THP Hacker Bio: Nsted



Have you ever wanted to build a robot arm, or even a full robot, but were put off by the daunting task of making all of those articulations work? Moti could make that a lot easier. The project seeks to produce smart servo motors which can connect and communicate in many different ways. It’s a great idea, so we wanted to know more about the hacker behind the project. After the jump you’ll find [nsted’s] answers to our slate of question for this week’s Hacker Bio.


settlers-of-catanSettlers of Catan (replaced Chess), Trading Stocks, Jogging (new).

What is Your Profession?

I wear a few different hats including teaching, making art projects, building technologies, and running a business.

What is Your Passion?

Building robots, especially modular robots that interact through touch…(eg. Grapple)

Piece of Equipment You'd Go "Office Space" On?

A specific variable power supply I once knew. Crossing over 7.5 Volts triggered a 40+ Volt spike causing mayhem, confusion and self-doubt for many a day.

Favorite Operating System?

OSX – it’s easy and works well.

Favorite Bench Equipment?

Weller Soldering Iron – It’s always there for me, like an old friend.

Favorite Piece of Silicon?

atmega328-diagramATmega328p – I like its ubiquity…but I hear ARM calling.

Favorite Programming Language?

Arduino & C++ – I know many (including HaD) are down on Arduino, but it’s saved me a lot of time over the years.

Three Projects Before You Die?

  1. Moti
  2. Interchangeable 3D printable robot body parts
  3. A robot that can safely and competently wrestle a person

Skill You Wish Everyone Would Learn?


How Did You Pick Your THP Project Idea?

moti-demoWhere are the robots already?! I thought by 2014 we’d be surrounded by them. We’re working on Moti to help people build more robots, faster. Moti is a kind of standardized robotic module for actuation, sensing, communication and basic computing. It’s meant to take care of the low level tasks so you can focus on the interesting parts of robot design such as bodies, behaviours and applications.

I thought Moti would work well for the Hackaday prize because it’s “connected” in a number of ways. You can control them from browsers, mobile apps, and through various APIs. And you can physically connect them to things…like 3D prints. I also wanted to expose Moti to people, get some feedback, and find future beta-testers.

Any Tough Stuff You Need Advice On?

Yes, PID…and control theory in general, but probably not for a few weeks yet.

THP Project You'd Like Someone Else to Build?


Your Life in Exactly 5 Words?

Likes awesome work, will travel.

What Else Ya' Got?

I hope that we get some feedback from the judges. And thanks!

5 thoughts on “THP Hacker Bio: Nsted

  1. Loving this idea – get hackers (who often avoid the limelight) some recognition. Props to nsted for coming out of the closet about arduino/ATMega328p :P I too find them so convenient when something has to be done in a hurry, plus it makes your projects accessible to less experienced people.

  2. Amazing project. As I said in the .io page, I will definitely buy a bunch when they’re available. I’ll show this to people I know who work in robotics, it has the potential to be better than dinamixel, if you make some metal gear, high quality servos “motified”.

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