April 26, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beach Art Robot [Maker Update #31]

This week on Maker Update: an autonomous beach-roving art bot, Kickstarter wants your ideas, a project that makes kits for other projects, GUIs for Raspberry Pi, stipple ceramics, and I’ll show you why digital calipers are cool (and why you should buy them here: http://amzn.to/2ov1YJU).

-=-=SHOW NOTES=-=-

Support my car with an Indiegogo donation: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kitty-grabs-back-electric-gokart-racing/x/16196059

Modified Power Wheel with Leaf Cells
This week’s progress on the Power Wheels Racer for Maker Faire Bay Area.

Project of the Week

Pablo Odysseus (Beach Artbot)

Pablo Odysseus beach bot
Photo and project by Ulysse.


Kickstarter Request for Projects


Automated parts sorter
Photo and project by Ryan Bates.

Automated Parts Counter
Maker Ryan Bates

Cool Tools Minute

6” Digital Calipers
(Buying here supports the show!)

Digital Calipers
Photo by Donald Bell.


Getting Started With GUIs

Pi GUI Guide

Stippled Ceramics

Latest 3D Printed NES Classic Case by JJDesigns

NES Classic Case by JJDesigns
Project and image by JJ Designs.

Maker Faires

Meridian Mini Maker Faire Meridian, Mississippi
Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire Barnstable, Massachusetts
Santo Domingo Mini Maker Faire Santo Domingo
Tyler Mini Maker Faire Tyler, Texas
Columbia Mini Maker Faire Columbia, South Carolina
Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire Santa Cruz, California
Osijek Mini Maker Faire Osijek
Lansing Mini Maker Faire Lansing, Michigan
Thalia Mini Maker Faire Mannheim
Salzburg Mini Maker Faire Salzburg
Cornell Mini Maker Faire Ithaca, New York

Mike Rodriguez checked out Bloomsburg PA last weekend and sent pics and a video. You should too! donald@makerprojectlab.com



This week on Maker Update: an autonomous beach-roving art bot, Kickstarter wants your ideas, a project that makes kits for other projects, GUIs for Raspberry Pi, stipple ceramics, and I’ll show you why digital calipers are cool.

It’s Wednesday, April 26th, I’m Donald Bell and welcome to another episode of Maker Update. I hope everyone’s doing well. This week, Jordan Bunker and I made some serious progress on our Power Wheels racer for Maker Faire Bay Area.

We got the Nissan Leaf battery packs bolted down and wired up and we’re officially rolling. We don’t have brakes on it yet, so that’s why we’re not going too fast.

I still really need your help not going broke on this though, so I’ve added a new $15 perk on our Indiegogo campaign. And for those of you getting stickers, here’s the finished design from Josh Ellingson. I’ll be sending these to get printed this week.

There’s only two weeks left for fundraising, so please consider sending a few bucks my way. There’s a link in the show notes and at the end of this video.

Also, if you want to be part of my pit crew for Maker Faire, email me. donald@makerprojectlab.com. Alright? Now, on with the show!

This week, one of the coolest projects I came across is the Pablo Odysseus by a french maker named Ulysse. It’s an autonomous beach rover that draws designs in the sand. It uses extruded aluminum framing, wheelchair motors, a 12v battery, a handful of Arduinos and a laptop enclosed in a metal suitcase. A GPS breakout board tells the robot it’s position, which it references against the design that’s set in the computer.

It is no small robotics project, and there are elements here that are far beyond my comfort level, but as someone who lives near a beach, I kinda feel like I need to have a beach robot of some kind. I mean, a strandbeest would be nice, but an artbot would be cooler.

Ulysse has all of his Arduino code files over on Hackaday, along with detailed photos and a nice logic chart that demonstrates what elements handle what. There’s also a Sketchup file for a view of how all the aluminum struts go together. It’s really well done.

