When I saw the scribbler robot article in Make: 07, I had to make one. At first I thought it would be easy to get some steppers and boss them around with some software. Well that’s what needed to be done, but it wasn’t easy. Luckily I got a lot of the hardware issues out of the way by finding a medical robot that organized vials of blood off ebay to convert into my robot.
It came without any controllers so we slapped the Make: Controller on there and since the stepper motors were rated at 1.2 amps and the Make: Controller can only output 1 amp, I bought some Interinar microstepping drivers with very attractive heatsinks.
Then I needed help. I’ve never worked with robots and I could grok the hardware, but the software My friend 3ric held a robot-making get together and we recruited friends to help. Divide, Choong, Melvin, and Brian came onboard to help deal with the software issue. It turns out that it is really hard to get an image to turn into an outline that can get turned into code for the microcontroller to boss around the motors. We’re still working on this problem, right now we can get it to draw a star, but we’ve got a ways to go to get it to drawing faces.