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Stewart Platform reinvents the wheel so you don’t have to

arduino, arduino hacks, cnc hacks, flight simulator, open source, robots hacks, Stepper Motor, Stewart platform Commenti disabilitati su Stewart Platform reinvents the wheel so you don’t have to 


[Dan Royer] has noticed that most university projects involving a Stewart platform spend more time building a platform than on the project itself. He hopes to build a standard platform universities can use as the basis for other projects.

Stewart platforms are six degree of freedom platforms often seen hefting flight simulators or telescopes. The layout of the actuators allows movements in X,Y,and Z as well as pitch, roll and yaw. While large platforms often use hydraulic systems to accelerate heavy loads quickly. [Dan] is looking at a smaller scale system. His platform is built of laser cut wood and uses six steppers to control motion.

One of the harder parts in designing a platform such as this is creating a mechanical system that is strong, precise, and smooth. With so many linkages, it’s easy to see how binding joints could bring the entire thing to a grinding halt. [Dan] is currently using RC helicopter ball joints, but he’s on the lookout for something even smoother.

For locomotion, stepper motors are more than adequate  - providing both the quick acceleration and holding torque needed to control the platform. Adafruit’s stepper motor controller boards provide the drive from an Arduino. The bottleneck in all of this is the i2C link with control of 6 steppers limiting the overall speed of the platform.

Software is another big issue on Stewart platforms. Kinematics of 6 DOF platforms are no easy task. To this end, [Dan] has gone open source. His Gcode demo is available at github.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, cnc hacks, robots hacks

GRBL compatible Arduino CNC shield

arduino hacks, cnc hacks, g-code, grbl, Motor Driver, pololu, shield Commenti disabilitati su GRBL compatible Arduino CNC shield 


By the time you get to the point in a home CNC build where you’re adding control electronics you may be ready for the simplest means to an end possible. In that case, grab your Arduino and heat up that etching solution to make your own GRBL compatible shield.

This familiar footprint manages to contain everything you need for a three-axis machine. The purple boards slotted into the pairs of SIL headers are Pololu Stepper motor drivers. Going this route makes replacing a burnt out chip as easy as plugging in a new module. The terminal block in the center feeds the higher voltage rail necessary for driving the motors. The DIL header on the right breaks out all of the connections to the limiting switches (two for each axis), spindle and coolant control, as well as three buttons for pause, resume, and abort. There’s even a header for SPI making it easier to add  custom hardware if necessary.

This is a dual-layer board which may not be ideal for your own fabrication process. [Bert Kruger] posted his Gerber files for download if you want to put in a small run with OSH Park or a similar service.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, cnc hacks

Predator suit for Monsterpalooza includes over-engineered shoulder cannon

animatronics, arduino hacks, cnc hacks, predator, replica, wearable hacks Commenti disabilitati su Predator suit for Monsterpalooza includes over-engineered shoulder cannon 


This Predator suit was premiered at this year’s Monsterpalooza conference. It’s nothing short of incredible. But the shoulder cannon is really what caught our attention. The thing is fully motorized and includes sound and light firing effects.

We saw a glimpse of what [Jerome Kelty] is capable of about two years ago. He was showing off an Arduino-based animatronics platform he put together for a Predator shoulder cannon that tracked based on where the predator’s helmet was pointing. But other than a video demonstration there wasn’t much info on the that actual build. This post makes up for that and then some.

A replica of this quality is rarely the work of just one person. A team of fans joined in to make it happen. After getting the molded parts for the backpack and canon from another team member [Jerome] set out to fit the support structure, motors, and control electronics into the space available. That meant a ton of milling, cutting, and shaping parts like the support arm seen above which integrates a servo motor into its rectangular outline. All of the controls fit in the backpack, with cables running to the helmet, as well as the cannon.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, cnc hacks, wearable hacks

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