Tag Archives: robot

You’re a (chess) wizard, Bethanie

via Raspberry Pi

By recreating the iconic Wizard’s Chess set from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (sorry America, it’s Philosopher, not Sorcerer), 18-year-old Jambassador Bethanie Fentiman has become my new hero.

wizard's chess

Ron, you don’t suppose this is going to be like… ‘real’ wizard’s chess, do you?

Playing on an idea she’d had last year, Bethanie decided to recreate the chess board from the book/movie as part of her A-Level coursework (putting everything I ever created at school to utter shame), utilising the knowledge and support of her fellow Jammers from the Kent Raspberry Jam community.

After searching through the internet for inspiration, she stumbled upon an Instructables guide for building an Arduino-powered chess robot, which gave her a basis on which to build her system of stepper motors, drawer runners, gears, magnets, and so on.

Wizard's Chess

Harry Potter and the ‘it’s almost complete’ Wizard’s Chess board

The next issue she faced in her quest for ultimate wizarding glory was to figure out how to actually play chess! Without any chess-playing knowhow, Bethanie either needed to learn quickly or…cheat a bit. So she looked up the legal moves of each piece, coding them into the programme, therefore allowing her to move on with the project without the need to monotonously learn the rules to the game. 

wizard's chess

Hermione would never approve.

There were a few snags along the way, mainly due to problems with measuring. But once assembled, everything was looking good.

Wizard's Chess

We’ve got our fingers crossed that Bethanie replaces the pieces in time with some battling replicas from the movie.

On a minimal budget, Bethanie procured her chess pieces from a local charity shop, managing to get the board itself laser-cut for free, thanks to her school’s technology department.

Now complete, the board has begun its own ‘Wizard Chess Tour’, visiting various Raspberry Jams across the country. Its first stop was in Harlow, and more recently, Bethanie has taken the board to the August Covent Garden Jam.

Wizard's Chess gif

MAGIC!

You can find out more about the Wizard’s Chess board via the Kent Jams Twitter account and website. And you’d like the board to visit your own Raspberry Jam event… send Bethanie word by owl and see what she says!

l5XXMbH

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Jumping robot leg

via Dangerous Prototypes

Ben Katz documented his robotic leg project:

Here are the python scripts that send serial commands to the motor controllers.
Here are the eagle files, gerbers, and BOM for the motor controllers and sensor boards. When I sent the boards to 3PCB, the text the motor controllers got all scrambled so keep that in mind. At this point I’ve built up three of each board, and they all work. I haven’t even blown up a single FET yet, in all of my motor control derping so far.
Here are my CAD files for the motor, gearbox, motor module, and leg. Requires Solidworks 2015-2016 to open. Many of the gearbox files have HSMWorks CAM in them, so you’ll need the full version of HSMWorks to view the CAM. There’s also a list of the gears I got from KHK and the post-machining I did on them.

Full details at BuildIts in Progress blog.

 

the easiest educational robot for kids, Mbot, goes AtHeart

via Arduino Blog

mbloc

It’s cute, it’s fun and easy to assemble, it’s mBot by Makebloc, the new educational robot joining Arduino AtHeart program!

mBot it’s an all-in-one solution for kids and beginners to enjoy the hands-on experience about robotics, programming, and electronics.

You can program it with drag-and-drop graphical programming software based on Scratch 2.0 and the magic happens: the robots can follow lines, kick balls and push objects, avoid walls and more. You can also switch from graphical to text-based programming in Arduino mode as it can be coded with Arduino IDE environment.

Watch the video of their successful Kickstarter campaign:

mBot supports wireless communication, standard Arduino boards like Arduino Uno, Leonardo boards, Arduino Nano, Arduino Mega 2560, Makeblock mCore (based on Arduino Uno).

The main control board’s design, mCore of mBot, is based on Arduino UNO: with intuitional color labels and easy-to-use RJ25 connectors, the board can get wired easily so students can then get more time to focus on creating all kinds of interactive stories and projects.

To help teachers, parents, and kids get started easier and faster the robot kit has two free tutorial e-books and online manuals are provided and increasing continually.

Take a look at mBot on Makeblock website and discover how to use 2.4GHz wireless module and Bluetooth module with mBot:

the easiest educational robot for kids, Mbot, goes AtHeart

via Arduino Blog

mbloc

It’s cute, it’s fun and easy to assemble, it’s mBot by Makebloc, the new educational robot joining Arduino AtHeart program!

mBot it’s an all-in-one solution for kids and beginners to enjoy the hands-on experience about robotics, programming, and electronics.

You can program it with drag-and-drop graphical programming software based on Scratch 2.0 and the magic happens: the robots can follow lines, kick balls and push objects, avoid walls and more. You can also switch from graphical to text-based programming in Arduino mode as it can be coded with Arduino IDE environment.

Watch the video of their successful Kickstarter campaign:

mBot supports wireless communication, standard Arduino boards like Arduino Uno, Leonardo boards, Arduino Nano, Arduino Mega 2560, Makeblock mCore (based on Arduino Uno).

