Dumbo ShotBot [Maker Update #55]
Project of the Week
Drunky Dumbo ShotBot by robotgeek_official
Arduino Partners with ARM
Who Owns Arduino (via Hackaday)
3D Printed Linear Motion by JON-A-TRON
Too $hort Cat
Long Nose 4-inch Vise Grip Pliers
Jamie Windham’s review
Maker-Made Helping Hands by Jotham McMillan
3 Beginner Arduino Mistakes by bekathwia
Updated Gemma Guides for Circuit Python
Maker Faire Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Espoo Mini Maker Faire Espoo
Charlotte Mini Maker Faire Charlotte, North Carolina
Rocklin Mini Maker Faire Rocklin, California
Greater Lafayette Mini Maker Faire Lafayette, Indiana
Asuncion Mini Maker Faire Asuncion
Aarhus Mini Maker Faire Aarhus
Penang Mini Maker Faire George Town, Pulau Pinang
Maker Faire Denver Denver, Colorado
Mayersche Mini Maker Faire Aachen
East Bay Mini Maker Faire (Oct. 22nd) http://eastbay.makerfaire.com/
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This week on Maker Update, a shot-pouring elephant, Arduino and ARM, 3d printed linear motion, Too $hort cat, and Vise Grip pliers.
It’s Wednesday, I’m Donald Bell, and it’s time for another Maker Update. I hope you’re all doing well. I hope all your Halloween plans have taken shape the way you’d hoped. I’ve made peace with mine. It’s not amazing, but it’s better than last year.
I’ve got a great mix of projects and news and tips this week, so let’s get into it, starting with the project of the week.
Check out this shot bot by the RobotGeek team. The project uses a peristaltic pump, and an Arduino to dispense shots of liquor (or whatever you want). It’s triggered by putting a glass on top of the base, which has a light sensor embedded in it. Once triggered, the Arduino tells the pump to dispense a specific amount of liquid.
Oh, and did I mention there’s a cute 3D printed elephant that holds the pump? The project is called Drunky Dumbo, and you can find the parts, the code, and the 3D print files all over on Instructables.
Time for a bit of news. The big news comes from Arduino, who have announced a partnership with chip manufacturer ARM. The official announcement from Arduino explains that the partnership allowed Arduino to regain control of their company after their legal battles last year while also keeping it independent.
A post on Hackaday titled Who Owns Arduino? proposes that ARM likely paid the legal bill for Arduino, but probably not out of charity. Arduino says they’re free and independent, but it’s hard to believe that ARM’s money doesn’t account for some stake in how business is done.
I have a few other projects to share with you. Jon-A-Tron from Instructables has this cool, 3D printed, linear motion machine. This is a modern twist on a classic mechanism he pulled from an 1860s reference book. It translates rotational motion, driven here by a drill, into a side-to-side linear motion.
To make it something a little flashier than a mechanical demo, Jon worked in a reel of receipt paper and a pen holder. The result is the sinewave printer you never knew you wanted. But I’m a sucker for any kind of drawbot.
Like so many of Jon’s projects, this one does an awesome job showing how each part was designed in Fusion 360. It’s great when a project includes the 3D print files, but it’s another thing completely when a maker goes step by step on how to recreate them from scratch. Well done, Jon.
For something far less brilliant, this past weekend I published my own guide on hacking this dancing toy cat to have a built-in playlist of songs. For the sake of shock value, I loaded mine up with songs by Oakland rapper Too $hort.
Something about the cute cat, and his oddly nasty dance, and the over-the-top explicit content of most Too $hort songs makes for a perfect combo in my opinion. It’s not appropriate for kids, though, and of course, you can load it with whatever music you want.
It’s time for another Cool Tool review. This time, let’s talk about vise-grip pliers. These are a smaller pair of long nose vise-grips I got on Amazon for around $13. If you want the same ones, using the Amazon link in the description helps support my videos and the Cool Tools blog.
These are handy pair of pliers that can be generally used as needlenose pliers. They’re 4-inches long, with 1.5-inch jaws, and with a wirecutter tucked in the back.
But unlike regular pliers where you have to keep constant tension with your hand to grip whatever you’re using it on, the vise-grip style pliers can lock on and stay put.
It takes some fiddling with the adjustment screw to get the jaws the right size for the thing you’re working with — not too loose and not too tight. But when you get it right, the pliers almost act as a semi-permanent extension of whatever they’re gripping.
And if you really want a super tight squeeze, you can use the hex socket in the adjustment screw to really lock things in.
I’ve found these to be really useful for clamping metal together. They’re great as clamps for gluing up small things. They can also a handy little third hand for tinning up wire or holding small things. If you’re worried about them being conductive you can wrap the jaws in gaffer tape or heat shrink.
So that’s my take on using small, long-nose vise-grip pliers. I’ll also link to Jamie Windham’s review on the Cool Tools blog. And remember, you can see thousands of reader recommended tools like this at Cool-Tools.org.
Speaking of helping hands, I got an email last week from a local Bay Area maker named Jotham McMillan who makes these beautiful CNC milled bases for holding projects in place and keeping parts sorted. His brand is RaptorLoc, and he’s selling direct and on Amazon.
Becky Stern has a new guide up on Instructables highlighting the three most common beginner mistakes with Arduino. These a good reminder for all of us.
And in the wake of the small, cheap Gemma project board being updated to the Gemma M0, Adafruit has quietly updated their older Gemma projects to include code in both Arduino and in the new Circuit Python code supported by the M0. I’m a complete convert to Circuit Python now if I can help it. There are around 160 updated and streamlined Gemma projects to go back through, I’m excited to check them out.
Maker Faires! There are so many faires this weekend including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Espoo, Finland; Charlotte, North Carolina; Rocklin, California; Lafayette, Indiana; Asuncion, Paraguay; Aarhus, Denmak; George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia; Denver, Colorado; amd Aachen, Germany. If one is near you, go and get inspired.
Also, East Bay Maker Faire is happening in Oakland CA on October 22nd. I’ll be there giving a talk. Be sure to check it out if you’re nearby.
And that’s it for this week’s show. Be sure to subscribe and give me a thumbs up or a comment. Check out the show notes for links to everything here, including those Vise Grip pliers, and also the Maker Update email list. Alright? Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.