I’m sure we are all now aware of the rapidly increasing epidemic that is Diabetes. I myself am part of those statistics. That is just my way of saying I also have it. We’re all just statistics to our healthcare systems. We’re not individuals where they care about how our lives work and if they’re actually able to help or not. They look at some statistics, and then make everyone conform to the average. I personally don’t agree with this practice. Humans are not the same, we are all different. One thing that works for one group of people, isn’t going to work for another group. We need variety in our choices on how to manage our personal lives for a number of reasons. One of those major contributing factors in this is money(isn’t it always?). In North America alone there are many people struggling to pay for their medical expenses and have a lower quality of life because of it. Test strips alone are a huge nuisance on a person who is managing their Diabetes. Knowing this information, and the fact that it also directly affects me as well, I decided to look into other methods of glucose monitoring. Video after the jump.
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!
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 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 – http://www.grimsmoknives.com/
Hit more to see more pictures of my first hacked together CNC machine.
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.
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 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 →