The Making of the WaterColorBot

water color bot

Remember the WaterColorBot? Ever wonder what goes into manufacturing a kit like it? Well the folks over at Evil Mad Scientist just spilled the beans.

It’s a great insight on how these kits are typically made in a manufacturing environment, especially if you happen to be the founders of a rather successful Kickstarter project like the WaterColorBot by [SuperAwesomeSylvia]. The article goes into great detail on minimizing material waste during CNC routing, mass producing laser engravings using a jig, hardware assembly, and finicky assembly of some of the more complex components. Not to mention boxing, storing, and packaging the finished products!

We’re happy to hear the WaterColorBot is officially shipping now, and available for purchase — Seems like they were only off by a month or so for their kickstarter delivery goals. Remember our recent post about one of these WaterColorBots out in the wild? One was used to create art using inputs from driving a real car!

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.

[Read more...]

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