In the perfect physical world, there would be no gravity or no coefficient of friction. As we all know that is completely unreal. With the idea of gravity in mind, it would be in everyone’s best interest to try and reduce the coefficient of friction as much as possible. Reducing the coefficient of friction in general helps improve efficiency and performance of almost anything moving (i.e.: bearings, lubrication). Now you are probably asking yourself why should someone or anyone know this vague information. The answer is that this same basic principle applies to your daily activities whether you notice it or not. The easiest example of this is the car you use to commute to and from point A&B. To demonstrate this theory of reduction the coefficient of friction, I will be inserting new ball bearings into a 30-year-old turbo charger that is used on gasoline and diesel engines.
The first new project I’ll be talking after Maker Faire Orlando is a sorting machine. The goal will be to sort skittles (or any uniformly shaped and colored candy) into separate cups. The project is heavily based on the fantastic work done by Willem Pennings on his blog which you can find here: https://willemm.nl/mm-skittles-sorting-machine/. There have been other sorting machines similar to this, but I think Willem’s looks the best and so that is the design I’ll be drawing from the most. Over the last week I’ve put together a parts list and begun to CAD the mechanical aspects of the project. Below you’ll find a link to my list of components and the cost so if you would also like to make one you have a good starting point. Once I finish modeling the system I’ll make the files available so that anyone can reproduce the project as well.
Our 3D scanner has always been a great machine, however, the difficulties in setup make it somewhat of a pain to use. To improve the capabilities, reliability, and ease of use of our scanner I looked to improve upon it somehow. I thought upgrading the sensor being used to a Kinect 2 would be an improvement but as it turns out the technology in the Kinect 2 changed and is no longer a viable solution to DIY scanning. After some investigating I found that the best (and only solution, if I’m honest) is to use a Structure Sensor from https://structure.io/. Luckily, we happened to already have one not in use so after validating it would work with our software I loaded up SolidWorks and began designing a new bracket to hold it in place. What I ended up with is this:
I finally “finished” the airboat. I finished making the last of the rudder design so with that part being finished I decided to do the boats first test run. Prior to me making the different designs and modifications to the hull of the boat. I never actually put the boat or the hull of it in the water for a “sink or float” test. To help with the buoyancy of the hull I added an epoxy resin to the bottom of the hull, but again I still never tested it out.
With most of the body completed it was now time to do some fine tuning to the steering and throttle. Steering adjustments were relatively straight forward, I wanted there to be a dead zone where the car could go straight even with the bike not being in perfect center. In order to achieve this I put in some simple logic to the code:
This week I made the silicate elastomer mixture of cornstarch and silicon I* to make tires for the drone. I didn't expect the mixing of the ingredients to be as messy as it was, but the finished product turned out to be a great success. The drone now has good traction on slippery concrete. The only down side to the new tires is that the shape of one of them is a tad lumpy which occasionally alters the direction of the bot. I should be able to fix that by shaving off some material.