Now for news. This past week, Kickstarter announced their first Request for Projects. This to me is a real push from Kickstarter to reach out to Makers who have great ideas for projects but are unsure of what next steps to take to make it real.

They’re specifically looking for projects that are either Tools for Creating, or projects for scientific exploration, or projects with inventive design. I feel like that covers most of the things I love featuring on this show. So if you have a project like that, or even just an idea or a sketch, Kickstarter has a little webform for you to get in contact and someone from their team might reach out and help you work out the next steps. If you have a cool idea, it’s worth a shot.

And now for one more project that blew me away this week. Check out this parts sorting machine by Ryan Bates. I was reluctant to include this because Ryan doesn’t have an official write up on it yet, but he does have a great, thorough video explaining how it all works.

The system uses an Arduino, some stepper motors, laser cut wood, and a little photo-interrupter on the chute that counts the nuts and bolts as they fall down into little cups. He uses this system to help count components for the arcade kits that he makes and sells. I love that he’s got his own mini factory technology helping with his home business.

While I was on Ryan’s site, retrobuiltgames.com, I also found a bunch of other fun projects he has there, including a DIY vending machine, a DIY claw machine, and an Arduino clock. Definitely all worth a look.

And now it’s time once again for a one-minute review of a great tool I discovered through the Cool Tools blog and podcast. Today I’m going to show off what you can do with a pair of dirt cheap $13 digital calipers.

These come in a plastic case. Mine even had an extra battery included. On the front here you have a power button, a zero button to zero out the measurement, and a toggle between inches and mm.

There are four main ways to measure. You have outside dimension, inside, depth, and step. One main reason to use calipers is because it’s much more precise than using a ruler, especially when you’re measuring something small.

They’re also great for when you want to measure the difference between two things by measuring something, zeroing it out, and measuring the second thing, giving you the difference.

They’re a crazy value at $13. And if you ever want to get into 3D modeling parts that interface with the real world, these are a must.

These same calipers were recommended by John Park of Adafruit in Cool Tools podcast #28. And it’s recommendations like this that make me such a huge fan of the Cool Tools blog and podcast.

I have an Amazon link for these in the show notes here, and by using that link you help to support this show and Cool Tools. Buy them for yourself, your friend, your kid — the world’s just a cooler, more quantifiable place when you have digital calipers.

A few other quick tips to share with you this week. Over on RaspberryPi.org they have a new guide on creating graphic user interfaces for your projects using Python. It’s an approachable guide that’s light on code.

On Evil Mad Scientist I saw this project from HexCeramic using laser engraved wood as a template for embossing designs into ceramic. To get the stipple effect of the photo into the wood, they used a free software tool from Evil Mad Scientist called StippleGen that generates STL files from photos. I’m going to try it out with my pen plotter.

Finally, I swore to myself I’d stop it with the NES Classic Pi projects, but there’s a great new 3D printed case design out there by JJ Designs. I figure now that Nintendo is phasing out production, people will be looking for DIY options again.

Maker Faires! There are so many faire’s this weekend it’s insane. You’ve got Meridian, Mississippi, Barnstable, Massachusetts, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Tyler, Texas Columbia, South Carolina, Santa Cruz, California, Osijek Croatia, Lansing, Michigan, Mannheim Germany, Salzburg Austria, and Ithaca, New York.

Also, fan of the show Mike Rodriguez, HomeGamer Engineer on YouTube, sent me photos and video of his time at last week’s Maker Faire in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania. Looks like he had a good time. If any of you are heading to one of those Maker Faires this weekend, send me some photos of you there or some highlights from the show and I’ll include them next week, alright. I’m donald@makerprojectlab.com

And that’s it for this week’s show. And by the time you see this there’s a chance that I’ll have passed 5,000 subscribers here on YouTube — so thank you, all of you, for letting these little updates be a part of your life. It really makes me happy to know there are other people out there who love this stuff too. I appreciate it. Also, please consider chipping in for my Maker Faire power wheel project. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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