Monthly Archives: January 2014

Teaser Video: Energy Harvesting Ring Project

Just got the latest revision of my energy harvesting ring PCB and soldered it together. Here is a short teaser video showing it light up. You don’t see much! I stuck my hand outside due to the fact that the heat of my house is too warm to get it lighting without air movement. Its still requires around 40mV to get it going but will continue to blink slowly at around 20mV. I feel as though with an actual TEG module such as the eTEG HV56 it will be on much more frequently. Right now I’m only using a small peltier module not made for generating. I’m still very satisfied with my results. A couple pictures after the Jump!

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Past Project: DIY CNC Mill – Pictures


I would say that this was probably my very first project in the field of robotics. When I was finishing up my last year of high school – maybe 2007? – somewhere online I discovered a world of DIY CNC machines; I had to make one myself. This is a little blast from the past since just today I rediscovered the following pictures. This was such a fun project and I learned a lot from it. Sadly after I finished it, it didn’t get much use. I had power supply and table alignment issues, and a lack of funding to fix it. The best part of this project is the inspiration it gave to my friend, John Grimsmo. After seeing it, this got him into CNC machines and he is now running a successful business using them –
Hit more to see more pictures of my first hacked together CNC machine.

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Quick Hack: LiPo Battery Improvements

I have inadvertently broken the solder joints on a few of these batteries just from using them on a couple of small projects. It was time for that to stop. A quick video of what I do to prevent the solder joints from breaking, and how to make the connectors be less aggressive in their plug. 20 seconds out of your day to reduce the wear of the batteries.

All these LiPos are from SparkFun.

PIDDYBOT – A Self Balancing Teaching Tool.


After I built the tiny balancing robot using an IR sensor for stabilization, there was a comment on the youtube video about how it would be a good thing for kids to build and learn about PID controls. I thought that was a great idea, the only problem was that that tiny robot was the simplest of balancing robots. It was just an on off switch for telling the motor which way to move. There was no actual PID implementation in that system. So that got me thinking about how it would have been really cool if in one of my classes where I was learning about control theory I had a robot that actually let you see the changes in a PID system in real time. I decided to take it upon myself to create such a robot.

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Research: Wireless Passive Sensor Data with NFC Transmission.

NFC Tag Reader Sensor

NFC Tag Reader Sensor

I’m looking into researching this as it has begun to spark my interests. Can anyone help out with this? The basic premise is to have a NFC transmission that is capable of relaying simple information about a changing sensor, such as a temp sensor(resistance). All the power would be given through the NFC reader and when it is not being read it is just idle/no power. Is this even possible?

Quick Project: Stepper Time Lapse Rig + Christmas Movie


I built this quick rig last year using a pre-made camera slider, some plastic I had laying around, and some electronic components. I wanted something simple where I could just put in the amount of time delay and set the camera for the same delay so that it would take a picture when the stepper wasn’t moving; simple yet effective. Read on to check out the movie I made last year using it.

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