Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This is my version of a color changing chameleon lamp. You can buy them but I wanted to see if I could do it. I'm using a color sensor made from a light dependant resistor, a RGB led and a Picaxe 18m2. The Picaxe also drives another RGB led for the color output. 
The chameleon is pretty crappy as far as papercraft goes, but I had to make it like that so the light would diffuse through the head and tail. Still not completely happy with it because you can see the shadow of the electronics in the base. Still, the color sensing works ok.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Arc Reactor.
My iron man arc reactor is made from paper and card-stock. Inside it has a 9v battery connected to a 5v regulator powering an ultra bright white led. There are two wires with pin connectors coming out the back so i can power my breadboard projects with it.

I designed all the parts in Inkscape after looking at some images of arc reactors on Google.

This is the inner core that holds the battery and the 5v regulator (on the back of the perf board). The green and white wires connect to the led. There is are small switch on the back where the power leads exit.I made this section from 3mm foamboard. The whole thing fits snugly into the main body.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I made this little paper lighthouse one afternoon when i had a couple of hours to spare. I designed it in Inkscape before printing on some thin cardstock.
I'm using a picaxe 08 processor to "pulse" a white led every two seconds to give the impression of the light rotating into view and then away.
The picaxe ramps the led brightness from off to full and back again over the space of a few seconds to achieve the effect.

   Cutting the railing was a real pain as it is very thin. 
That's why it looks a bit warped.
I used sandpaper to roughen the surface of the led to diffuse the light and make it more visible from the side.
The chip and led are powered by two AA cells. They both fit easily inside the tower.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Micro Robot Arm.
This little arm is made from foam board with a paper outer layer. I designed the parts in Inkscape then printed them out and glued them to foam board before assembly. It uses three micro servos and a Picaxe 08M2.
It stands 130mm high and has a reach of 150mm. The batteries are AAA so you can see it is not very big.

Because of the paper and foam board construction it is very light and strong.

You can see two of the servos in the photo the third is in the base.

I'm using a tv remote to control the arm. I can move each servo and then save the position. I can then play back a sequence of moves.

The next task is to try and make some sort of gripper.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cardboard Robot Beetle.
A cardboard robot controlled by a radio control set. Three servos are used, one for each "pair" of legs.The cardboard came from the box I got my vacuum cleaner in. It had a nice black finish on one side.

The design is something  I came up with when I had no money to buy processors but I did have a radio control set from my model aircraft phase.
To make him walk you move the control sticks on the transmitter in a simple sequence.
He will walk forward, back, left and right very easily.

The receiver and battery pack fit underneath between the middle and back legs. Some of you may wonder how i can make him turn with the way the servos are configured. Well there's a little trick to the design that makes it possible. 

There's a short video of it walking on youtube. You can see it here.

Yep, it's cardboard.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fans of Stargate may recognize this cube.
It's my version of the device made by the Goauld Telchak that was found in a ruined temple in South America by Daniel Jackson and Dr Lee.

I'm going to mount a small battery and white led inside it but for now it sits on top of a 3-AA cell battery pack. I need to change the current limiting resistor to dim the led a bit more. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


My papercraft goldfish mounted on a servo and controlled by a Picaxe 08m.

He turned out ok except I have to do some work on the eyes.

On a breadboard for now while i play with the code for the picaxe. At the moment he "swims" by oscillating the servo. He pauses occasionally and changes direction.

The Picaxe processors are perfect for this kind of work.
They are coded in basic and are easy to use.

Ok, it's weeks later and I finally got around to mounting him in a bowl.
I printed a pic of some gravel and cut it to fit the top of the bowl. The servo, controller and battery all fit in the bottom.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Papercraft Robot Scorpion.

This little scorpion moves around controlled by a TV remote control. It has a PIcaxe microcontroller for a brain and uses two tiny motors and a lipo battery from a toy helicopter for power.

The main body fits over the base which holds all the hardware. There is a small hole at the front of the body and base to allow the infrared receiver signals from the remote in.

The Picaxe sits in an ic socket. The motor drivers and the infrared receiver are soldered onto the socket pins.
I used two surface mount transistors for the motor drivers.

The motors poke through the bottom of the base and have small sections of silicon tubing for wheels.

The motors are quite powerful and I had to use pulse width modulation to act as a throttle and slow them down otherwise he would be far too fast to control.