The spring university semester is coming to an end, and the Infotronic course closed with a Sumo robot challenge. Great challenge, new technologies, innovative approaches and funny designs 🙂
ToF (Time-of-Flight, see “Tutorial: STMicroelectronics VL6180X Time-of-Flight LIDAR Sensor“) sensors are fun: they measure the time the light takes to travel to an object and back again. That way they can measure the distance to object with a millimeter accuracy. An ideal sensor for a battle robot: 🙂
The Achilles Heel of the Mikroelektronika Hexiwear is its charging: the charging and USB connector are only designed for a limited number of plug-unplug cycles, and it does not have a wireless charging capability like the Apple iWatch. Until now! I have built a DIY wireless charging system for the Hexiwear 🙂 :
For my Hexiwear university research project I’m exploring wireless charing options. I have built a DIY Qi charging station and created a 3D printed enclosure for it:
The year is coming to an end, the Holiday season is approaching. In case you are looking for a nice present: I have completed my version of a sand clock: a clock writing the time into sand:
If you are interested to build your own version, I have documented the different steps with tips and tricks…
The good thing with failure is: it is an opportunity to learn :-).
So here is a case: For a STEM roadshow (see “MINTomat: World’s Most Complicated Bubble Gum Automata?“), we have produced in a rush an autonomous robot with a shiny printed 3D cover:
How to fascinate kids for technology? Show them that engineering is fun :-). At the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts we have created the ‘MINTomat’: a robotics system for STEM activities rewarding interaction with bubble gums:
Yes, pretty over engineered compared to a normal bubble gum automata, but that’s part of the fun :-).
3D printing is like cooking or like BBQ: It is more about barometric pressure, humidity and temperature than you might think of. To me, printing (and cooking) is a combination of art and science. And as with cooking, sometimes the result is not usable.
I’m very happy with the Ultimaker 2 printing PLA material. For a LED matrix project I have to use ABS as this material is suitable for higher temperature: PLA simply will not stand the heat produced by the LEDs I’m going to use. And here the joy ended: printing using ABS was definitely no fun. While the first small test print came out OK, I produced afterwards a pile of unusable parts because of warping :-(.
As a remote controller for the Sumo robot (see “Zumo Robot with Magnetic Encoders“) we have used so far a combination of NXP FRDM-KL25Z board and a Joystick Shield (see “Joystick Shield with nRF24L01 driving a Zumo Robot“). That solution was not ideal, so this weekend I created a 3D printed prototype:
In “openHAB RGB LED Light Cube with WS2812B and NXP Kinetis” I started experimenting Kinetis boards, a LED cube diffuser and Adafruit WS2812B NeoPixel LEDs. That worked well, but I was not to very happy about the visual effect. So here is my next version: I wanted to have control over each side of the cube. For this I have built a cube inside the cube with a 3D printed structure:
Does everybody still know why in the ‘old’ days there was the need for running a ‘screen saver’ on the computer? With the modern LCD displays they lost their initial purpose. After “3D Printed Classic Mac Apple Watch Charging Station” I’m doing more ‘good old days’ 3D printing. The ‘elder ones’ might remember the “After Dark” screen saver software for Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows machines. Yes, that was 1991! For me most famous and iconic theme were the “Flying Toasters”:
Now there is a 3D printed version 🙂
One of the first machine I used for development many years ago was a Apple Classic Macintosh computer. My days of development with Pascal and Modula-2 are long gone. But with the availability of 3D printers I can print a Classic Mac :-). But now it is not used for development: I use it to charge an Apple Watch:
The tinyK20 boards are now used in several projects. Initially I was considering a commercial USB thumb drive enclosure for it. But this needed some tweaking of the enclosure so at the end it was not ideal. 3D printing is probably that hot topic for 2016. So why 3D printing an enclosure for that board?