We’ve all been there — you see somebody do something cool on YouTube and you just have to give it a go. For [lonesoulsurfer], the drop-everything-and-build happened to be a little four-legged walker robot that runs on a single servo. Though it may be simple, there really is nothing like seeing a robot you created take its first steps.
[lonesoulsurfer]’s walker is made mostly from scrap aluminium and other scavenged parts like coat hangers, paper clips and the metal bits and bobs from banana jacks. The Dremeled and bent body would likely be the hardest to imitate for a first-time builder, but any sturdy chassis that allows for things screwed and bolted to it should work. Also, don’t expect it to work right away. It will take a bit of tuning to get the gait right, but it’s all part of the fun. So is modifying a 180° servo for continuous rotation.
We really like the way this robot walks — it saunters around like a long bulldog and looks like it can handle almost any terrain. Watch it walk after the break, and stick around for the build video.
There’s just something about simple robots without microcontrollers. If you’ve never heard of BEAM robots, cut your teeth on this ‘bot with circular legs.
Continue reading “A Walking Robot With A Single Servo”
If you are looking for a fun project while you are cooped up and you have some spare coathangers, why not try this 4-element Yagi antenna (PDF)? [Pete N8PR] showed it off at his local ham radio club and it looked like something good for a lazy afternoon. If you aren’t a ham, you could adjust it all for a different VHF or UHF frequency.
For the boom, [Pete] mentions you can use wood, but it isn’t weather resistant. He chose half-inch PVC pipe. He also offers you a choice of material for the elements: #8 wire, welding rod, or — our favorite — coat hangers.
This is a big upgrade from a simple dipole or a vertical made from coax. The yagi should have about 8 dBi gain in the direction it is pointing. The center of the boom doesn’t have any elements, so that simplifies mounting. The insulating boom also makes mounting the driven element a breeze.
If you use the coat hangers, we’ve heard an easy way to get them very straight is to put one end on a vise and the other end in a drill chuck (see the video below). The method will weaken the wire, but the elements won’t have much stress. If it worries you, just go slow on the drill and you might consider annealing the wire with a torch afterward.
It would be easy to make this portable like some other designs we’ve seen. If you want the history and theory behind the venerable yagi antenna, you’ll want to revisit this post.
Continue reading “Beat Your Coat Hangers Into Antennas, Not Plowshares”
If your problem is how to put out a maximum amount of repetitive graffiti with a minimum amount of effort, we’ve got your solution. Or rather, [Ariel Schlesinger] and [Aram Bartholl] had your solution way back in 2010. The banner image says it all.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be graffiti that you’re spraying. This idea could be easily adapted to stencil that repeating floral pattern that my grandmother had on her walls too. It’s like a patterned paint roller, but for a spray can.
There’s room for improvements here. For instance, we can’t cut out stencils to save our life but we know where to find a laser cutter. From the look of things, they could use a slightly bigger stencil and something to catch the drips. There’s probably an optimal size for this gizmo, which calls for experimentation.
We’re somewhat obsessed with graffiti machines. Whether it’s a graffiti quadcopter or the elegant and non-permanent sidewalk-chalker style bots, we like machines that make “art”. What’s your favorite graffiti hack?
Thanks [n0p;n0p;n0p;] for the (archival) tip!