12″ RC Ornithopter

rc ornithopter

There was a little interest in Graham’s 3D scanning probe, but this is what he is normally using his tiny CNC machine for: manufacturing components for a tiny RC ornithopter. The scale of this thing is amazing. From the tiny gear train to the 0.5mm carbon spars the frame is constructed from. The rudder control only weighs one gram and the entire device comes in at 17 grams.

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MF2006: Monome

The people from the Monome project are out in full force at the Faire. They’ve got five of the 8×8 pads hooked up for people to play with. The first two pictured above actually work together as a 16 step loop system. There’s also one hooked up as a mixer and another as a drum machine. The fifth one is showing pixelated video from an iSight. The box is really well built. The $500 price point has shocked a lot of people, but it’s really unavoidable since they’re only doing a 200 device run. Something I hadn’t realized before is that the buttons are unique to the device, not off the shelf parts. The button is really a rubber cap that sits over the LED and has a conductive ring at the base. I hope they post a schematic for their 8×8 matrix controller so that anyone could build one. Here are a few more pictures: one, two, three.

Iridium Flare Tracker

iridium flare tracker

Iridium is a constellation of 66 communication satellites. Each one features 3 large polished antennas. The reflection of sunlight off of these panels causes brilliant flashes of light. Since the satellite’s orbit is known the time and location of these flares can be calculated ahead of time. C.L.I.V.E. is a project designed for Burning Man to assist in observing these flares. It has a DPSS laser mounted to a turntable that automatically points at the location of the next flare. A large clock counts down the time till the event. Everything is controlled by an Xport 2.0 FPGA development board for the Game Boy Advance. All power is provided by a solar array and wind turbines.

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Barcode Scanner Based Line Follower

line follower

Brody thought it was high time we featured another robot project and directed us to his site: bfrdesign.com. For his line follower bot he used an old barcode scanner he found cheap at a junk shop. The scanner has a 2088 pixel ccd linear image sensor. Several red LEDs are used to illuminate the image and the data is fed to an ATmega8. The wheels are then driven using two Sanwa servos modified for continuous rotation. He’s got a couple other projects on the site and I’m sure we’ll see more in the future.