This a code form another robotics project that I thought would work with the Hack-E-Bot. It uses a servo mounted sonar sensor to scan the room when it sees an obstetrical.
After cutting out and testing over 80 Hack-E-Bot chassis last weekend, I decided that it was time to post the new laser cut files.
The biggest changes were made to the wheels, line sensor section, and the front servo mount. The new files can be found on Thingiverse.
After the acid test that was the Portland Maker Fair, were 5 bots were run for 16 hours non stop, I found that the wheels needed to be updated. Originally I cut notches in the wheels to help overcome some traction issues. That did not really work on it’s own, so I added the rubber tires and everything was perfect. However, the notches started to eat through the rubber when the bot stopped or changed direction. I went through tires about once every 10 hours. So now I have removed the notches and made the wheels slightly larger to accommodate for the line sensor a bit more.
The new line sensor is actually two parts that screw into the base of the Hack-E-Bot. The line sensor itself has 2 spacers that bring it down to its most effective distance from the surface. Just behind the sensor is an extra ball wheel to keep the sensor from getting to close to the surface.
The front servo mount was changed so that the servo body can fit into the bracket. This gives you more options for mounting the servo and puts it in the best place for the 3D printable claw that will be coming soon.
Another small change was made to improve the way that parts fit together. Small circles have been cut in the corners of shapes that form a sharp angle. This should help to prevent the acrylic from cracking as well as getting a more even fit for assembled parts.
There is a file for the filled engraving and one for cutting. This is because the new cutter can’t handle loading the files at the same time and I have to load them separately.
The files are set up to do one chassis on an 8″ x 10″ or two chassis on a 10″ x 14″ piece of 1/8″ material.
I am working on a version that can be done on a CNC mill using a 1/8″ and 1/16″ end mill. That will be posted as soon as I get a good cut from it.
Dialing in the laser cutter settings for cutting out Hack-E-Bot chassis. I have to re-trace a few parts to get the settings right. The multiple passes produced flames in some spots.
The goal was to get the machine to cut the chassis as fast as possible with 1 pass. Unfortunately the cutter was not fine tuned and only cutting with about 50% power.
After some major work with aligning the mirrors and cleaning the lens, we got it up to almost full power in the end.
For more info about Hack-E-Bot, go to http://www.hackebot.com
Sorry for the lack of updates, but the last shipment of parts has just arrived.
I have been organizing and building on stuff as it has come in. I even got a bit of help doing servo mods last weekend. I now have all of the parts needed to fulfill the crowd funding rewards and it looks like we will be able to get it all sent out near December 1st as expected.
A few unexpected surprises have come up along the way. I found a really good line sensor that matches the price of the old one. It will require a slight change to the chassis cut files, but it works much better and does not require a change in programming. Aside from that, I discovered that the servos now only come with 1 mounting screw rather than the 2 that previously secured the Servo horn to each wheel. I tried to see if I could get things to work with just 1 screw, but ultimately I just ordered some replacement screws that should arrive soon.
I have been working with a new Makerspace and just cut a deal for some discounted machine time in exchange for help with workshops and what not. The first chassis will be cut this Saturday and photos will soon follow.
Instructions, for those who ordered the inbuilt kits, is underway and now that I have parts to assemble, I will be adding photos soon.
We are one step closer to having a visual programming environment with Ardublocks. A friend has figured out how to set up the Java environment so we can create new blocks to work with the Hack-E-Bot. I will try to have that going shortly after shipping, but for now getting the kits sent out is my priority.
Hack-E-Bot needs your help to finish funding for our first large order of parts.
We have a few more hours to go and we are so close to our goal. Even a $5 support donation is helpful, but we have donation levels to get your own robot for as little as $21 and bulk kits that are ideal for maker spaces.
Help support Hack-E-Bot now.
Everything helps and please spread the word.
To make things easier for makers, Maker Spaces, and robotics groups, we now have a listing for some less expensive DIY kits and a new bulk package.
These kits include all of the parts that are needed to build the Hack-E-Bot. However, you will have to do a bit more soldering and such to get this kit up and running.
It takes a lot of work to make the basic Hack-E-Bot kit an easy to assemble robots for smaller kids. For those that are willing to put in a little extra work to save some cash, we will ship you all the parts that you need. Some basic tools like a soldering iron, hot glue gun, wire strippers, a small phillips head screwdriver, and small pliers or a wire crimper are needed to make all of the DIY kits.
Some kits come with everything you need, and some leave out parts like the chassis or the microcontroller, the robot’s brain, so that you can customize the Hack-E-Bot any way that you want. These kits are good for people who would like to learn about soldering and how to assemble wire harnesses. This is also a good way to get older students to help younger students build a robot from scratch.
The chassis can be made at any maker space by using a laser cutter or 3D printer. All of the files are available for free on Thingiverse.com. Because the Hack-E-Bot uses generic servos and a good power supply, you can use it with a raspberry Pi, Intel Edison, Spark core, electric Imp, Arduino, or any other microcontroller that can support pulse width modulation, PWM.
A full tutorial on how to assemble the DIY kits is already in the works and will be available when your parts arrive.
