Zeorbot Project - Update 1

This week, I have received all of the parts required to complete the Zerobot. I completed the assembly of the electronics and mechanics of the bot. Since I used a different battery pack, I made some additional modifications. In the original writeup by Max.K, the battery and power charging chip were separated inside the bot. In my construction, I kept the components together and cut out a port in the rear of the bot to allow for charging and power supply to the Zero. I will likely hardwire the Zero in the future but this allows me to turn it on and off by unplugging the battery while the bot is sealed. I improved the mounting of components to the PLA chassis. The motor controller was screwed in to one of the ribs. One issue this week was the fitment of the camera. The ones I ordered have a chip in the wire which hinders flexibility. Luckily, the maximum bend rested the camera in place without needing permanent attachment. The motors had dual directional output drives that were interfering with the other components. I removed the inner drive by cutting them off.

The Zero and motor controller have been soldered and wired along with the motors themselves. I changed the GIPO ports used for wiring for cleanliness. This will require changes in the coding provided, that I will look to complete by next week. As of now, the Zero is powered by the USB output on the power bank, and sends that power to the motor controller via 5V output and ground.

The World's Largest 3D Printed Fidget Spinner

Back in March, the Boca Bearing Company set out to create (what was) the world's largest 3D printed fidget spinner using a Type A, Series 1 printer.

3D Printer Filament Stand Project

Today I built a filament stand for our 3D printers. I wanted to hold 24 rolls on the back and will be adding posts for the most common ones up front.

Built from
  • 3 – 2x4x12 
  • 10 – ½” dowles 
  • Construction wood screws 
  • Cost – 50$ 

This was a simple design but was constructed without the use of power cutting tools. ½” holes were drilled evenly spaced and rods that were cut into thirds were pressed in via hammer.

Zerobot Project Introduction

I was assigned to create a step by step instruction manual for others at the company and future interns to build a project that uses many of the tools available at Boca Bearings. The Zerobot was selected as it incorporates 3d printing, coding, wiring, and fabricating. The initial plans were documented from https://hackaday.io/project/25092-zerobot-raspberry-pi-zero-fpv-robot. Thanks to Max.K for uploading this for the first prototype to be built.

Using these plans, I used a Maker Select 3D Printer v2 to print all of the components provided via STL files. During the time waiting for parts to print, I compiled a list of all the parts I used to build the bot. Most were listed from the link above, with a few changes of my own.

RC Car Project Update

It’s been a long time since anyone has worked on the RC Car project here in the Workshop and since I’m new to this project I figured now is a great time to begin simplifying and streamlining the wiring. The way everything was wired previously was great for prototyping but it left something to be desired for a more polished product. A lot of the wiring had gotten messed up from moving the bikes and just leaving the project unused for so long, so I grabbed a multimeter and began the work by checking all the connections. Previously a breadboard was used to send power to the bikes and also serve as a hub point to read the data from. This created a mess of wires that made it difficult to see how things connect and so I soldered up all the power lines and ground lines and added on a male pin. Now they can be directly connected to the 5v and GND pins on the Arduino itself. I then added male pins to each of the three signal wires so that they too could be plugged directly into the Arduino. With this new setup, I could eliminate the breadboard which cleaned up things nicely. Now that the connections were simplified I verified that everything was working and turned my attention to the RC car itself. When I began working on the car nothing seemed to be responsive. So, I decided to dissemble the system and redo it, following the same guidelines used previously, which fixed the issues. Now both Arduinos are communicating correctly and everything seems to be working except for the throttle which is glitchy at best. Once the receiver side is fully functional I’ll streamline the wiring and clean it up. Things on the to-do list for this project now are:

- Fix Throttle response

- Clean wiring on receiver side

- Add buttons to enable reverse mode

- Reimplement the FPV system

Once all these are done I’ll be designing a PCB that will condense everything and make the project more professional. Below you’ll find the current versions of the code being used on the project.


3D Printed Robotic Hand Project Revisision

After repairing the robotic hand project, the most noticeable flaw was the nest of wires on the receiver. Every servo motor has three wires, with five fingers that means there are fifteen leads going into the breadboard. From there five additional wires need to run to the Arduino for signal control. This leaves this sort of mess:

To solve this mess, I jumped into Circuit Maker, a free PCB design tool from Altium. After selecting my parts I designed this very simple schematic:

With the schematic drawn up I created a PCB file and placed all the components. Normally, routing should be done by hand, but in a circuit as simple as this it really saves a good chunk of time. After running the auto routing I had this:

Each finger will have a 3-pin header, similar to the Power header, and all the signal wires will go from the 5-pin header at the top (labeled OUTPUT). Since all the servo headers will plug directly into the board most of the excess wires will be eliminated.


Electric Skateboard Project Introduction

Electric skateboards are exploding in popularity right now, however, for most people the cost of a good board is too great and the inexpensive options lack in features and range. As a result, a healthy and growing community has formed around DIY Electric Skateboards, where the goal is to create boards that are tailored to the needs of the builder at a fraction of the cost of a good commercial product. For this project, the goal is to create a DIY board that functions at least as well as the most popular electric skateboard, the Boosted Board, for around half of the cost at $700. Some of the features the board will have include: regenerative braking, cruise control, and a reverse mode (flip which side of the board is the ‘front’).

Wiring diagram for power.

The board will be controlled using a Wii Nunchuck controller as well as various electronics for the propulsion system.

The build list is as follows:

Motor 6355 190KV
Mechanical Kit
VESC Open Source ESC
Battery Connectors Set XT60
Battery Connectors Set XT90S
10 AWG Wire
Parrallel Battery Charging Board