I’ve been obsessing about making a drawing robot ever since I saw the article about scribbler robots in the current volume of Make: . Many people have made drawing robots and they have inspired me to want my own or at least give it my best shot. If I am successful, I will be able to use it like a new printing process in photography.
That’s a stepper motor on the left and motor with encoder on the right. Both of these things come in all sizes. I made a little drawing machine out of a printer, but left it in the main offices in Sebastapol last time I was there. I’ll have someone shoot some pics of it and I’ll post those later in the week.
Now the article in Make: doesn’t give specific instructions or have any software to download, but I figure that I can handle the hardware and that I might be able to get help with the software and connecting it all up to a microcontroller. Since I am new to this, I’m depending on my friends and Make: readers for support in learning how to make, wire up, and program a drawing robot.
I started by ripping apart some old printers to find some stepper motors and optical encoders, shopped ebay, and 3ric gave me a cool contraption that used to be tape flipper for a tape drive complete with optical encoder motors. He also taught me a bit about stepper motors and motors with encoders.
In tomorrow’s post I’ll rip open a stepper and an encoder and take a look at their guts.
More pics after the jump.
So this is a picture of the thing I got off ebay. From my research it is a little bit of a cnc kind of machine that will organize vials of blood in a medical context. i like that it tells what the voltage is and how degrees per step.
This is another view of the medical cnc ebay thing. It’s got a very clever system of pullies so that it is an xyz machine. That means that the motors can make it go left/right, forward/back, and up/down. This means that I should be able to program it to lift the pen up.
Here is a view of the contraption that 3ric gave me. It’s controlled with long poles that have screws on them and the motors make the screws turn and push things around.
Here’s another view so you can see the screws.
I am a microcontroller newbie. I will need help in figuring out how to hook this up.
I bought this microcontroller right off the advertisement at the top of the page. I like how teeny it is. I don’t think that I’ll be able to get enough current through this to run my drawing robot unless I make a teeny tiny one… I like teeny tiny robots, so that sounds very tempting.