I have 5 bare PCBs that I will be sending out to some lucky winners. They are for the PIDDYBOT so you can build your own! The raffle is below, requires you to follow on twitter, you can get other entries by tweeting about it as well. You need to use your email to sign up, but I won’t email anyone about anything other than this raffle. This is a trial run for me using RaffleCopter, so hopefully it goes smoothly!
The other day one of the motors died out on my most used desk toys. It provides a nice 6-7 minute break when I remember that it has charged; it needed to be fixed ASAP(it keeps me sane through all the work). This one was very quick and easy. Anyone with a steady hand with a bit of soldering skill could do it. When I say “quick” I mean literally less than a minute to replace a motor on the Estes Proto X Nano.
Every so often while browsing the internet I will come across a project that I absolutely have to make. When I stumbled upon IVC’s Candy Sorting Machine, this was absolutely the case. When my girlfriend eats skittles, she does so by colour – don’t ask me why, she just does it that way. When I watched the video of the candy sorting machine on YouTube, I knew it was going to be the perfect gift for my girlfriend for her birthday. Since this was going to be a gift for someone I really wanted to create it as if it was a consumer product in terms of design. I wanted it to be simple to use and designed so anyone can just turn it on and and it will sort. Video and pictures after the Jump!
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.
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.
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.
I have been meaning to make a self balancing robot for awhile so the other day I decided to see what I could do with some stuff I had laying around. I also had not seen overly small ones made so far so the real goal was to make it as small as possible. Basically I ended up with a Arduino Mini Pro with some components literally soldered to it. I found the wheels and motor from one of those small IR vehicles, cut it in half, and soldered the old battery mount to the lower part of the arduino. For the balancing part I need to note that I did not have a gyro/accelerometer on hand which is why I decided to use the IR switch. I just placed an order at SparkFun for a Gyro, so it should be here in a week or two for me to update this little bot and really make it perform.
Video after the jump.. Continue reading