Let's Make Robots!

Introduce a girl to engineering day

Today, 22 feb 2009, is USA's "National Introduce A Girl To Engineering" Day. This was brought to our attention in the shoutbox:

"Zanthess: Hey everyone forgot to mention. Sunday is USA's national introduce a girl to engineering!"

Now I would love nothing more than to attract more women into the field and towards LMR. So I figured I would pay musical tribute to both women and engineering. But as you all know, I am no maestro.

pivots

 Hi all,

You probably read my blog and know I am working on a design for robot legs inspired by the legs of Theo Jansen's Strandbeest.

Below is a picture of a plywood prototype on its way to become version 6.

LMR baseball cap

How much would you pay for a baseball cap like this?

cap_lmr.png

Personally I think it's a bit expensive (zazzle).

Any thoughts about the design? What changes/aditions would make it worth the 20 USD?

Besides of course an i-pocket in the rear.

Rik

Asimov's laws

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/asimov-laws-robotics.php?page=1

holds thirty laws because three just ain't funny enough

A peek at number eleven:

11. A robot, specifically a big, wide robot, may not pretend to be a refrigerator and then make a scary noise when a human being opens it.

A new website to aspire for

(Our friends at) Makezine blog are reporting the start of a new website called artmachines.org . It appears to focus on any art that has machinery in it. Now that would make for one scrapbook worthy blog mention! Let's Make (more) Arty Robots!

LMAR?

Or at least gather some inspriration from these awesome photos and videos.

thewaythingsgo2.jpg

Imagine

What a few servos would do with this:

crusty-toddlerpede1.jpg

http://beinart.org/info/jon-beinart.php via makezine's blog 

RC RF directional beacon

I am still wondering if it is possible to create a simple, cheap, fairly accurate, directional beacon for outdoor use. And I keep thinking I should try to re-purpose an RC transmitter. So here it goes:

Would you deem it possible to create a directional antenna for an RC transmitter?

Would this antenna be able to rotate? Fully continous, or just 360 CW followed by 360 CCW?

Which RC system would you consider? There are so many frequencies in use. And modulation types.

shaping polymorph using paper templates

After two weeks of cutting paper and cardboard, I cannot help but wonder:

Would molten Polymorph soak a piece of paper? Has anyone tried this yet? Think of all the hot applications!

8ik (just ordered half a kg)

sensible discussion on "open collector circuit" for sensor

Just found this on hackaday:

" ... Why open collector?
An open collector output doesn’t toggle between high and ground, it toggles between ground and unconnected. The unconnected state, also called high impedance, exerts nothing on the output and allows the signal line to float.
...
Open collector outputs are useful when several sensors need to share the same microcontroller pin. ..." (my emphasis)

diy multi touch input = interesting sensor

Two sets of copper wires in opposite directions, separated by a layer of rubber. When pressed, the two wires respond to eachother as the two plates in a capacitor. The harder you press, the closer the "plates", the higher the capacity of the "capacitor".

Eight wires per set, sixty four permutations. Watch this video for the explanation by the maker himself. (Vimeo does not embed on LMR)