Let's Make Robots!

John “John_NY”

Member since: August 2009
User Number: 6166
Robots Built: 1
Blogs: 9
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

I am a 30 year-old engineer from Long Island, New York.  I am an engineer and Physics grad student in the Los Angeles area of California, where I plan to stay for the foreseeable future.

Check out http://letsmakerobots.com/user/6166/pages/ for what I'm currently working on.

I'm a proud owner of a Fireball V90 CNC Router, with custom drivers and steppers.  The stepper motor drivers were etched with a Proxxon MicroMot rotary tool on my homemade Valkyrie-clone CNC router, which makes the new drivers a bootstrapped CNC upgrade.

I also have an Instructables account: http://www.instructables.com/member/John_NY/

I don't have much posted yet on DIY Drones (http://diydrones.com/profile/John_NY), but I plan to do some hardware-in-the-loop simulation soon and see what I can add to the discussion.

I like this MIT Machining Videos Link: http://techtv.mit.edu/collections/ehs-videos

Sometime soon I plan to blog a setup using an Android Phone or Android Tablet with "BlueSMIRF" (Bluetooth) + Arduino.   I have a wireless sensor network streaming data over Bluetooth to my Android Tablet, which displays the data graphically in Processing.  The Processing environment is designed to make it easy to intuitively display multivariate data, and it runs (somewhat) on Android.  Send me a PM if you're interested and hurry up and post the code.

Home automation is my latest [very nerdy] project -- it's a fabulous kludge using Perl and the Ubuntu Linux "screen -X" command to send data back and forth from various terminal applications.  A tabbed Android interface that allows control from any Android smartphone makes it worthwhile.  On the back of my front door there is a QR code to download the Android application that controls my home stereo, fans, and lights.

One project now on my back burner is working with a Gumstix Overo (600MHz single-board Linux computer).  My main finding from dozens of hours of testing was that this board is generally difficult to work with. If you have a Gumstix Overo COM, http://www.jumpnowtek.com has instructions to get a Gumstix Overo working with Digital I/O pins, I2C, et cetera.  The plan is to borg it into the home automation setup but for now it's in a long hobby queue.

A benefit of spending dozens of hours banging my head against the Gumstix board is that I built up a few dozen hours of experience formatting drives, using startup scripts, networking wired/wireless TCP/IP connections from the command line, and learning lots of other Linux command line tasks.  I went on to network my home computers (Ubuntu), set up a remote Squeezebox Server/Client, and do some home automation with Arduinos and relays.  If you're interested in setting up a TCP or UDP server/client to operate some simple automation, send me a PM.  I might eventually use the Gumstix for this, since it's small, and it can be dragged, kicking and screaming, onto a wireless network.

(above, the Gumstix Overo Fire COM mounted on a Tobi board; my Nokia N800 is in the background)

I should definitely blog my Nokia N800 terminal application upgrades -- with a cheap, obsolete Nokia N800 and a few code updates, you can control your Arduino from a Python application that you can write using the tablet itself.  With a set of XBees you can make it wireless.  I think it's really nifty, even though Android/Bluetooth/Arduino might be a more useful way of doing the same thing.