and greatest RoboBrrd news!
Here is a video covering a sneak peek for RoboBrrd Dashboard, and some Indiegogo Updates!
Watch on YouTube
There’s only 8 days left in the campaign! Still time for more RoboBrrds
Check out RoboBrrd on Indiegogo!
Thanks all for the help so far!
Here we are laser cutting a RoboBrrd and I’m explaining what is happening.
^ pic from SpikenzieLabs
For the occasion, we laser cut a special raster RoboBrrd:
As well as some CTV RoboBrrd tokens:
The rastering effect was quite interesting. In the Illustrator file, the colours of the shapes were the same as the CTV Logo, but it looks like the laser cutter took the brightness of each colour and based off of that either rastered more or less. This would be interesting to play around with if I ever got my own laser cutter
I’m totally psyched to start getting the pieces that make up a RoboBrrd! I spent a lot of time organizing what parts I needed to buy and from where. Here are some of the McMaster-Carr parts!
Wow, they are very instructive with their packaging:
Here’s one of my favourite parts! Rivets for the wings! Windell showed me these when I was an Artist in Residence at Evil Mad Science (which was totally AWESOME)! The rivets are sweet and they do the trick great!
And also rivets that fit the beak now too, so you don’t have to snap off the wing rivets! Woohoo!
These are the screws that go through the pcb and into some mounting posts. They’re 6-32 sized. I don’t really know much about screw sizes, so I ended up choosing that size and it’s ok.
The piano wire for the wings… cool!
So when I got back to the lab afterwards, I wanted to test out everything. This happened:
Turns out the screws that I ordered to go through the material and into the other side of the mounting post were too short.
Blah. This was my error! Fail! I need them to be 1/4″ instead of 3/16″. I have 4 of these boxes that are useless now…
As far as mounting goes, this is how tall it is:
There is a lot of room to access the plugs on the board, and even run wires out the back if you want!
These RGB piranha LEDs are nice and bright, and great for the googely eyes on RoboBrrds. When you attach the eye with hotglue to the LED, the little nub dents in a little, then the square around it supports the eye some more. In comparison to the 5mm LEDs, these result in less accidental pop-offs of the eyes.
Here was one of the fancier RoboBrrd designs. I added in some slots on the top face to put in some spikey mohawk pieces.
A spikey front face as well… Going to paint it all up and it can take over SpikenzieLabs and annoy everyone
Apart from this, I’ve been getting some surprises from the amount of fees that there is. I remember there was one transaction that had so many extras on it, like federal tax, provincial tax, USD to CAD in Paypal (and if you do this in Paypal, it is NOT at par! arrg!), and then another transaction fee.
Oh yeah, and I based all of the components off of digikey.COM rather than .CA … so now I have to spend 4 hours on the spreadsheets again and redo it all for Canadian pricing.
The less “rookie mistake” variables that get messed up, the more could go towards a laser cutter.
It’s really frustrating to know that every single mistake within production that you make will have a future impact on whatever you do next. The repercussions of the mistakes no longer involve a ‘learning experience’ and ‘future improvement’, because now all the mistakes have to do with money and time. So if you make a mistake, there’s absolutely nothing positive about it.
(Note: this is different for mistakes in research & general goofing hacking)
More of the components will probably be arriving soon, it’s going to be a lot of fun to try them out! I will keep everyone posted on the latest updates and everything!
Thanks again to SpikenzieLabs for taking the extra time for the CTV interview and for the space to set it all up!
And yeah, from all of the ‘kit businesses’ places that I’ve seen, behind the divider theirs is the messiest. (I didn’t even see that they had a drill press until Tuesday!) Not that messy is a bad thing though.
More updates to come, thanks everyone for helping to spread the word for RoboBrrd on Indiegogo!
Really hope that we can meet the next funding goal!
WOOOOHOOOOO!!! We did it! RoboBrrd is fully funded!
Thanks everyone who has funded, and those who have spread the word! This is fantastic! There are over one million fireworks going off in my head right now!
But let’s not stop here… time to soar further! Fwooosh!
If we meet Stretch Goal #1, we’ll add in:
• 1 Piezo speaker to each RoboBrrd Kit (make chirping sounds!)
