Can This Fire Fighting Robot Take The Heat?

Firefighting is a difficult and dangerous job, which puts humans on the front line to save life and property on a regular basis. It’s a prime candidate for some robot helpers, and [Ivan] has stepped in with a fun build that, while it won’t be serving in your municipal department any time soon, gets us thinking about the possibilities.

It’s a radio controlled robot with an Arduino Uno for the brains. A couple of motor driver boards are used to run four windscreen wiper motors for propulsion. Long before the days of online shopping, the wiper motor was a hacker staple – a cheap, readily available high torque motor that could be easily driven for a range of hobby projects. They say only 90’s kids remember.

As far as water delivery goes, this robot is a little short on credentials, carrying only 1 litre of water. However, we appreciate [Ivan]’s use of a Tupperware container as a tank – with a few add-on fittings, this could be a great way to hold water in other projects. The small DC-powered pump is controlled by an industrial solid state relay – a good choice for a robot that may get wet. There’s an onboard CO2 extinguisher as well, but it’s sadly not plumbed into anything just yet.

This build is an [Ivan] classic – big, fun, and 3D printed on a much larger scale then we’re used to. It’s a strong  follow up to his impressive tank build we saw earlier. Video after the break.

[Thanks to Baldpower for the tip!]

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A 3D-Printed Coffee Grinder

It’s safe to say that a Venn diagram of Hackaday readers and coffee drinkers would have significant intersection, many of you will be lovers of the bean. Some of you will be happy enough with a spoonful of instant granules and a bit of boiling water, but among your number there will undoubtedly be owners of significant quantities of coffee-related machinery and paraphernalia.

If your coffee enthusiasm extends to grinding your own direct from the bean, then [Christian Pederkoff]’s project should hit the mark, he’s created a rather neat 3D-printed coffee grinder. Sadly the creation of a steel burr and ring was beyond his 3D-printing capabilities so those parts come from a commercial grinder, but the housing, shaft coupler and hopper are all from his printer. Power is from a conveniently available source, he’s made use of an automotive windscreen wiper motor. The whole is a straightforward and easy-to-assemble unit that we think would sit well alongside many readers’ coffee making equipment.

If coffee projects are your thing, we have a few for your entertainment. Another not quite so neat enclosure for a coffee grinder, for example, or a tea-light-powered filter coffee machine for power cut beverage satisfaction.

The Almost Useful Machine

[Alex] is no stranger to making machines of negligible utility. A few years ago he made the Almost Useless Machine, a solar-powered system that cuts through a 20mm dowel rod while you wait (and wait, and wait). Enamored by the internet’s bevy of powered hacksaws, he sought to build a sturdier version that’s a little more useful. Approximately five months of free time later, he had the Almost Useful Machine.

It runs on a wiper motor and a recycled power supply from a notebook computer. [Alex] rolled his own board for controlling the motor with an ATtiny25. The circuit turns potentiometer movement into PWM, which controls the motor through a MOSFET. After the cut is finished, an endstop microswitch  immediately cuts the motor.

Every bit of the chassis is aluminum that [Alex] machined by hand. Don’t have that kind of setup? How about a powered hacksaw with a 3D-printed linkage? Make the jump to see it in action, and stick around for the two-part time-lapse build video.

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