Nicholas Seward at ConceptForge gave us a demonstration of "WALLY", an innovative new 3D RepRap design at Maker Faire.
WALLY uses a SCARA/pantograph approach that totally eliminates linear rails, appears to be more compact, and is able to print parts for a next generation copy/clone that is 20% larger than itself. According to Seward the process can be repeated with each generation being as much as 20% larger than it's predecessor.
The part print quality was a bit rough, but Seward explained that the prototype WALLY on display had only been running for 3 days. He expects the print quality to match other 3D printer designs on the market after he has a few weeks for fine-tuning.
WALLY features a 3/8" water jet cut basalt bed with a laser cut registration grid; Anubis hotend equipped with a FEP Bowden tube (similar to Tantillus) that minimizes the print head mass resulting in smoother prints; linear motion drive utilizing 100lb test braided fishing line (another design approach similar to Tantillus); and is wall mountable.
The print envelope is 200 mm in diameter by 150 mm tall. The printer is designed to use 1.75mm PLA filament, though it could probably be modified for use with other filament sizes or types.
Seward estimates that WALLY will cost USD$450 for a "print your own" version and plans to offer a full kit priced around USD$600.
It's surprising how rapidly the capability and capacity of affordable 3D printers has increased.
There were several exhibitors at Maker Faire in NYC last week showing off printers with print envelopes large enough to print really big objects. Of course the print times can be extremely long, and there is also the issue of warping with large parts. Still, the results were very impressive and encouraging.
The Robot Japan competitions get better and better each time. The 5th bi-annual event, held last Sunday in Tokyo, was the best competition yet from all aspects. The professionalism, showmanship, energy, and excitement was absolutely fantastic.
Here's my photo set of the afternoon. I'll be posting several videos of the action on the Robots Dreams YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/robotsdreams) also.
The ROBO-ONE organizing committee announced that the 6th ROBO-ONE Light competition will be held Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science in Tokyo.
The qualifying tests for the 22nd ROBO-ONE competition will be held the same day immediately following the ROBO-ONE Light event, with the full competition scheduled for Sunday, February 24th, 2013 at the same venue.
The events, which will be staged in the large 7th floor auditorium, are open to the public with free admission.
My all time favorite humanoid robot competition, the Wonderful Robot Carnival, is scheduled for this Sunday, July 15th, in the Takao area of Tokyo. Unfortunately I'm currently in New York and won't get back to Japan until late next week. However, the competition will be streamed real-time via the event's official UStream channel.
Via: わんだほー ろぼっと か～にばる
The rules for the next ROBO-ONE Humanoid Robot competition have been released. There are no substantial changes to the rules, though the latest revision includes a new provision prohibiting the use of 'hooks'.
In other words, builders can't design robot appendages that would deliberately hook behind their opponents or get entangled in opponents wiring cables. This does not rule out the use of grippers or techniques that involve grabbing or hugging opponents.
For most builders this doesn't represent much of a problem, though it may be a challenge to some aggressive competitors. I'm not sure how the new rule will apply to robots like King Kizer that have unique arm/hand designs.
The ROBO-ONE 21 competition is scheduled for September 1st/2nd, but the venue hasn't been announced yet.
Via: ROBO-ONE 21 Rules (pdf)