The main control board’s design, mCore of mBot, is based on Arduino UNO: with intuitional color labels and easy-to-use RJ25 connectors, the board can get wired easily so students can then get more time to focus on creating all kinds of interactive stories and projects.

To help teachers, parents, and kids get started easier and faster the robot kit has two free tutorial e-books and online manuals are provided and increasing continually.

Take a look at mBot on Makeblock website and discover how to use 2.4GHz wireless module and Bluetooth module with mBot:

Watch a fin-propelled underwater robot prototype

via Arduino Blog

underwaterRobot

The robotic prototype swimming under water propelled by fins, it was developed at the Control Systems and Robotics Laboratory of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, in Heraklion (Greece) and it’s controlled by an Arduino Mega:

Each fin is comprised of three individually actuated fin rays, which are interconnected by an elastic membrane. An on-board microcontroller generates the rays’ motion pattern that result in the fins’ undulations, through which propulsion is obtained. The prototype, which is fully untethered and energetically autonomous, also integrates an IMU/AHRS unit for navigation purposes, a wireless communication module, and an on-board video camera. The video contains footage from experiments conducted in a laboratory test tank to investigate closed loop motion control strategies, as well as footage from sea trials.

the Arduino runs a custom-developed real time firmware that implements two Central Pattern Generator (CPG) networks to generate the undulatory motion profile for the robot’s fins. The robot  contains a  7.4V lipo battery powering also a Bluetooth module for wireless communication and a video camera to record footage of the missions.

UnderwaterRobot2

 

Working Doctor Who props with Raspberry Pi

via Raspberry Pi

Doctor Who fans are enjoying a richly layered Series 9 so far this autumn, with plenty of nods to classic Who and a fabulously creepy two-parter that concluded on Saturday. I resisted the temptation to share Richard Hopkinsamazing K-9 build blog here when I found it a while ago, because I thought it’d be best appreciated alongside the superb screen presence of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor to remind us what a wonderful fictional universe this is (not everyone agrees with me about Capaldi, of course; note, though, that I’ll be moderating the comments scrupulously).

Richard Hopkins' version of K-9, a robotic dog in Doctor Who

Richard Hopkins’ K-9, pictured in August with side monitor and newly functioning camera and wagging tail. Photo by Richard Hopkins | CC BY-SA 4.0

While some projects might occupy a few entries on their author’s more general blog, it’s easy to appreciate that the scope of this project, which has been ongoing since May 2014, warrants a blog all to itself. A Raspberry Pi as the brains of the robot was part of the project from the very beginning. It controls K-9’s expressive, servo-driven ears and tail as well as the scooter motors that move him around, runs Node-RED to allow browser-based control and to display a power monitoring dashboard on the panel on his side, and lets him to respond to voice commands and hold a basic conversation. A Raspberry Pi camera module on a long cable sits behind his eye panel. Who wouldn’t want to share their home with a robot like this?

K9 Progress August 2015

The addition of a wagging tail, side monitor dashboard and eye camera is significant progress.

As fantastic as Richard’s build is, it’s not the only homemade, Raspberry Pi-powered K-9. William Reichardt’s wooden-bodied K-9 is tricked out with a thermal printer in its head; and if, like me, you don’t have the time or the technical chops for a project this complex, you can still house your Raspberry Pi in a fine LEGO K-9 case.

Meanwhile, if the current series of Doctor Who has seen the Doctor swap his sonic screwdriver for a pair of sonic sunglasses (they look great, but we’re hoping they’re not forever, yes?), fans seem committed to the classic tool. I found four different Raspberry Pi-powered sonic screwdrivers for everything from door locking to a TV-B-Gone, after which I stopped counting.

Sonic screwdriver, as seen in Doctor Who Sonic screwdriver, as seen in Doctor Who Sonic screwdriver, as seen in Doctor Who Sonic screwdriver, as seen in Doctor Who

Alan O’Donohoe has made a Raspberry Pi-controlled Dalek that responds to Twitter, a Doctor Who story premise that I never want Stephen Moffat to consider.

#TweetMyDalek – Raspberry Pi controlled Dalek

At our Preston Geek Up meet: A 12″ model of a Dr Who Dalek is controlled by tweets, received by a battery powered Raspberry Pi computer running Linux The RGB LED responds to colours tweeted with hashtag #cheerlights Dalek robot developed by Alan O’Donohoe, @teknoteacher

Last of all, something we can’t leave out of any conversation about Doctor Who-related Raspberry Pi projects is Dave Akerman‘s TARDIS.

The TARDIS, as seen in Doctor Who, except slightly smaller on the inside

Slightly smaller on the inside

OK, so it’s hard to call this a fully working prop; it’s pretty small on the outside to begin with, and then the inside is, if anything, a little bit smaller. However, with the help of a high altitude balloon, it did fly to the edge of space, which counts for a lot with us. This might seem like the kind of thing for which you need long experience, and it’s true that a HAB flight demands some months of preparation. But having seen our first few successful launches following this summer’s Skycademy training for educators, we know that a stratospheric TARDIS is something that’s within the reach of primary schools.

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