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Feb 032013

As midnight approached this New Year’s Eve– as champagne bubbled from uncorked necks and we all prepared for the coming year in various postures of revelry or bleak resignation– I grappled silently with the pivotal question of our time: “How awesome are robots?” The answer is of course that robots are completely awesome. That settled, I resolved to build one robot a month for the duration of 2013.

Much to the chagrin of Brooklyn’s legion of artisanal slow-cooking egg-boilers, January’s robot is a an automaton for preparing soft-boiled eggs for human consumption.

This was a junkbot, assembled from various scraps that have ended up in the space over the years. Expert junkspotters will note:

  • The heating element and thermistor from a trashed mini-espresso machine
  • One 250mL beaker of questionable provenance
  • Some off-brand extruded aluminum
  • Skate bearings
  • A haunted steel counterweight
  • Lots of lasercut acrylic and delrin
  • Some chunks of 4×4 sliced out of the loft supports from the original NYCR location
  • A couple of analog servos and a DC motor from the junk drawer
  • One half of a L298 from a driver board I designed in 2005
  • Some relays from sharesville
  • A button from a reflow oven
  • Random bolts, plywood, etc.

The whole shebang was controlled by a Teensy 2.0 and powered from a bench supply (except the heating element which was run off of 120VAC, which is why the lights keep dimming during the video).

All the code and CAD files are in my Github repo, as usual. Special thanks to Charles Pax for donating the boiler from his busted coffeemaker, Eric Skiff for providing the tunes for the video, Nick Farr for a last-minute game-changing special Club Mate delivery, and everyone at NYCR for indulging my little robot habit.

 Posted by at 10:56 pm

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