Category Archives: ROBOTICS

Whippersnapper Runt Rover Assembly

DCIM161GOPROServocity was recently nice enough to send me one of their Whippersnapper Runt Rover robotics platforms to try out. After assembling it, it appears to be a really solid platform with lots of space to mount electronics on it. It even has a cutout for a servo and a platform for a microprocessor such as an Aduino to snap into. As seen in the picture above, I hooked the four pre-wired motors into a breadboard to try it out.

With a fully-independent motor driving each of the four wheels, it should have all kinds of traction for a vehicle this size. The possible disadvantage of a setup like this is that there is some skidding while turning, but, as seen at the end of the video below, this doesn’t seem to be a problem for it whatsoever.

With boards such as the Arduino and Raspberry Pi on the market, the electronics available for creating robots and other projects are can be readily had. The mechanical side of things, however, seems more open for innovation, and it’s great to see relatively cheap mechanical robotics kits like this become available!

Salt Shaker Robot Windup Toys

salt shaker robot windup toys

I recently “won” these windup salt shaker robots as a white elephant gift over Christmas.  Although the salt shaker’s main gear seems to be slipping (see my repair attempt in the second video), they are some of the coolest toys utensils that I’ve gotten recently.  Here’s a video I made of them in action:

If you want a set of salt and pepper shaker robots for yourself, they’re available on Amazon for around $15.  Not exactly cheap, but where else can you get quality wind-up robots straight from the UK?  If you’re looking for a gift for an engineer, these would probably make him or her quite happy.  They’re “made from food grade plastic” according to the description, which, being a food implement, is probably a good thing.

As mentioned, the salt ‘bot seemed to not wind up as well as it should, so I took it apart to see Read more »

SC Maker Faire 2014 Results

As alluded to before, I showed off my MountainBeest at the Maker Faire in Columbia, SC.  Here’s a video of the results:

It was fun, and I had a good time at the event.  I tried to conserve battery in the morning, but the legs were functional the whole time.  Along with this, I’m happy that nothing shook loose or jammed “catastrophically.”  My GoPro ran out of juice after a few hours, but that’s not too bad since it was transferring video over WiFi.


The components I used from Servocity performed quite well, including the 6 RPM gearmotors that powered each set of legs, the PWM relay to allow them to be controlled, and the servo pan-tilt device that my GoPro was mounted on.  Thanks to them for their sponsorship, helping me to build this ‘Beest without breaking the bank too badly.

I was happy to meet everyone there, and thanks especially to Jay for setting up the event.  For a little broader look at the cool events there, check out my article on Make’s blog about this, or there’s a huge set of photos available here.