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

All posts tagged open source

Hello Oshawatt!


You’ve heard that there is a special creature that lives in a foggy habitat rich with old electronics. After searching all night, the sun is rising and the fog starting to roll in more. From afar you see something waving. Are those arms? They’re really long for arms. As you move closer, you start to see its mouth and eyes, it’s smiling, and its eyes are fading in and out gently. It finally comes into view… aha! It is the creature, the Oshawatt robot!

Hello friend of Oshawatt!

body pic

I created a new robot last week in Inventor. It’s designed to sort of look like a sloth with really long arms, and also have the cute charm of the Pokemon Oshawott. It’s a cute open source robot. The arms have lots of degrees of freedom, the head can bob up and down, and the legs are able to swing. The expressive mouth can look like a cylon, happy, sad, surprised, and also mini-fangs.


I haven’t exactly built it yet, though SpikenzieLabs has laser cut it for me which is pretty sweet! Also going to use Adafruit’s servo controller (thanks Adafruit!) eventually for controlling all of the micro servos! I don’t have the money for all the servos and sensors that are needed for it, so it’s a good thing for it to be Open Source hardware right now!


The CAD files are Autodesk Inventor 2013, but the major assemblies have been transported into Autodesk 360 and embedded on the webpage so that everyone can view them, pan, zoom, and rotate the 3d models. It’s pretty cool! We also include standard .eps files with the pieces on them which can be opened in Inkscape.


It’s open source under the CERN OHL v1.1 license. There’s some details over on the Oshawatt page on that would be good to read first, then you can check out the filez!

Here is a description of Oshawatt’s personality:

Like all cool robots, Oshawatt does have a personality that I imagine for its character. It’s the type of robot that wants a lot of sensory feedback, so it will be waving its arms like crazy, and then humans will interact with it, and then it won’t know what to do. When that happens, it becomes sort of shy and starts to bob its head and animate its mouth expressions. Of course, its eyes are an overall indicator of its mood (assuming they are rgb leds). Oh yeah, in case you didn’t guess, its favourite dance would definitely be YMCA, though it has trouble with the ‘M’ letter sometimes.


For more details and learning more about how the design was made and all of that, please check out Oshawatt’s web page! It even has the Autodesk 360 models on it, so you can spin them around.


All I ask is for a thanks and a smile :) Any donations are welcome and mega-appreciated to fund some more of my crazy robot character experiments! :)

Crossing my fingers that someone will make a Oshawatt robot! It would be so cool to see it up and running!

Plasma RoboGlyph! — Open source pcb art ^_^

Plasma RoboGlyph

RoboGlyphs are pieces of pcb artwork that are interesting to look at, and can be functional in some form! This is the Plasma RoboGlyph! It’s just a fun little project that I figured I would try out. I ordered these boards along with the RoboBrrd Brain Boards, since the shipping is quite a bit. :)

Here are the pics of the board!

Plasma RoboGlyph

Plasma RoboGlyph

Check out the timelapse of the making of the board!

Watch on YouTube

It was interesting to make this, a lot of the programs kept crashing so it required so much patience! I started off with this plasma image. It was just some random CC image I found on flickr that was really good. :)

This was then transformed using StippleGen 2.02 from Evil Mad Science! The parameters we ended up using were:
– 8,268 stipples
– 0.50 min. dot size
– 10.00 dot size range

Here’s a screenshot of it in paused mode:

Plasma RoboGlyph

After using StippleGen, I opened it with Inkscape and made it so that the stipples were filled, and had no outline. Sometimes Inkscape would crash, but eventually it worked. I resized the image down, and exported it as a png. Pretty sure it was with 300 dpi. This png was then transferred into my handy Processing footprint sketch! From there, placed onto the board. It was important to make sure that the blobby part of the art didn’t touch anything major!

Plasma RoboGlyph

Some interesting things had to happen to make the pins/pads layer show up just how I imagined (thanks everyone who helped me with this!). In order for the art to appear with the gold, you have to make sure that the soldermask isn’t covering it, and have a copper fill behind it! This is what it looks like with the soldermask layer on:

Plasma RoboGlyph

With the .pcb file, it’s just a bunch of text, so it is easy to modify a huge amount of things that way. It was fun to see TextEdit struggling with replacing 62,919 items! 😀

Plasma RoboGlyph

The pretty colours of the gerbers are always funky to look at!

Plasma RoboGlyph

My goal for releasing this open source is: to inspire people to do random cool scripty things with gEDA and make interesting art! Hopefully they will post up a pic up online of their creation too!

The Plasma RoboGlyph is open source under the CERN OHL v1.1. Here you can find the Plasma RoboGlyph files!

Below are the credits, let me know if I goofed up on anything so it can be fixed!


