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Smarter Life

12 Posts authored by: PaulMakesThings
After fully assembling the Robo-Barista I nearly have the software ready to run all 5 axes in coordinated moves. Unfortunately shortly after this video was taken I entered a move of 1000 when I meant to hit 10 on the shoulder axis and sent it flying off the table. It broke the hand upper plate and the base (the largest part which that big gear is slotted in to), and ripped out all the wires. I had it kind of poorly supported since the motor on the turn table sticks down further than the turn tab ...
The build has come a long way since my last post. The 3D printed parts (with exception of two small ones that need changes) are all done. I've machine the tubes for the body and cut all the rods, and I've wired up and mounted all of the motors. Software is also coming along quickly, the coordinated move hardware settings are working and I'm working on adding a communication stack to stream moves.     The Robot Arm In Motion   This video shows the robot arm with 3 of the axes ...
I really wanted to come up with a design that used the strengths of the PSoC platform, it is often too temping to just use what you know, but I figure the point here is to show some of the things it can do better than other systems. There is plenty of existing code for controlling steppers from a micro controller using timers and interrupts, but I suspected that by using the programmable digital hardware I could offload much of that work, and make it operate more smoothly.   A coordinated ...
I created a little exploded view that will show how I'm building this, and hopefully explain how it took me so long. And here's one of the hand alone just because I think it looks cool. It might be hard to make out, the large flat plates that make up most of the hand bolt directly on to that largest gear, then the plates with the radial bolt studs clamp the large bearing into place, and those two holes in the middle of the big gear have bolts which pass through the middle of the bearing into ...
My progress this week has mostly been in design of my robot arm. I had some fun with this design because being for a contest there is more incentive to do interesting things and less risk in doing stuff that might not work.   To make this inexpensive and quick to build it is designed around parts that I was able to salvage or had on hand, and the rest are designed to 3D print, or atleast require minimal machining. Kinematically, all angles are tied directly to the base. There are 5 degrees ...
I've gathered most of the components I need, including several 2A stepper drivers, a salvaged turn table base, and several stepper motors, mostly nema 17 and 23 bipolar. In my previous post I mentioned in a reply that DC servos sounded like a good option, that is still true, but I figure it's best to use what I have, and steppers and drivers for them abound at the Milwaukee Makerspace. I have used some of my contest funding to buy several encoders which I can integrate later to keep the steppers ...
My big build is coming up, but for now it's all about motion control.   With all my of encoder talk so far, one might wonder what I am trying to do with them. Early on as an automation engineer you learn that we don't often build robots like you might imagine, arms or humanoids for example, we usually build movement frames for specific tasks. For example if we want to be able to change out cutting tools off a rack, we don't make an arm that can reach the rack and the machine, at least not ...
Implementing Encoders   This part is basically an amalgam of existing bits I got from example code. I've tested out that I can get it to read my encoders. It looks good as long as I don't need to use this method with more than one encoder at once. To start I just set up a UART connection, which I read with PuTTY. Getting the encoder to read was surprisingly simple. My project is attached, this is highly based on existing example code from cypress. Once I set the pins in the .cysch tab and ...
Electronics I'm really liking the PSoC creator software. I often find that when I program a micro controller I have to re-import the same features repeatedly. It's nice that the component catalog gives you standard features that you can reuse. Of course on other platforms I can paste in my code from my personal library and adjust it, but it's a lot faster and cleaner having a PWM block or a UART block that I can just drop in. Also, it really streamlines a project having the schematic and code in ...
A friend of mine at the MakerSpace has a spare espresso machine he's planning to give to me. So that will help with that aspect. It sounds like my coworkers care far more about espresso drinks than coffee, and I am planning to install this at my office. I was kind of getting the impression that they didn't care either way, but then I mentioned in passing that maybe I would just put it at my house and they flipped out. I guess you don't hear how much people want something till it might be taken a ...
I’m looking into coffee makers to use as the basis of my design. It seems like a logical first step since it will help me narrow down what features are viable. I still haven’t decided if I want to use an espresso machine or one that just makes coffee.   The case for using an espresso machine   An espresso machine is needed to make a wide variety of drinks. Espresso is used in lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and Americanos. It is also generally more impressive, a coffee maker ...
To start with I’m doing some research on the PSoC 4, it looks like it is pretty flexible. I've installed Creator, starting up shouldn't take too long since I’m already familiar with C, and several circuit board layout programs. Since this is an analog and digital device it uses a combination of both, the use of discrete components which can be schematically combined into a real circuit is new to me and has some very interesting potential. The development environment looks like it has ...