What has a dozen servos, a WiFi camera, and an Arduino Mega for a brain? Nevon Projects’ snake-bot, of course!
This impressive robot uses a total of 12 servos for locomotion and can travel across a variety of surfaces under the control of Android app, or autonomously via a sensor mounted to a smaller servo on the head.
The snake’s electronics are split up between a head section that houses batteries and the sensor, and a tail bearing electronics including the Arduino.
The project is available as a kit, or could certainly provide inspiration for your own project if you want to start from scratch. Check it out oscillating across the ground on tiny rollers in the video below, along with a surprising transformation into a square shape at just before the 1:45 mark.
Consider the game of chess. It’s a game that flexes one’s “mental muscles” rather than relying on brute strength, but if you don’t have the ability to actually move the pieces, things get a bit more challenging. If you’re playing against another human opponent, he or she could move for you based on what you say, but with this chess machine by ‘diyguypt,’ the board does the job for you!
The system uses an Android-based Arduino Voice Control app to take in commands, and passes this information along to the Arduino Mega concealed under the board via an HC-05 Bluetooth module. It then controls a pair of stepper motors to move an electromagnet into place, which pull the pieces across the grid as if by magic!
If you want to create your own steampunk/mad scientist entertainment center, it would be hard to top this radio/clock setup by Christine Thompson.
Her device displays the time and date on eight VFD tubes, arranged on top of another eight that show the radio frequency and volume, along with the ambient temperature and pressure read by a BMP280 sensor.
A wide variety of lighting effects, motor-driven clockwork, coils, and even an automated Morse key cement its steampunk theme, and it’s nicely housed in a restored radio cabinet.
The project is controlled by a pair of Arduino Mega boards linked together via I2C, and Thompson’s write-up has all sorts of tidbits for potential retro-display builders.
This project is without doubt the most complex I have undertaken, with sixteen IV-11 VFD tubes, two Arduino Mega cards, ten LED Neon light circuits, a servo, an electromagnet, two MAX6921AWI IC Chips, five DC power supplies, a HV power supply, two DC Volt meters, a DC Amp meter, FM stereo radio, 3W power amplifier, LCD screen, and keyboard. Apart from the above parts list, two software programs had to developed from scratch and finally the construction of the entire radio required about 200 hours of work.
I decided to include this project onto the Instructables site not expecting members to reproduce this project in its entirety but rather to cherry pick the elements that where of interest to them. Two areas of particular interest to the site members may be the control of the 16 IV-11 VDF tubes using two MAX6921AWI chips and its associated wiring, and the communications between two Mega 2650 cards.
The various components included into this project have been sourced locally, except the IV-11 tubes, and the MAX6921AWI chips both obtained on EBay. I wanted to bring back to life various items that would otherwise languish in boxes for years. All of the HF valves where sourced with the understanding that all where failed units.
Light painting is an art form where dark areas are selectively lit to form interesting effects. While normally a manual operation, Josh Sheldon has come up with a rig to automate and enhance the process. The results are nothing short of spectacular, producing not static images, but astonishing animated light displays.
His device resembles a 3D printer made out of aluminum extrusion. X,Y, and Z axes are controlled by a series of stepper motors, but it uses a point of controlled light instead of melted plastic to form shapes.
Light animations are set up in Blender, and a hardware and software toolchain including Processing, an Arduino Mega, and a Dragonframe module are implemented for control.
Check out the whole story in the video below, or see code/build documentation are available on GitHub.
Cable-based robots are a common sight at sporting events as remote camera operators, but what about one for your living room? As spotted on Reddit, Nathaniel Nifong decided there was no reason not to have one of these devices, and made his own personal Skycam-like robot.
The system uses four servo motors to wind cables attached to the ceiling around 3D-printed wheels, and can be controlled using a smartphone via Bluetooth and an Arduino Mega.
The prototype—constructed using cardboard and what appears to be LEGO components—is seen moving around Nifong’s dwelling in the videos below, and the eventual goal is to let it move items around using a servo gripper assembly.
This is the first wireless movement demonstration of a robot I’m building. It’s based on parts from an XYZ 6-DOF robotic arm.
The Bluetooth control is done by using Nordic toolbox to send commands to a an MDBT40 Bluetooth module that was reprogrammed with an ST-Link V2. The module forwards the command to the Arduino.
Commands are to move 10 cm in any direction. It calculates what the change in rope lengths would be to achieve the new position.
The main character of this film is a mystery-solving feline, who is animated with the help of five servos that control mouth movements under Arduino control.
In order to get shots that move properly, Wilkinson also came up with his own motion capture rig, moved by a number of stepper motors via an Arduino Mega. His documentation is certainly worth checking out if you’re interested in animatronics or advanced filming techniques, and you can see a trailer for the film below.