Mar 252012

The twins jumping on the bed trying out my virtual keyboard. Using techniques from the book “Making Things See” by Greg Borenstein, I was able to create a virtual matrix that floats above the bed. As the girls move through the matrix it plays different sounds based on their location.
This is one of the first iterations. I was trying out sounds to get a nice interaction that would be easy for the girls to anticipate and would hopefully spark more intrigue. This was a pentatonic scale of a single octave offset by 1 across the matrix. It still sounds fairly difficult to anticipate for the girls, but I think the piano works well. Next I hope to add more music and extend it by adding the skeleton mapping to allow for instrument selection that produces the sound. The instrument will be chosen by the location of the hands when an event is triggered. If the hands are at the side it will play piano. If one hand is at the shoulders it will play a stringed instrument along with piano and so on.
I want to add thanks to my neighbor Brian for his help getting the piano sounds, and to my sister Lorri for instructing me to use a pentatonic scale as well as provide a useful placement those notes on the matrix.

 Posted by at 11:55 am
Jan 022012

I finally mechanized our Bob Duallie jogging stroller (won’t the girls be happy!) I needed a new chassis for an autonomous robot. One that could handle a larger payload. After adding motors to the Bob I needed a way to test them, so I added some distance sensors and wrote the software to allow the Bob to follow in front as you walk.

The bags in the front are ballast to keep the front from popping wheelies when I drive it up hills. There is a kill tether (that I am not holding on to.)

The laptop is being used to display motor performance, it is communicating via wireless zigbee to the stroller.

Presently the brains are made up of an Arduino Fio 3.3v connected via i2c to an Arduino Pro Mini 5v 16mhz – that handles the sensor data. It transmits motor control via serial to a Sabertooth 2×25 motor controller. The 2 motor’s are 100 Watt 24V Scooter motors. It is powered by 2 12V 7Ah Lead Acid Batteries. The Fio has it’s own 3.7 V 2000 mAh Lipo battery. The Pro Mini uses a 5v line from the motor controller. The chain it use are #25 as well as the sprockets to drive the wheels.

 Posted by at 12:09 pm
Nov 272010

Web camera motion capture laser turret. Targets and paints the EL Wire butterfly very nicely. The butterfly I made using Electroluminescent Wire sewn onto an ornamental butterfly with fishing line.

Laser Turret is a prototype robot I slopped together. I have been using it to learn how to program and understand wireless communication. It is built from a set of Surgical clamps, velcro, breadboards, plumbers tape, servo’s, ATMega328p and the laser torn out of a laser pointer.

Processing & Arduino code from Bob Rudolph’s Sentry Gun Turret. Thumbs up to him and his very nice code. The servo targeting via serial communication works great via Zigbee Wireless.

 Posted by at 12:23 pm
Dec 162009

This is my first robot. It uses a development board created by my new friend Mike. It is made of wood, Velcro and screws. It has 2 servo’s for drive motors, and a bump sensor to stop. It uses a Ultrasonic sensor to sense distance. It has a motion detector tied into the loop so you can put it in sentry mode. It is programmed in AVR Studio 4, and the program is written in C.

 Posted by at 12:29 pm
Jun 102009

One of my first projects was to create a 5x5x5 LED cube with some LED’s I bought from Fry’s. I made a jig to hold each row to solder. Then stacked the rows. I used the Maxbots board that Mike created, and wired the LED’s to the board.

Here is a video making of the LED Charlieplexed Cube 5x5x5 from 2009.

This is the cube running a loop programmed in C.

 Posted by at 11:39 am