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Pete “Raster” Prodoehl shows how to test microswitches with an Arduino Uno.

As referenced in his write-up, Prodoehl needed a way to test microswitches that he’d be using for an exhibit. After all, when something is on display, the last thing you want is to have to replace components. Inspired by how Consumer Reports tests things, he decided to build his own setup with a counter and 3D-printed “pusher.”

What he found was that when you’re testing the life span of a component made to work over and over, your testing components have to also be robust enough to handle the very gradual abuse. It’s an interesting exercise, and something that engineers in manufacturing have to deal with constantly. Getting something to work once or even a times is neat, but getting it to function thousands of times for a test or otherwise takes a different way of thinking!

You can see more about this project on Prodoehl’s page here, and check out the video compilation below for a quick overview.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are around 70 million people worldwide whose first language is some kind of sign language. In the US, ASL (American Sign Language) speakers number from five hundred thousand to two million. If you go to Google translate, though, there’s no option for sign language.

[Alex Foley] and friends decided to do something about that. They were attending McHack (a hackathon at McGill University) and decided to convert speech into sign language. They thought they were prepared, but it turns out they had to work a few things out on the fly. (Isn’t that always the case?) But in the end, they prevailed, as you can see in the video below.

The heart of the project is a pair of 3D-printed hands. At first, they accidentally printed two left hands. They printed a right hand quickly, but they found out later they were missing one segment which they wound up carving out of wood. Fishing line formed tendons and there were enough servos to require two CPU boards to drive everything.

The speech recognition is from Nuance and if listen closely to the video, you’ll see they are signing “hello” and “goodbye.” We’ll have to take their word for it that the signing is correct and legible.

This reminded us of the sign language gloves from the Hackaday Prize. These hands probably won’t advance the state of the art in prosthetics, but that wasn’t what they were going for.

Thanks to [Butter] for the tip.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Arduino Hacks

We don’t know what cats see when they see a red laser beam, but we know it isn’t what we see. The reaction, at least for many cats — is instant and extreme. Of course, your cat expects you to quit your job and play with it on demand. While [fluxaxiom] wanted to comply, he also knew that no job would lead to no cat food. To resolve the dilemma, he built an automated cat laser. In addition to the laser module, the device uses a few servos and a microcontroller in a 3D printed case. You can see a video, below. Dogs apparently like it too, but of course they aren’t the reason it was built.

If you don’t have a 3D printer, you can still cobble something together. The microcontroller is an Adafruit Pro Trinket, which is essentially an Arduino Pro Mini with some extra pins and a USB port.

There are twelve different patterns the device cycles through at random to attempt to confuse your cat. We couldn’t help but wonder if this ought to be on the Internet so you could take control and manually play with your cat. Sounds like a job for Blynk. The last time we saw a cat laser, it was a little more mobile.

 


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Arduino Hacks, laser hacks

Heavy duty coffee makers are good for, well, making coffee. On the other hand, if you were to look at the frame without the preconception of what it can do, you might notice that there is space on top where equipment could be attached, and space on the bottom with a built-in heating pad on which to place an object… in other words, a perfect 3D printer frame!

Tropical Labs realized this, and turned the ordinary household appliance into a delta printer with three steppers for motion and another to feed the printing media. An Arduino Mega serves as the brains of the operation along with a popular RAMPS 1.4 shield.

Frame aside, it’s a neat mechanism, and definitely worth checking out. You can see more about the project on Hackaday.io.

After making his first drum with a laser cutter, Ryo Kosaka redesigned it as a 3D-printed structure so more people could build it.

If you’d like to practice playing the drums, but would rather not disturb your family, roommate, neighbors, dog, etc., then an electronic version is probably a good idea. Since you’re reading our blog, making one would be even better!

Although details on how it was interfaced software-wise with the Arduino Uno aren’t included in his log, the drum itself looks quite good. It’s 3D-printed out of several individual pieces, which are glued together using thick paper to help hold everything intact. The sectioned design means that you only need a 120mm x 120mm print area to produce this 8-inch drum pad.

Kosaka also goes into how to set up the piezo sensor for drum use in his write-up, which should be quite useful for this design, or even something derived from it. You can check out the project page for more details as well as Thingiverse for the print files. Additionally, Kosaka recommends this Rockband controller to MIDI Instructable or this one featuring a homemade electronic drum kit.

chipe-openers-white-11Build an Arduino-powered, 3D-printed, moon-walking bot with preprogrammed and custom gaits.

