Category Archives: ROBOTICS

A New Beest From MDF


Pushing the ‘Beest

If you’ve been following this blog recently, you may have noticed that there are posts about repairing things or trying things out, but not much in the way of original creations. I suppose this isn’t totally original, since this type of walking “beest” isn’t mine, but it may be the first one made out of MDF (medium density fiberboard).

I designed it to walk on eight legs as my first try using only four didn’t really work out walking-wise (but made for a nice display). Usually these kinds of things use legs, but that seemed like too much work both on me and on the motors. Four legs seemed like it almost worked, so eight would work, if not as smooth as twelve. Or so I thought.


Original notes and design on water-jet cut ‘Beest

MDF was selected because is seems to be mechanically more stable than normal plywood, and I arranged for it to be water-jet cut from a CAD file I came up with. This worked quite well, and the water didn’t affect it too much when cut. However, one thing I didn’t consider was that MDF is quite heavy. You can it being tried out, as well as more pictures of the process after the “read more” link thing.

I envisioned Read more »

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 »