Hand made manipulator arm

We’re pretty used to seeing CAD used in the design process for most things. It’s a bit of a shocker to come across a project this involve, and this well executed, that didn’t use CAD.

[Anton] spent 100 hours building this manipulator arm by hand. He made the parts by drawing them on styrene and cutting them out with scissors. He has started building version two with AutoCAD but from what we’ve seen in the video after the break, improvements on the original design will be minor. The speed and fluidity of the servos with added magnetic encoders makes for a graceful robotic dance; we’d love to be its chess partner. [Read more...]

Digital tuner reverse engineering


Hackaday alum [Ian Lesnet] tipped us off about some reverse engineering of the HVR-1600, an analog and digital television encoder/tuner. The project was spawned when [Devin] noticed his Hauppauge HVR-1600 didn’t tune channels in Linux quite as well as it did in Windows. He had a hunch this was due to improper initialization settings for either the tuner chip or the demodulator.

To fix this he used two test points on the board to tap into the I2C bus. Using a logic analyzer he captured the command traffic from the bus while running Linux, then while running Windows. By filtering the results with a bit of Perl, and comparing them by using diff, he tracks down and finds the variation in the commands being sent by the two drivers. After a bit of poking around in the Linux source and making the necessary changes, he improved the tuning ability of the Linux package.

[Devin's] work looks simple enough, and it is. The difficult part of this process is being smart enough to know what you’re looking for, and what you’ve got once you’ve found it.

DIY Servo motor controller

[Jim Fong] sent in this demo of his version of the UHU servo motor controller. [Uli Huber] has actually shipped over 2500 controllers for the servo. He doesn’t charge much for the chips, and only asks for something like a token beer in return for his work. I used [Jim]s boards in my mini mill controller, so I know he does good work. This servo controller really is a big deal. It can handle high power, and servo motors are *the* way to build a fast milling/robotics setup.

If you’re into Cons, you might be interested that the first round of Shmoocon tickets went up for sale today – looks like they’re already out, so keep your eyes open if you want to go. It’s a decent con that takes place in DC. I know that I’m planning to be there.