Friday, 31 October 2014

Up-cycled Up-lighter

I bought this up-lighter almost 20 years ago in B&Q. Back then it was fitted with a 500 watt halogen lamp, which was an expensive proposition even back then, so the light wasn't used much. I finally got round to modifying it to take a state-of-the-art LED G10 lamp using a recycled lamp fitting. It is just as bright as before and now uses...  4 watts! That's  a 125th of the electricity for the same light output. The cable is a bit heavy and I want to make sure the connections are 100 percent safe and secure before bringing the light into the house, but it works.

Free-roving Lego Technic classic robot

We had a security alert nearby yesterday (aka 'bomb scare!'), which was kind of coincidental as we had just finished building our own hazardous-working grab robot. The design is from Richard Pawson's 1986 robotics book, but I beefed-up the end effector (that's mad scientist speak for 'grab') to make it more robust and we are looking at mounting a ram device on top for forcing open suspicious packages!!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

LEGO Robotic Arm 2

This arm is a hybrid derived from several designs taken from two books and a 'classic' Lego Technic website. The books are -

'Make and Program Your Own Robots' by William Clark (1985, ISBN 0-0916-2890-3)

'Robot Projects' by Richard Pawson (1985, ISBN 0-7112-0419-5)

Both feature interfacing to the Sinclair Spectrum, so using an Arduino or Raspberry Pi would be really suitable alternatives. Clarke's book provides a simple microswitch design using paper clips that we have tried out.  I want to look at building an alternative motor with PWM control and optical feedback sometime.