Jun 052014

On Friday night I experienced what is probably my most spectacular hardware failure yet. I was working on a project for our upcoming Interactive Show, a chandelier with 150 or so individually controllable 5 watt incandescent bulbs:

A small piece of the chandelier during testing.

Anyway, it was way too late and I was rushing to get the last controller board finished on the outer ring of the chandelier, which has 7 controllers and 52 lightbulbs. I plugged the very last controller in backwards and flipped the switch…
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 Posted by at 8:18 am
Nov 032013

Photo by flickr.com/cbrobotics

I’d like to share a neat Eagle hack for all our the people who have taken our Eagle CAD classes (myself included) and our Eagle-using friends.

BOM-EX is nifty little ULP (User Language Program) that extends the functionality of the built-in BOM ULP. BOM-EX not only helps you assemble a coherent BOM (Bill of Materials) right from your Eagle schematic, but it also makes it easy to assemble a database of parts, and associate those parts with parts numbers for DigiKey, Mouser, Newark, etc.

I made a nice little script that lets me build my BOM database without ever leaving the DigiKey website…

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 Posted by at 2:26 pm
Dec 152011

Some friends at a local university reached out to us recently and offered to let us rescue a robot from a junkyard fate. Not being in the business of turning down free robots, we quickly agreed. Three of us showed up on Monday in a Ford Escape. We left in a U-Haul.

This beast of a machine weighs in at 550lbs. It’s a Gilson Cyberlab C400 Automated Plate Preparation Workstation. We’re not exactly sure what that is, but we do know that it has a huge robotic gantry meant to move at high speed with accurate positioning. And it has neuroprobes. What are we going to do with it? Maybe it will be the next BarBot. Or a 3D Printer. Or maybe some sort of exercise machine. We’re not sure yet. Check the vids.

 Posted by at 10:44 am
Mar 032011

Go here! Sign up! Learn how to Arduino!

It’s like the previous Arduino post, except that it’s this coming Saturday instead of having already happened. Unless you read this after Saturday, in which case, boy oh boy, you sure did miss an excellent Arduino class. Best one I’ve been to, that’s for sure.

 Posted by at 10:53 am