• 1 Customized ‘mood changing’ pencil (plan taking over the world by RoboBrrds, using this pencil)
• 1 Special not-seen-before RoboBrrd token for the occasion (hint: it will have lots of drawings of stars on it!)
This will happen if we reach: $15,494
It’s possible, we can definitely reach it! Plus, when it is reached, then there will be another Stretch Goal that we can aim for.
This is a great opportunity to try and get even more people interested in robotics. Help make it happen!
Thanks everyone, more updates coming soon!
We have made a few additional updates on the campaign since last blog post!
It’s been 1 week since the campaign started, and we’re at 79%!
Congrats to everyone who will be soon getting a RoboBrrd, it’s going to be fun to see the photos of them in the wild.
Thanks everyone who has been helping spread the word by sharing the posts and +1′ing them!
There’s still a ways to go, and hopefully even more as well.
We were also on the MAKE Google+ Hangout Editors Choice: Robots! You can watch it here:
This is a really nice quote from Robert Lysik’s blog post:
“RoboBrrd fully embraces the Maker philosophy that you don’t really own something unless you can tear it apart and customize it. We need to let kids know that it’s OK to do this, that it’s not off-limits. The best way to learn is to tinker. If kids are afraid to touch a robot lest they break it, how can we expect to them to ever build up confidence that they can create something on their own?”
I really like that. The only way you’ll become friends with robots is to learn about how they work on the insides, and build one yourself You can use the skills you learned with RoboBrrd in other projects as well!
It’s really exciting that there are 4 (!!) laser cutter sponsors! I’ve been looking at the lasersaur, which would be fun to put together, but not quite sure if it would be feasible compared to a rent-to-own option on a commercial laser cutter. I’m going to be researching the various options more in depth
I’ll probably be ordering some test components of the sourced parts to make sure they fit in the pcb and work. I’m mainly thinking of the screw terminals here, if the spacing is off by a few mils it will be messed up
This is one of the great benefits of the Indiegogo flexible funding, some of the funds are available right away, which will hopefully give us a head start.
Stay up to date with all the happenings by following @RoboBrrd on Twitter!
Right now, about 1.5 days into the RoboBrrd Indiegogo campaign, it’s at 29%! Wooohoo! Big congrats to all of the new soon-to-become RoboBrrd owners, and thanks for helping out!
Here’s a nice image of RoboBrrd that you can share with your friends!
Have you seen the RoboBrrd Kit building videos? Check out the playlist on YouTube. Here’s Part 1 below!
Watch on YouTube
Robots.net wrote up a nice posting about RoboBrrd on Indiegogo! Thanks!
Thank you everyone who has been spreading the word! It has really helped! Just have to keep going along ! RoboBrrd flaps its wings in excitement!
Not sure about your robots, but my robots love to dance along to Domo Arigoto by the Styx. They also enjoy watching movies like WALL-E! However there is a problem on planet EARTH that would hinder the innovation on the web by humans, and hinder robots from enjoying elements of the human culture.
The problem is that some humans have created two things… SOPA and PIPA. Could you imagine a Robot Party without Domo Arigoto? And if I posted a picture of WALL-E on here, there would be no more robotgrrl.com! It’s completely insane!
The Internet blacklist legislation—known as PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House—invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers innovation on the Web. Urge your members of Congress to reject this Internet blacklist campaign in both its forms!
Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.
Imagine a World
Without Free Knowledge
For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.
As you can tell this is a very annoying issue that is taking time away from making our robots take over the world. If SOPA & PIPA were to come true, then it would further frustrate the robots more and they would revolt as is (with all their bugs). I can assure you that such a case would be very, very bad *sinister look*.
Here are three things you can do to avoid the SOPA & PIPA avalanche:
1. Sign the forms on Google & EFF, links above
2. Help spread the word about this in a creative way so that we can make sure that everyone is informed
3. KEEP YOUR ROBOTS CALM BY PLAYING DOMO ARIGOTO FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS
(okay, maybe #3 is a little excessive)
Note: Yes we are hosted at GoDaddy BUT we are in the middle of figuring out how to switch. We don’t know anything about domains, DNS’, hosting, and whatever, so it is making it a very confusing process.