Drawing Robots

  • In the two weeks that they were here, Arlo and Matthew designed and built a working drawing robot. They went through many different iterations and prototypes until arriving on a final product; the technology that the team used included four motors and an Arduino micro controller.

            Their first idea was to have a robot which walked around using pens for legs, like a spider. They envisioned that the robot would modify the drawing by changing up the direction and speed that each of its legs move. The team started by sketching out their idea and planning how they would make their robot. After a lot of thought they decided that trying to make a robot walk like a spider would be too much work for two people to do in only two weeks, so they went back to the drawing board.

             The next Idea that they came up with was to have a square-based robot with four downward facing motors. Each of these motos would have a drawing utensil stuck to the bottom of it. This drawing utensil would draw a pattern when the motor would run. They team started building the robot by first cutting out a square base and zip-tying a motor on each corner. Next they wired each of the motors to an Arduino which they put in the middle of the base. They then proceeded to program each of the motors to move in the same direction.

        When trying out the robot the team realized that it did not move very well so they brainstormed ways that they could improve the movement. They hoped that if they would attach larger disks to the motors it would be able to get more traction and move the robot faster. The team tried out the theory and it worked!

        The next step in the process was to start making drawings. At first the team tried taping large pieces of chalk to the disks on the bottom of the motors. When they tested it the lines that the chalk made were not dark enough to see. Since that did not work they tried using charcoal sticks. Charcoal sticks worked a lot better but they only could draw with black. The team decided that using oil pastels would be the best way to draw so they ordered them.

        Next the team worked on making the robot look nicer. The first thing they did was re-cut the square base of the robot bigger. They then  wanted to make a top for the robot. They brainstormed and came up with two final ideas - a pyramid cover and a rectangular prism cover. After some thought they picked the rectangular prism cover because it would have more volume than the pyramid.

        The final thing they needed to do was experiment making different drawings. The team had three different variables that they could modify to make different drawings and those were; speed of motor, direction of motor, and color of pastels.

        Arlo and Matthew ended up making many cool different drawings and they learned a lot about programming and design. The presentation and demonstration of the robot went well. Arlo and Matthew were proud of the robot that they created.

     

    • 08/01/13 AT 3:35 PM
    • in Circles
    • Privacy: Everyone
  • The draft below is incomplete...

    Today we pretty much finished our first prototype of our drawing robot. It is made with four motors plugged into an Arduino. We used the Arduino to program the motors to run and do different things, it is working well right now and we hope the the pen legs will work out.

    We decided that it would be too hard to use the leg design so we made a change in the. Our new design has the motors on the bottom of the car which will make move differently. We are not sure if want to have the wheels have brushes on them like a street sweeper, or put pastels on the wheels and have them drive on those. 

  • During NuVu's summer session 2, Isabella and Catie have been at work planning, making, testing and tweaking a creation of their design. After brainstorming, the two girls came up with the exciting idea of having a robotic device create artwork through the use of rotating magnets.

    The original thought was to mix iron fillings in with paint poured on a sheet of paper. The robot would then begin spinning magnets mounted to gears of differing sizes in circles beneath the paper. This would pull and draw the paint around the paper in interesting patterns as if by an unseen hand.

    Having refined this idea, Catie and Isabella jumped right into building their concept robot. Using a combination of two programs called Gear Generator and SketchUp, the girls modeled on the computer each of the component pieces of this dynamic, magnetic table. These files were then used by a laser-cutter to cut out the parts in a combination of wood and acrylic Plexiglas. They then assembled these pieces over the course of a number of sticky rounds of gluing!

    While waiting for glue and paint to dry, the two jumped into the electrical and programming aspects of their project. Catie and Isabella started out by wiring in place two high precision motors called servos - one to drive the gear system and a second to pour paint from a cup suspended above the paper. The servos were then hooked up to a microcontroller called an Arduino which in turn speaks to each of these motors - acting as the brains of the drawing robot.

    Most entertaining of all however was a discovery that Isabella made while wiring. She found out that she could run the servo by touching its signal wire. Incidentally this type of motor ordinarily requires highly precise electrical pulses on microsecond level to be applied to this pin in order to operate. Neither Catie nor the intern helping out on the project had much luck when they tried their hands at it (no pun intended). We are suspicious that Isabella is using magic.

  • Arlo, Max and Matthew tested their pen-walking robot. Check out the video.

  • We added some wooden circles on the motors to give the robot some more movement. After this we taped some chalk to the bottom of the circles. We tested it out and got an interesting result. The chalk didn't show up too well, so we switch to graphite. The graphite showed up much better.

  • We decided that it would be too hard to use the leg design so we made a change in the. Our new design has the motors on the bottom of the car which will make move differently. We are not sure if want to have the wheels have brushes on them like a street sweeper, or put pastels on the wheels and have them drive on those. 

  • Undergoing constant and rapid developments, robots nowadays are more capable than ever. Modern robots are used for a wide range of purposes and domains, including factory and industrial work, dangerous and inaccessible tasks, mining, healthcare, and research purposes, among many others. Robots can also be used for more than just tedious, repetitive tasks. Their high precision capabilities open the door for use in a variety of recreational and innovative purposes, which brings us to our studio subject of Drawing Robots.

    In this studio, students will design and build robots that are capable of creating art, both autonomously, and in a controlled fashion. The process of building will include hardware, electronics, and coding. This studio blends the scientific, and highly analytical process of robot building with the imaginative aspect of art creation.

     

 
  • Undergoing constant and rapid developments, robots nowadays are more capable than ever. Modern robots are used for a wide range of purposes and domains, including factory and industrial work, dangerous and inaccessible tasks, mining, healthcare, and research purposes, among many others. Robots can also be used for more than just tedious, repetitive tasks. Their high precision capabilities open the door for use in a variety of recreational and innovative purposes, which brings us to our studio subject of Drawing Robots.

    In this studio, students will design and build robots that are capable of creating art, both autonomously, and in a controlled fashion. The process of building will include hardware, electronics, and coding. This studio blends the scientific, and highly analytical process of robot building with the imaginative aspect of art creation.

     

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