This is a special edition Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M) version of the Hack-E-Bot. It is made out of stained and varnished wood with many additional embellishments. However, this is not just a nice looking piece of art, it is a fully functional modular robot that can do anything that a regular Hack-E-Bot can do… it just does it with more style.
[gallery type="rectangular" link="file" ids="1072,1069,1068" orderby="rand"]
To show off what this bot can do, it was programmed to perform a formal introduction, including a bow for the camera, before going into it standard object avoidance program.
A few of these special kits are available for purchase as part of our crowd funding campaign at Crowd Supply.
The original Hack-E-Bot kit was designed to start kids off with the Adafruit Trinket, a small Arduino chip, for use as the robots brain. The Trinket is quite powerful for it’s size but somewhat limiting for a robot. We have now decided to upgrade that brain to the Adafruit Trinket Pro with no additional change in the price of the kit.
Some limitations of the Trinket come down to it’s ATtiny85 processor. The 8K of flash memory and 512 bytes of RAM just will not support the full range of Arduino code. The Trinket also has 2 Digital pins and 3 Analog/Digital pins, though two of those pins are also used for programming the chip and that does present some issues.
On the other hand, the Trinket Pro uses the Atmega328P processor to provide 28K of flash memory, and 2K of RAM. The Trinket Pro can be programmed by using a USB cable or with an FTDI programmer, for more advanced access to the processor. The chip can also support many more sensors with 12 Digital pins and 6 Analog/Digital pins for a total of 18 dedicated GPIO pins to play with. This chip is almost identical to the Arduino Uno, but much smaller and will ensure that you have plenty of power for even the most complex robots.
This is like increasing the Hack-E-Bot’s brain power by over 300% and, as I said before, the price of the basic kit is not affected by this upgrade!
I got some parts to try out for the Hack-E-Bot the other day. The mos significant mod that I am working on at the moment is the option for a rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery to replace the 4AA batteries.
This will use the PowerBoost 500 Charger, 2200mAh Lithium Ion Cylindrical Battery, and a Pushbutton Toggle Switch for power.
Aside from that, I will be testing out the addition of LEDs to add some color feedback, and a Piezo Buzzer to add some audio “Bleep Bloop”.
So keep an eye out for more cool stuff soon.
Yesterday we kicked off crowd funding on Crowd Supply as part of the Portland Maker Faire. All of the kids were mesmerized by the autonomous movement of brightly colored robots.
We have a few support levels that will let you get a Hack-E-Bot of your very own. Please head over to crowdsupply.com to get started.
All the kids had loads of fun and showed off their robots at the end of the day. We also got a lot of really good feedback on how to make things easy and fun for kids to get their robots going.
Some of the kids had a little programming experience and as soon as we showed them how to program the Hack-E-Bots, they were happy to help others out and get them going as well.
It was a super fun experience and we can’t wait to do this again.
[gallery type="rectangular" ids="953,954,955,956,959"]
Hack-E-Bot will be at the Portland Maker Faire on Saturday September 13th and Sunday the 14th as part of the Crowd Supply booth. This will also be the kick off of our first crowd funding campaign to get our first large batch of kits out into the wild.
As part of this display, we will have some examples of the basic kits for people to try out as well as some kits that have been expanded to enable Wi-Fi control and more advanced functionality. Since information is a big focus for us, we will also have the website on display and I will be there to answer any questions about the Hack-E-Bot.
This will be an interactive display, so please feel free to interact with the robots that we will have running around at the boot and we can even help you try your hand at programming one.
The Portland Mini Maker Faire is at:
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
1945 SE Water Ave.
Portland, OR 97214-3354
Saturday September 13th from 10am – 5pm
Sunday September 14th from 10am – 5pm
[gallery link="file" ids="946,945,944,942,943"]
I will be showing off a Hack-E-Bot that has been outfitted with an Electric Imp today on the Adafruit Show and Tell, 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PST. To show off what it can do, I’m going to let anyone with an Android device control the robot live.
All you need to do is download the app by going to:
or scan this Qr code and install the app.
You may need to change your settings to allow 3rd party apps to be installed. After that, just wait for the show and when you see the orange robot, you can start sending it commands.
Things may get a little crazy because I have never tried this with multiple users before. So please try punching in just a few commands and wait for a bit after sending.
Yesterday we began shooting video for the launch of our crowd funding campaign at Crowd Supply.
We worked for many hours to record conversations about the project including decisions around hardware, manufacturing processes, how RaaSIO is already planning a delivery path for educational groups. It was many hours of recordings that are to be used for the intro video as well as more technical videos for those that want to know about how this product was developed.
The hardest part for me was recording the call to action and asking people to support the campaign. I truly love the creation process, but when it comes to asking for financial support, I often have a hard time putting that into words. I have always said that I am not in this for the money however, without funding I can not bring this project to the people who need it most. That is ultimately what drives me to overcome my reluctance to ask for funding. I am no good to anyone if I can’t even pay my own bills.
So, we will have some exciting new opportunities for people to get involved and help inspire more children to become the next generation of Scientists, Engineers, and Artist.