Read more on MAKE

The post 3D Print and Program This Adorable Bipedal Arduino Bot appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

From magic to science, man has long dreamed about being able to manipulate objects from a distance. People have been able to push something using air or even sound waves for a while, but University of Bristol researcher Asier Marzo and colleagues have come up with a 3D-printable device that can not only repel small items, but can also attract them to the source.

It does this using an array of sound transducers arranged in a dome shape at the end of a wand. The acoustic tractor beam is also equipped with an Arduino Nano, a motor controller board, a DC-DC converter, and a LiPo battery, among some other easily accessible components.

Basically, an Arduino will generate 4 half-square signals at 5Vpp 40kHz with different phases. These signals get amplified to 25Vpp by the motor driver and fed into the transducers. A button pad can be used to change the phases so that the particle moves up and down. A battery (7.3V) powers the Arduino and the logic part of the motor driver. A DC-DC converter steps-up the 7.3V to 25V for the motor driver.

Aside from entertaining friends by levitating tiny pieces of plastic, the DIY tractor beams have many possible use cases, particularly in biological research. However, there are some limitations. Given the challenge of suspending objects more than half the wavelength of sound, the gadget can only trap things around a few millimeters in size.

Marzo and his team have published their project in the journal Applied Physics Lettersand shared step-by-step instructions so you could get started on building your own beam. You can read more on Phys.org as well.

3D-printed appendages are, as one might suspect, generally meant for those that are missing a limb. Moreover, there are many other people that might retain partial functionality of a hand, but could still use assistance.

Youbionic’s beautifully 3D-printed, myoelectric prosthesis is envisioned for either application, capable of being controlled by muscle contraction as if it were a real body part.

As seen in the video below, the Youbionic hand can manipulate many different items, including a small box, a water bottle, and a set of keys. Functionality aside, the movement is extremely fluid and the smooth black finish really makes it look great.

The device is currently equipped with an Arduino Micro, servos, various sensors, a battery pack, and a few switches. Even the breadboard appears to be very neat, though one would suspect the final version will use some sort of PCB.

You can learn more and order yours on Youbionic’s website.

Aldric Negrier, a Portuguese Maker and owner of RepRap Algarve, has created an SLA 3D printer named RooBee One.

Most desktop 3D printers that you’ll see in Makerspaces or advertised for home use drop material onto a bed using a hot extrusion head. The open-source RooBee One, however, employs a DLP projector along with an Arduino Mega to light up each layer in a vat of resin. This causes each layer to solidify, thus making a complete object. You can see this process at around 0:30 in the video below.

RooBee One features an aluminum frame with an adjustable print area of 80x60x200 mm, with up to a 150x105x200mm build volume. Aside from the Arduino, additional electronics consist of a RAMPS 1.4 shield, a NEMA 17 stepper motor, a microstepping driver, an endstop, and a 12V transformer. Negrier also installed a fan on top of the printer to help guide the toxic vapors outside and away from the machine’s operator.

This process may be unfamiliar to those used to “normal” 3D printers, as it “magically” pulls a complete part out of a bath. The project is fairly involved, but the resulting ruby-red machine looks quite impressive. You can find out how to build one on its Instructables page.

Air hockey is a classic arcade game consisting of two players, two paddles, a puck, and a low-friction table. But what happens if you don’t have an opponent? If you’re Jose Julio, you build a robotic one out of 3D printer parts.

An updated version of his earlier design from 2014, Julio upgraded the Air Hockey Robot’s original camera and vision system to a smartphone for its eyes and brain. Other components include an Arduino, an ESP8266-based shield, NEMA 17 stepper motors, stepper motor drivers, as well as some belts, bearings, rods, and a few more 3D-printed pieces.

As you can see in Julio’s video below, the robot moves along two different axes with a paddle to cover its half of the table. An Android phone running the Air Hockey Robot EVO app monitors the playing surface, and makes real-time decisions by tracking the puck’s location and predicting its trajectories. It even comes complete with sound effects!

The smartphone’s camera is looking at the playing court. The camera’s captured data is processed in real-time by the smartphone. Detecting the position of the puck and the “pusher robot” (and according to the current location of all the elements on the court), your smartphone makes decisions and commands the robot what to do via Wi-Fi.

Your smartphone will become an augmented reality device, showing predicted trajectories and position of all the objects involved in this game.

Want your own? Julio has made both the instructions and code available to everyone.

(Nice find, Hackaday!)



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