Browsing around today, I saw this little kit on kickstarter called Kinetic Creatures. These flat packed models are made from cardboard and can be assembled without tools. Their mechanical legs are operated either by a simple cam that you turn by hand or by a motorized attachment. I love the basic idea here. This is the kind of thing that my 6 year old would really enjoy doing that also serves to get him into making things (he’d probably insist on motorizing it with scraps, he collects dc motors and has quite a collection).
I did notice that they mentioned using it as a robotic platform, adding custom electronics to the empty space allowed in the body of the animal. This initially got me quite excited, thinking that I could, for $30 have a 1 foot tall quadruped platform that looked awesome, then I realized it can’t turn. I guess I’ll have to hack it a little bit to put separate drives in for each side. That would be a cool upgrade they could offer.
Have any of you tried to do turning with a set of only 4 [jansen] legs before?
Talk about reducing the costs of a build, this tricopter uses cardboard as a frame and has one less motor than its quadcopter relatives. There are almost no details other than those shared in the video after the break so we’re just going to guess based on what we see (feel free to share your own insight in the comments).
The smooth curves of this integrated landing pad makes us thing the frame was cut either with a CNC device or a utility-knife wielding ninja. Two of the three motor supports look just like what is shown above, but the third has a hinged mounting bracket attached to a servo motor. This way the propeller can be tilted around an axis running parallel to the support arm. We’d bet this feature is mainly for adjusting the yaw of the aircraft.
The video comments mention that this can hover when the throttle is at 45%, showing that there’s a lot lift available when needed. That is until you really weigh it down by adding plastic cages around the propellers. It’s kind of neat to see the thing ‘sticking’ to the ceiling at the end of that clip by driving the throttle wide open and using the cages as top-sided landing gear.
Continue reading “Cardboard framed tricopter”
Racer is a racing video game with a very real element. The player sits in an arcade-style console; wheel, pedals, shifter, and television display. But in what must be an homage to Tron the game taking place is very real. You can see the track above, designed in CAD and cut from cardboard, which is navigated by that little vehicle the gentleman holds in his hand. It’s wireless and broadcasts video back to the control console. What we have here is a homemade drone but for now it’s confined to the gaming grid. Don’t miss the demos after the break. Continue reading “Racing game uses a physical race track and vehicle”
[Matt Meerian] introduced us to his kludge of cardboard, tape, mirrors, and electronics in the form of a clever non lethal robin trap. Whenever a pesky robin would enter the box, a sensor is triggered, the solenoid drops a lid, and the bird is contained (and we assume taken far away after that).
Of course the plan backfired; we wont spoil what happened, but you can click the link above to find out.
Related: Arduino Mouse Trap
Who needs expensive acrylic based, microcontrolled robots with only a few sensors available when cardboard and an Android cellphone will work much better for much less in cost! The team over at Cellbots have done just that. While they did cheat a little by using a laser cut cardboard for exact measurements and including an Arduino to control the servos, they certainly attained their goal of “cheap” (assuming the already had the cellphone). We’re just wondering why it took them 4 weeks for a little CAD and code.
Regardless, one idea that immediately comes to mind is thousands hundreds a few little cardboard swarm bots ravaging homes everywhere, just don’t step on them.
While the iPhone 3G included several new features that its predecessor lacked, one thing it did not include was a dock. Instead of shelling out $30 to buy Apple’s iPhone 3G dock, [Roland] and the folks at Geeky-Gadgets.com decided to design their own cardboard iPhone dock. While this doesn’t include any fancy features like dock connectors or audio line-outs, it looks like a quick and budget friendly way to give your iPhone 3G a place to charge and sync.