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Upcycle It

22 Posts authored by: Andy Clark (Workshopshed) Top Member
Despite a lack of posts there's actually been quite a bit going on over the last couple of weeks. Now that the challenge is over, I've been reviewing car and electronics. Electronics There's been a few recurrent problems with the solution mostly around the fragile wiring and power issues. The subsystems have all been tested and checked over the last couple of weeks in an attempt to get a better demo video. It's quite a complex design with multiple batteries, power convertors, grove connector bre ...
"What will you make?" asked the Intel Edison. The objective of the project was to upcycle an old RC car and a Furby to create an Interactive Race Car Driver using the Intel Edison and scrap or recycled components. Car One of the key features that attracted me to the car was that it had 4 screws located at the front and back. I knew those would make a good mounting point for a frame to which I could attach my components. The frame was printed using with recycled filament that used to be car das ...
After the various modifications, repairs and tests it was time to put the Furby back together. The speaker wires were soldered in place and all the cables hot glued to act as a basic strain relief. A hole was made through the battery box to route the wires through to the Edison (via the level shifters). The power cables were extended and a couple of damaged links on the board were replaced. Once that was done the case could be re-assembled. Power As mentioned previously the Edison needs 7v to be ...
So this was supposed to be a joyful post about how I'd printed the redesigned backlight bracket and a base for the Furby to hold the Edison and other parts. However, before printing, I got a warning message on the printer and the printer refused to print. When I took the head off I realised why as there was a load of blue PET behind the print head. Despite various attempts to remove the plastic from using the purge cycle to heat the head and tweezers to using a soldering iron to carve thr ...
As much as I was enjoying messing about with the mechanical part of the Furby there was still a big unknown for me that I wanted resolved. That was how to get the sound to make the Furby speak. I had considered an I2S audio module as that does seem the more elegant option. However, as I'd already decided to control my Furby using the breakout board that meant that I was working with 1.8v I/O so I2C could be problematic.   Instead, I went for the USB option with a cheap USB module from Ebay ...
In the previous post, I looked at Hooking up the Furby to the Edison. Now to put that together with some software so we can control what the Furby does.   Motor Driving the motor from the H-Bridge board is pretty much the same as per  [Upcycle It] Interactive Race Car Driver - Powering Motors although there are the extra transistor level shifters to factor in. This means all of the signals are inverted.   MCU As I discovered that the rate of pulses from the optical sensor is qui ...
As mentioned in the Furby Hacking post the Furby is powered with a motor and cam system with different actions at different points in the rotation. The position of the cams is determined by a simple spring switch that is closed once per revolution. Then the relative position is determined using an optical sensor consisting of an LED, phototransistor and some buffers. So to control all this from the Edison I need to provide power to the 74HC14 chip, turn on the LED, monitor the gear position sens ...
For my indicators, I wanted a simple function that would blink them 5 times then stop. I found a suitable piece of code on Stack Overflow which did the same thing for some flashing text and ported it across to node. However, I did not have the Edison to hand so pondered how I would test it. A quick google found mraaStub  a mock version of mraa that you can use on platforms that don't have mraa hardware. I installed this and discovered that it needs a logging package called "winston" which I ...
3d Printing The 3D printing and car modification has run into a second week. Although each of the components does not take a long time to print there are a lot of them so it does add up. I've been printing with the recycled filament which has printed ok with the exception that the PET does not span well. This means I need to design my parts accordingly.   Lights A curved section was printed to support the lighting components. Although curved this was printed curved side down with supports s ...
The observant amongst you will have spotted that there was an item in the  [Upcycle It] Interactive Race Car Driver - 3D Printed Parts article that did not relate to any of the things I was printing. That was because I did not know if it was going to print ok or not. The part is some "exhaust pipes" to add to the Edison to turn my "engine" into a hotrod. Because I was concerned about the exhausts wobbling about when printing I added some 1mm horizontal supports to the model which were th ...
Recycled filament I had intended to use some recycled filament from a Kickstarter. However, as with many Kickstarters it has been delayed. So Instead I ordered some filament from a dutch firm, Refil. They get their filament from 2 different places. The first is from bottles, these are a material called "PET" and comes in a transparent but coloured materials. The second is ideal for my chassis, it is black (dark grey) ABS which comes from old car dashboards, it seems fitting that an old car shoul ...
In my previous look at the software I looked at connecting up a web client to an MQTT server.   Picking a broker  Thanks to Jason I realised that the Mosquitto Broker that's provided is an old version (1.3.4) that does not support WebSockets. I tried to update using "opkg install mosquitto" but that told me I was on the latest. So instead I removed it and it's the packages that depended on it.   # opkg remove mosquitto --force-removal-of-dependent-packages Removing package iotki ...
So that I could tell if the car had bumped into anything I wanted to put some microswitches into the bumpers. I had recently stripped down a paper shredder and had stripped out a few useful parts including a couple of micro-switches. Luckily these were the same size as a couple of others I already had (which may have come from my previous shredder). As mentioned in the discussions I was concerned over the number of I/O used by the car and wondered if it was possible to connect all of the swit ...
After discounting the transistor based H-Bridges in the original car, I started experimenting with the TB6612FNG module. Despite its small size, it should be able to easily to take the few hundred mA needed for the motors. My first experiments with this were not successful, every time I hooked up the motor supply connector the current shot up and the supply voltage collapsed causing the Edison to reset. After a few hours of double checking all the wiring and general frustration, I swapped to ...
I'm not quite sure when I bought the Furby but I do remember the Furby Autopsy website inspiring the purchase. So that suggests it was perhaps after 1998. When I recently checked there are some others that have also done some investigations including puppeteers and universities. A big thanks to Kelly Heaton for giving me permission to re-use her image showing the key parts of the Furby. As you can see there are loads of switches and sensors all over the Furby, there are also lots of moving pa ...