Workhorse MakerBot 3D Printer At iheartengineering

iheartengineering found that the key to producing large parts without warping was to maintain a stable ambient thermal environment.

This was especially true because their offices are located in a converted brick warehouse building with concrete floors, lots of drafts, and inconsistent heating during the winter.

To deal with the unstable office temperatures, and to make sure that any objectionable vapors given off by the MakerBot were exhausted outside the building, they constructed a simple housing and venting system.

3D printer

As a part of the venting design they needed a part to mate between the housing and off the shelf ducting. So they did what any self-respecting engineering firm would do - they quickly designed the part they needed, using open source CAD software of course, and printed it out on the MakerBot.

The special housing allows them to run the 3D printer continuously for hours, and sometimes for days, on end. The stable temperatures result in consistent prints as well as allowing them to produce parts as large as the MakerBot workspace will allow.

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PYGMY – Robot Rings That Enhance Communication (Video)

120315 Interaction 2012 29

The researchers at Keio University here do some surprising work. They're breaking new ground with user interfaces and communication, both between man and machines, and between people. Their projects usually involve the application of readily available technology in new and different ways.

A good example is the PYGMY robot ring project presented by Masayasu Ogata (Anzai Imai Lab) at the Interaction 2012 Conference held last week in Tokyo.

PYGMY – Robot Rings That Enhance Communication (Video)’ continues

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IREX 2011: Omni-Crawler Robot (Video)

IMG 5208

During IREX 2011, I had the opportunity to check out the Omni-Crawler robot developed at Osaka University. Conceptually, it's pretty amazing. It can 'turn on a dime', or more correctly, it doesn't need to turn at all. The unique Omni-Ball drive enables it to move in any direction in its plane of operation, and can make those moves almost instantaneously.

The Omni-Crawler approach will definitely be a significant benefit in some applications that can be improved by it's capabilities, and some applications that were previously impossible. At the same time, the overall complexity of the design and implementation, at least in the research lab prototype stage, raises some questions about how effectively it could be commercialized. The robot has tremendous potential, if it can be production engineered to become a reliable, cost effective subsystem.

IREX 2011: Omni-Crawler Robot (Video)’ continues

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After The Battle – Maru-san (King Kizer)

robo-one robot king kizer

Maru-san (King Kizer) rushing to catch the Shinkansen after the IREX 2011 ROBO-ONE event.

robo-one robot king kizer 2

robo-one robot king kizer 3

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e-volo 16 Prop Human Carrying Multicopter Takes To The Air (Video)

111103 e volo robot copter

I don't know about you, but personally I've been waiting patiently since I was a kid for the jet packs we were promised to hit the market. I had visions of zipping around the neighborhood like Flash Gordon.

At the same time, I've been intrigued by the DIY drone robot creations that have popped up recently using multiple props. They seem extremely stable, and reasonably low cost. So, why not have the best of both worlds? How about a multi-prop copter with enough power to carry an average sized human through the air?

That's exactly what the e-volo team in Germany set out to do with considerable success.

e-volo 16 Prop Human Carrying Multicopter Takes To The Air (Video)’ continues

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DARPA $50,000 Paper Shredder Challenge

Darpa Paper Shredder

DARPA, the same folks that brought us, or at least funded, the development of the Internet and several autonomous robotic vehicles, has a new challenge. If you like puzzles, mental gymnastics, and extremely short deadlines, you're going to love this one.

It turns out that the US military frequently takes over the headquarters of hostile forces, but all too often all the critical paperwork containing precious clues and insights has been shredded before they can get their hands on it. That's where the DARPA challenge comes in. They're putting up a $50,000 prize for the team that can come up with the best solution for putting all the shredded information back together again.

Rather than just present one puzzle, which might be too difficult for any team to solve, DARPA has posted five puzzles with increasing levels of complexity. The puzzles are already up on the challenge website, and can be downloaded by anyone, even if they decide not to enter the competition.

To keep things even more interesting and exciting, they have a Leaderboard on the website that is updated regularly. The winning team will be announced on December 5, 2011.

(Via DARPA Shredder Challenge.)

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