Let's Make Robots!

Hand held battery vacuum cleaner

I bought a cheap battery powered vacuum cleaner from dealextreme to build into Ozzy. The idea was to build a front mounted vacuuming attachment as inspired by emullers vacuum bug. I was pretty skeptical of its sucking power and for about $6 with free shipping worldwide I wasn`t expecting it to be very useful. Now that it has arrived I can say yes indeed it does suck! In a good way!

Heres a small pre-hacking photo review.

Max713 NiCad/NiMH smart charger.

I made a battery charger with some free samples of the maxim max713 chip.

Maxim home page.

Chip details.


Search for samples.

Zodiac display done.

Edit: Added some more photos to the bottom. Those were taken with the curtains shut. Also took a short video.

Finally completed the zodiac display. Aside from the sickly colour of the top and 1 of the red LEDs stopped working after I glued it all together, I`m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Japanese geisha robots!

The latest humanoid robots from the land of the rising sun. God help us..


On a side note, I want to see this movie.

Edit: Warning! Danger to young minds! Fake blood and stupidity abounds!

This is a quick and dirty guide on how to prepare your photos for use on LMR. Good photos are easier to look at (duh), hold the readers interest longer, and … Read more

What to do with a drunken sailo.. err linear slide?

Ok I was cleaning up around the work bench and found this stepper and belt linear slide assembly that came from a printer. I had kept it to knock up a cheap x/y plotter, but I scrapped that idea and am building a CNC out of better stuff. It seemed like such a waste to destroy or scavenge the motor from it so I need some ideas of what to use this for. The stroke is about 350mm if something were to be attached to the belt, but theres no reason it can`t rotate continuously for something. I also have the metal strip that was used as a slide for the opposite side.

Edge lit zodiac display.

The school I work for runs extra Summer School classes over the summer break here in Japan and all the teachers are given some certain amount of freedom in how they teach the curriculum. Everyone is encouraged to make displays, signs, games etc. Basically let your inner child out and make some cool stuff :)

Part of what I have to teach is the western zodiac. The section in the kids textbook was really lame and everyone knows LEDs make things 100x better so this is what I have come up with... the LED-edge-lit-zodiac-star-sign-display!!

Heres the basic plan:



2 more draw slides to use for the Y axis purchased from here. High quality slides with ball bearing inserts. Still have to work out how I want to mount them. They were only $15 each.. money well spent now that I can see them close up.





Plastic thats invisible to IR light?

There are lots of great and interesting little robots on this site and on the web, but so many of them use the sharp IR detectors that they all start to look the same. I wanted to do something different and a bit more aesthetically nice, so I thought what if I could get some plastic thats transparent to IR. Then I could hide the IR sensors behind them and completely change the look.