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“A wise robot once said to me through Serial.println- that robots teach us about ourselves.”

All posts in Recycling

Parts from Old Scanners

Thanks to the electronics I picked out from the Eco-Quartier e-waste drop off, I had 5 huge old scanners to scavenge parts from!


Old scanners are a great place to find stepper motors (like the ones I used for Scrumbleflit)!




The mirrors are also spiffy to use in laser projects:


And the cold cathodes are always cool :)


One of the things that I found funny was that you could almost see a progression of time from when the scanners were made. Two of them had the ULN2003 as a DIP format, whereas the other three were more new and used the SMD format. However, those three new ones were not constructed to use screws. It was molded plastic that clips together. This kind of makes me think, who on earth thought it was a great idea to not use screws anymore?

There was also a scanner that did not have a cold cathode like the others. Weird!


These are some components that I’m not entirely sure what they do, but they look really cool:


All in all, this was pretty fantastic to get 5 new steppers to use on a robot. I’m really excited to use the mirrors for some funky lighting effects too! It makes me extremely happy to use recycled steppers from old scanners. YAY FOR FREE PARTS! 😀 You can see more photos on flickr!

If you are thinking that you need more motors for your robot, just get out there to your local e-waste area and find some old scanners to take apart! Be creative and recycle 😀

Eco-Quartier ICT Drop Off (E-waste Recycling)

One of the local Eco-Quartier’s in Montreal was having an e-waste (or ICT-Information and Communications Technology) drop off day! I sent them an email prior to the event, asking if I could take some of the electronics to use for my robots. I showed up in the afternoon, and helped out to take e-waste out of people’s cars, and also started to create a stash of electronics that I wanted.

To be honest, I was not expecting so much e-waste as there was! The number of computers, monitors, and tvs was just amazing.



The crazy part about everything here was that a large part of the items are functional!



At the end of the day, I had a pretty great looking stash:




Vintage Apple:


Record players:


VHS machines:


Tape cassette machines:


Printers & typewriters:




I’m looking forward to scavenging parts from all of these. You can learn many things from tearing apart these old electronics, it’s really cool! Plus, it costs nothing to do, and whatever is not used or is scrap can just be recycled (with the right people). Completely a win-win situation!

Big thanks to the Eco-Quartier Pierrefonds-Roxboro volunteers that were nice enough to let me join in on the fun this afternoon! :) You can find out more about Eco-Quartiers here.

I really encourage everyone interested in robotics to go and find their local e-waste disposal and try to get some parts from old electronics! It is a great feeling to reuse instead of buy new, and it is also good for the planet! :)