Can you help our open source Java projects?

April 23rd, 2014

I’m preparing an update for the Makelangelo 3 program. I’d like to release it this Friday.

Try the current Windows version

Try the Mac version

I thought that writing a program in Java would make life easier for everyone. Turns out there are some gotchas. Java is installed a little bit different on each version of Windows, which makes life difficult for everyone.

I really want all the programs I’ve released in the last few years to be as easy to run as Arduino or Minecraft, but I don’t have the knowledge to make it happen. Can you show me how? I’ll take anything that works!

See the Github project here

PancakeBot Update

April 21st, 2014

The PancakeBot is turning out delicious breakfasts one fancy shape at a time. I’m proud that some of our gcodecncdemo code has been used as the brain inside this CNC machine.

Click for larger versions of each image. Here’s the completed machine.


Simple enough for anyone to use.


I asked for a pancake shaped like a Dalek from Doctor Who and Miguel delivered.


Would you be interested in a PancakeBot of your own?

A Jigsaw Puzzle For the Blind

April 19th, 2014

laser cut jigsaw tardis art

I’ve had a dumb idea clonking around in my head for at least a decade: a jigsaw puzzle for the blind.  When I was young I would see carved stone reliefs and wish I could touch them.  I thought the blind might really enjoy them.  When I joined the reddit puzzle exchange my giftee asked for a jigsaw and I knew: it was time.

Read the rest of this entry »

2014-04-18 Site updates

April 18th, 2014

Added an SSL certificate.  Surf in private, shop with confidence.

Added an R&D subforum.  This is for people stuck on a robotics challenge that need a bit of help. I’ve listed 4 items to start it off.

Added “learn” to our top level menu that will take you to our education Wiki.

Adding a new product banner every day of the work week until they’re all done.

Hooray for small victories!  One step at a time.

Special thanks to VHS member “Robbat2″ for his amazing linux know how.  You rock!

PancakeBot prepares for the Paris Maker Faire

April 18th, 2014

pancakebot eiffel tower

The latest version of PancakeBot is coming to the Paris MakerFaire.  Did you know it uses GcodeSender and a version of our gcodecncdemo code?  I’d love to show you some of the other tasty morsels Miguel has been sharing with me but I have to wait until he gives the OK.

Training an Open Source 3DOF Palletizing Robot part 2

April 17th, 2014

arms colliding

If you’ve followed the story so far from the beginning you’ll know that I have been building a program to simulate and train my robot arms.  In the program there are virtual copies of my real robots.  The real and virtual models are be synchronized 1:1 when connected.

It looks like the virtual robots in my simulator now have collision detection: they understand when they are touching each other.  That means I can make sure that the real robots are incapable of slamming into each other by giving the virtual robots more personal space than the real robots.  I’ve already made sure that they can’t bend in impossible ways or go through the table.  Now kids can drive the robot with relative safety – as long as they don’t get in it’s way, there shouldn’t be any accidents.

Get update 14 of the open source code from Github.

Next step is to record & playback animations.

Frankly, I’m kind of amazed at the framerate I’m getting for brute-force OpenGL graphics in Java in Debug mode.  I still remember using assembler code to draw triangles one pixel at a time in mode 13h.

Making Sense of Vending Machine Multidrop Bus Communications

April 17th, 2014

MDB wiriing

I’m hacking a vending machine to take BitCoins and I’ve made my work open source. Read all about it and get the code

Microscopic assembly line robots are the most beautiful new thing I’ve seen all month

April 17th, 2014

And now… your moment of Zen.

Arm3 dimension drawing

April 15th, 2014

I’ve just added a dimension drawing of the base for the Arm3 robot to the ROBO-0023 Arm3 product page. This way you should be able to integrate it into your automation solution more easily. I’ve also updated the description with a special section that covers the technical abilities of the Arm3.

FANUC Self-Assembling Robots

April 14th, 2014 robotics user newgenome heard about my project and sent in this video of self-assembling FANUC robots arms. SFW automation porn fiesta commences now:

So it seems I’m not the first to achieve this goal… but I can still be the first in the open source community. Opportunity Awaits!