Tag Archives: robots

Building a pool-playing robot prototype with Arduino

via Arduino Blog

Building robots can be (relatively) easy if you’d like something to wander around your room and avoid obstacles, but for complicated control tasks, like shooting pool, things need more development. Engineer “Bvarv” has been working on just such a robot, which currently exists as a one-sixth scale model.

Though it’s not currently capable of playing the game, the device uses some interesting tricks, including a frame supported by a pattern of increasing-diameter pieces of wood, a custom bearing made out of slingshot ammunition, and limit switches to control the billiard bot’s orientation.

For this project, Bvarv employed a pair of Arduino Unos and a PixyCam vision system, along with some servos, belts, and gears. While we may still be a few years away from a full-scale robotic opponent, you can check out the entire build over on Instructables and follow along with his progress in the videos below.

The Lake Erie Mamba is a 12-servo snake robot

via Arduino Blog

If you want to build a robot that moves across the ground, the normal options are wheels or legs of some kind. Maker “joesinstructables,” however, decided to do something a bit different. He created a versatile, slithering system, which he calls the “Lake Erie Mamba.”

He put a dozen Arduino Mega-controlled servos together in a reptile configuration to allow the robot to move via serpentine motion (like a normal snake), rectilinear motion (like a worm), or sidewinding (which snakes use in shifting terrain). It can also twist itself into a wheel and roll in this rather unnatural, though quite interesting way.

The Lake Erie Mamba contains 12 segments, each consisting of a servo motor, a C-bracket, a side bracket, a wire clip, and a set of LEGO wheels. The reconfigurable robot is not only controlled using a four-button key fob remote, but can move about autonomously via an IR sensor as well.

You can see more of this build on its Instructables page here and in action below!

WinchBot is a robotic arm composed of 3 winches and 5 servos

via Arduino Blog

Using an Arduino Uno along with a Raspberry Pi for control, hacker “HomoFaciens” came up with this clever delta-style robot.

If you were going to make a robot with five servos, many Makers would make a robot arm with them and call it a day. HomoFaciens, however, who is known for making amazing machines with minimal tools and improvised materials, instead made something that seems to be a cross between a delta robot and a Skycam.

His device, called “WinchBot,” uses three winches attached to an equilateral triangle frame to move a slider on a central pivoting square rod. This allows the robot’s 5-axis “hand” to be positioned within the robot’s work area. The servos are then tasked with keeping everything in the correct orientation, as well as opening and closing the gripper as needed.

If you’d like more details than given in the very entertaining video seen here, be sure to check out the project’s write-up.

A toast-buttering robot for your breakfast routine

via Arduino Blog

Tired of buttering your toast in the morning? Well, William Osman has just the solution for you, albeit slightly dangerous and excessive for the task at hand.

For his “extremely violent” machine, Osman used a jigsaw motor to hold the butter and an Arduino-driven linear stepper motor to move the slice of toast back and forth. The robot’s frame, spikes, and mounts are all crafted out of laser-cut wood, and everything is held together by a bunch of zip ties.

I was planning on making a more cohesive user experience. But then I didn’t. The jigsaw trigger was wired to a 12v lead acid battery, and the stepper motor was driven by a motion control driver I built several years ago.

Osman documented his entire build process and shared the end result in the video below. Be sure to also check out his other projects here!

Robocod

via Raspberry Pi

Fishbowl existence is tough. There you are, bobbing up and down in the same dull old environment, day in, day out; your view unchanging, your breakfast boringly identical every morning; that clam thing in the bottom of the tank opening and closing monotonously – goldfish can live for up to 20 years. That’s a hell of a long time to watch a clam thing for.

fishbowl on wheels

Two fish are in a tank. One says “How do you drive this thing?”

Indeed, fishbowl existence is so tough that several countries have banned the boring round bowls altogether. (There’s a reason that your childhood goldfish didn’t live for 20 years. You put it in an environment that bored it to death.) So this build comes with a caveat – we are worried that this particular fish is being driven from understimulus to overstimulus and back again, and that she might be prevented from making it to the full 20 years as a result. Please be kind to your fish.

What’s going on here? Over in Pittsburgh, at Carnegie Mellon University, Alex Kent and friends have widened the goldfish’s horizons, by giving it wheels. Meet the free-range fish.

Just Keep Swimming

Build18 @CMU . . . . . . . . . . . . * Jukin Media Verified * Find this video and others like it by visiting https://www.jukinmedia.com/licensing/view/949380 For licensing / permission to use, please email licensing(at)jukinmedia(dot)com.

Alex K, negligent fishparent, says that the speed and direction of the build is determined by the position of the fish relative to the centre of the tank. The battery lasts for five hours, and by all accounts the fish is still alive. Things are a bit jerky in this prototype build. Alex explains:

The jerking is actually caused by the Computer Vision algorithm losing track of the fish because of the reflection off of the lid, condensation on the lid, water ripples, etc.

Alex and co: before you look at more expensive solutions, try fixing a polarising filter to the camera you’re using.

All the code you’ll need to torture your own fish is available at GitHub.

Of course, Far Side fans will observe that there is nothing new under the sun.

Fishbowl on wheels by Gary Larson

Image from Gary Larson, The Far Side.

If you’ve got any good fish puns, let minnow in the comments.

 

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uArm Swift is an open-source robotic assistant for your desktop

via Arduino Blog

Need a hand? The UFACTORY team has got you covered with the uArm Swift, an open-source robotic assistant for your desktop.

The four-axis uArm Swift is a smaller and sleeker version of the company’s original device from 2014. Based on an Arduino Mega, the robot is capable of lifting 500 grams (1.1 pounds) with a working range of 5 to 32 centimeters (2 to 12.6 inches).

UFACTORY has launched two different models of the consumer-friendly arm on Indiegogo. Whereas the basic model is perfect for beginners and those looking to tinker around with robotics, the Swift Pro is designed for a more experienced Maker crowd with a stronger motor, more precision, and greater versatility. It also boasts position repeatability down to 0.2mm.

With a little programming, the Pro can perform a wide range of tasks from 3D printing to laser engraving to picking up and moving game pieces. You can even create your own actions through the team’s Blockly-based graphical software, uArm Studio, as well as control your Swift either directly from a keyboard-and-mouse setup, by making gestures, or over Bluetooth from the uArm Play mobile app.

The Swift is extendable with three different end-effectors (suction cup, metallic gripper, and universal holder) and a built-in socket for selected Seeed Grove modules. But that’s not all. Attach an OpenMV Cam and the robotic arm can detect faces, colors, and markers.

If you’re looking for an affordable and portable robotic arm, be sure to check out UFACTORY’s Indiegogo campaign.