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

StewartPlatform

[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.

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Revenge of the Glueless Stool and a New Folding Chair

glueless stool

[Vincent] is at it again, with the final iteration of his glueless stool and a new project.

As many of you commented on the original post, three legs might not be enough. He might have taken note, as the final design contains not 3, not 4, but five legs. After the break we have a clip of it being used, and it looks quite sturdy!

But is that it? Is [Vincent] done with innovative wood furniture? Nope. Not since his wife came up with a challenge to create a practical, foldable, and especially, not ugly — chair. He began by researching the dry subject of chairs and determined the approximate popliteal height that his chair should provide. Keeping with the theme, he wanted this chair to be cut from a single piece of wood, just like the stool. A few sketches later and he had a basic design ready, still glueless, but unfortunately this time requiring hinges. After a few hiccups in his CNC program, he had a working foldable chair, but our guess is it’s not quite the final design.

Just like last time, all the files are freely available from his Github, so if you happen to have a CNC router, or maybe a laser cutter, you can make your own!

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Team Van Gogh uses OpenXC to create art from your drive

vangogh

In this video, [Joe Grand] takes us through [Team Van Gogh’s] entry in the OpenXC hackathon event. In what could possibly be the greatest road trip in history, [Joe Grand, Ben Krasnow, TechNinja, and Super Awesome Sylvia] all pile into a car. With them they bring a host of dev boards, wires, a CB Radio, and of course Sylvia’s WaterColorBot.

As their name implies, [Team Van Gogh] took a more artistic approach to the challenge than other teams.  OpenXC steering, gear shift, accelerator and brake data is sent through a ChipKit to an RS-232 link into [TechNinja’s] laptop. The laptop translates the data into commands for the WaterColorBot. With this system, a simple Sunday drive can become abstract art.

The team also showed the concept of what could be done if OpenXC was extended to send data back to the vehicle – something Ford doesn’t support. Their example works when a phone call comes in by using the system to lower the volume on a CB radio standing in for car’s Bluetooth system.

Most of this challenge was completed with simulated data from the OpenXC vehicle interface. The team only had a few minutes to work the bugs out in a real vehicle. However, they proved their concepts well enough to win the grand prize.

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