The Plasma RoboGlyph is an exploration in pcb art of sorts!

The plasma image is from Luc Viatour, check it out here:

StippleGen 2.02 was used to transform the plasma image. We used 8,268 stipples, 0.50 min. dot size, and 10.00 dot size range. StippleGen is made by Evil Mad Science! And you can play with StippleGen yourself here:

The charlieplexing aspect was inspired by Open Heart kit by Jimmie Rodgers. It’s sophisticated simplicity was really nice, and the Instructable was good to learn about charlieplexing too! (Hopefully I did it right!)

The first few prototypes of the Plasma RoboGlyph were fabbed at the OSH Park! Their boards are purple and gold, and it’s a great service. Check it out here:

The medium sized OSHW logo on the board is from the gEDA format of logos that Windell Oskay made. You can find all the logos here:

Finally, credit to the whole maker community for being fun, cool, and helpful with answering questions & learning more!

Well, maybe this will inspire more random and interesting pcb’s to be made :) It’s important to try and make sure they are functional in some way too, charlieplexed LEDs are good for that! Also speaking about functional… I don’t have these boards yet, so have no idea if they work or not! 😛

PS: No, the website on the board doesn’t work yet. Still debating what to do with all these RoboGlyph experiments that I want to make! 😉

Happy pcb art-ing everyone!

RoboBrrd Brain Board v2 – Open Source under CERN OHL v1.1

Having various projects open source is a great learning tool. I probably wouldn’t have been able to make anything if there were no open source gEDA projects (Evil Mad Science makes a lot of open source projects that use gEDA), or wouldn’t be able to make an Arduino derivative if it wasn’t open source, or wouldn’t have been able to check my voltage regulator circuit against an experts circuit!

My goal for making the RoboBrrd Brain Board v2 open source is: someone will see the board with the artwork, want to put their own artwork on it, realise that it is possible, and learn all about schematics pcbs geda and bash in the process. Of course, hopefully they post a pic up online of their own board too!


The RoboBrrd Brain Board v2 is open source under the CERN OHL v1.1. Here you can find the RoboBrrd Brain Board v2 files!

Hopefully nothing is forgotten in the credits. If there’s something messed up in the credits, let me know so I can fix it!


The RoboBrrd Brain board is based off of the Arduino Uno R3 by the Arduino team. It’s a really cool board that is a lot of fun, you can find out more about it here:

We looked at the Diavolino by Evil Mad Science a lot for making the RoboBrrd Brain Board as theirs was created in gEDA too. The Diavolino information can be found here:

For some of the symbols and footprints in the schematic and pcb files, we used Matt Pandina’s version. You can see his .sym’s & .fp’s in here:

For some other symbols and footprints, they were from gEDA Symbols. A variety of these were used, and the authour information should be within their footprint or symbol. Check out gEDA Symbols here:

For our voltage regulator circuit, we looked at the Menta design from Adafruit Industries. Especially the 3.3V regulator section of the circuit and the capacitors. Here is where you can find out more about the Menta:

The first few prototypes of the RoboBrrd Brain Board v2 were fabbed at the OSH Park! Their boards are purple and gold, and it’s a great service. Check it out here:

The medium sized OSHW logo on the board is from the gEDA format of logos that Windell Oskay made. You can find all the logos here:

Finally, credit to the whole maker community for being fun, cool, and helpful with answering questions & learning more!

Here are some things with the files that would be good to know:

– The BOM included was just generated from the netlist, and it may not have the values of the jumpers and misc parts. It does have the resistors and capacitors values, though.

– The schematic is a little ‘all over the place’ compared to others. It kind of grew wildly as I was adding some things to it, and I didn’t make it very neat.

– Oh yeah, I haven’t tested the board in real life since I don’t have the board yet! So it may not work at all. :p

– If something is missing, let me know so I can fix it up

I tried to read the TAPR license and the CERN license many times, but reading this type of document is quite challenging for me. See, they write the document thinking that the way it will be read is from one line to the next line. This is incredibly annoying, since I read right-left-bottom-top-middle-left-upsidedown and not in order. Oh, and the TAPR license starts off with a huge preamble book that you have to read through, so by the time you reach the actual license part, you’re already super tired.

Since I couldn’t figure out what the differences were, I chose CERN because it’s more modern, they are working on v1.2, the Adafruit raspberry pi plate uses it so it was a good example (and they are experts so they hopefully know what is happening), and the logo is very cute. It would be nice if in the future each license would be required to make a human-readable form.

The above is just my opinion on the licenses. I don’t mean any offence to one license or the other, or whoever made them.

The next RoboBrrd Brain Board v2 post will be when I receive the boards! I can’t wait for that, pretty excited!