So many projects, so little solder…
Here is my latest odds and ends

The New Spinbot kit is really taking off, I will post some updates here but for more info go to the SpinBot website

This is what happens if you switch out the markers with blinky LEDs!  any LED will work, bike lights, tea candles, if it is a LED then rubberband or tape it on and start taking pictures!
This was taken with my simple point and shoot camera on my kitchen floor with the overhead lights turned off.  The camera automatically tries to compensate for the lack of light by a loooonng exposure.  I think the shutter stayed open for 1.5 to 2 seconds.

Built a new Arduino ArtBot:
It uses the same chassis (platform) as the SpinBots, just add Arduino and two continuos rotation servos. Used the NES swich again :)

ker Faire 2013

Maker faire 2013 was awesome!  We moved the drawing area from the floor to table top height and that made the bots so much more engaging.  We also had a couple of new bots doing theire art thing and it was great to see peoples response to them. I feel that there is a new bot ready for the store shelves!  Once again we won a couple of editor choice and education awards, which all ways makes our day.  This year we had a great team to help out with everything that it takes to put on a workshop at the greatest DIY, Art and Technology event! Here are a few pics, will drop in a link to a Flickr galley.

Look who stopped by our booth! It is our cover model!



The kits are being made, lots of work but so worth it,
Here is the Box Art!

Fall 2012 News
It has been a busy Fall, since Maker Faire a lot has been happening.  The biggest news is that we are putting SpinBots into production!  We are talking injection molding, which means no more laser cut parts! Don't get me wrong, love the laser cutter but this last Makers Faire had me cutting 800 pieces.  We are teaming up with the Maker Shed to get the kits into the Shed ASAP.  Will post updates.

Maker Faire 2012 

Maker Faire 2012 was a huge success, sounds like a repeat of last year!  If you do not know what the Maker Faire is please checkout this link.  We had a lot of fun running a workshop for kids called SpinBots! (this is our fifth year). The kids built their own spinBots.   Kinda like a robotic Spirograph, spinBots use two markers as legs and a motor that spins the bot around in circles as the pens leave a trail behind showing its progress. Anne and I were kept busy by the non-stop flow of kids for three days straight!  

The Thursday before the big weekend was Maker Faire Education day. Maker Faire Education Day is opportunity for schools from near and far to bring their students to a sneak preview of Maker Faire. Over 1600 kids attended and I think we had just as much fun as the kids did!  The students had the chance to roam from exhibit to exhibit Talking to the makers and learn about physics, chemistry, technology.  It was great having such a huge number of kids through out the day as they are why we are here...

A photo of our workshop was featured on for makers fair 2011!

The article was titled "Want Kids to Win the Future? Turn Them Into Makers — and Sci-Fi Fans"
It is an interview with Nolan Bushnell about creativity and young people, pretty cool to be part of that!

Here's the link:

Check out some of the roboteers here!

Click on the above images for info on my other projects or use the index at the top of the page.

My current project,  the tentacle arm robot.  It is a proof of concept model to figure out how to make a robotic tentacle arm respond to its environment.  The final Bot will have many arms and sonar sensors to detect movement.

Close up of the laser cut vertebrae showing the cable system.  Notice the slots in the vertebrae of the lower section.  These allow the cables that actuate the upper section to pass thru without being tensioned by the movement of the lower section.  This was a breakthrough in the design, without which I would not be able to achieve the fluid movement that I am looking for.

Here is a shot of the cables being tensioned manually.  The double curve is much more difficult to do but is key to the movement I want the arms to be able to make in the final Bot.

I am now working on the base for the single arm.  It consists of four servos and four sonar sensors arranged in a circle.  In the test prototype the arm will react to movement around it, hopefully following, pointing at the movement throughout the room.  The next bot will have multiple tentacles and more sensors!

You can contact me at: contactatisopoddesigndotcom