3D printed dispenser flings treats at your pets


If you’re stuck in the virtual world like [Kevin Flynn] you can still make sure your pup is rewarded for good behavior. Just follow [Jwarp’s] design for this Internet connect dog treat dispenser.

We were actually a bit surprised by the demo video. It shows that the compact unit is more than capable of reliably dispensing one treat at a time. It started as a wood prototype which allowed him to tweak how the servo motors worked before laying out all of the 3D parts in Sketch Up. Two motors cooperate to get the job done. The first allows one treat to exit that shoot coming from the center of the hopper. The other stirs the remaining inventory to both position the next treat and loosen any jams.

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Sandia Labs “Hopper” Robot

Made by Boston Dynamics under contract from Sandia Labs, this “hopper” is quite incredible as you can see in the video after the break. Boston Dynamics is no stranger to great robotics designs, including the well known “Big Dog” four-legged robot. This robot, although possibly less advanced, has a very unique trick up it’s sleve.

This robot’s distinguishing feature is that it can navigate autonomously not only with wheels, but also with a powerful single leg that allows it to jump over obstacles of up to 25 feet. Although envisioned to “deliver a payload” in an urban environment, one could imagine a terrifying  horde of these ‘bots jumping into action armed with bombs or other weapons.

According to Sandia’s website is that this form of locomotion has been “shown to be five times more efficient than hovering” when trying to get around obstacles under 10 meters. Technical challenges that have been overcome include managing the shock of landing and producing a leg powerful enough to jump to this height. Continue reading “Sandia Labs “Hopper” Robot”

Coin-op pays out when you win

The days of plugging coins into a stand up arcade game are sadly dwindling. [Dirk] figured out a way to prolong the nostalgia by incorporating currency back into the experience in a useful way. He rebuilt the video game Raiden to pay out a prize when you win the game. Now it takes a coin for each play but if you make it to the end you can recoup the expense.

[Dirk] took an original cabinet game, did some dangerous work to replace the old CRT monitor, and retrofit a MAME machine to handle the gaming. He’s using Windows and had some problems because of it but, as you can see after the break, things worked out in the end. The hopper hardware that spits out coins went through several steps from the initial design to the finished product, but it has always been based around a PIC controller connected to the MAME box via parallel port. This is a fun addition to any MAME cabinet.

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