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Robots & Dinosaurs is located in 10/27 Bank st, Meadowbank . We’re open Saturdays from about 11am and some weeknights, but you should check by asking on our mailing list.

New space!

The hackerspace has MOVED!

After a lot of messing about, we finally moved shop and are settling in nicely to our new address, 10/27 bank st Meadowbank! It’s right across the road from Meadowbank station.

We still have of work to do settling in but so far the new space has a much cleaner, brighter and friendlier vibe, so we are all excited and thankful it is over! Below is a time lapse I made of the unpacking.

Housewarming to come soon!

In which we make a wool carding machine for an Alpaca

One of our members, Judit, had a bit of a challenge recently when she got an Alpaca fleece and needed to card it. 

Wool ‘carding’ is the process of teasing and aligning the fibres to remove knots, and it must be done before spinning the wool. Carding machines are vey expensive, but the actual carding brushes are fairly cheap, so we designed a laser-cut set of drums and frame to make our own machine: 

Two power drills provide motion. The process is not quite as gentle as you’d expect…

But the results were pretty respectable: 

Next step is getting practice on our spinning wheel to make thread:

Lasercutters & Lamps

Here’s a few projects that have been made in the space recently: 

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Here’s Judit’s Hippo & Fox:

Max also finished his scratch-built lasercutter recently. Here’s  it being used by one of our young members: 

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eTextiles - Sewable Circuit Workshop

Here’s some pics of the sewable circuit workshop that we had recently:

Justin showing the group how to use conductive thread:

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LEDs, switches and batteries stitched into fabric: 

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Annika’s awesome stitched circuit board:

Jars and jars of parts to choose from:

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Big big thanks to Justin for coming along and giving us the workshop!

Gerard’s Moulding Box

Here’s a project one of our members, Gerard, made recently:

Well, not so much assembled at the space, but certainly made made far more easily and elegantly with the help of the laser cutter :)

The table is to help remove air bubbles from the condensation cure moulding rubber I’ve been using and it seems to work quite well.

It’s just a small DC motor with an eccentric disc attached to the rotor, and clamped to the table with a bracket printed on an UP printer. 

The table sits on a foam block to minimise the amount of energy escaping into the work bench, and to reduce noise (though the thing is still surprisingly noisy).

As an aside, Dave gave me the idea of 3D printing the masters for the moulds onto a flat plate to ensure an even parting line. I’ve done that and also 3D printed reusable mould boxes.

Some photos attached.

Gerard

Here’s the moulds:

The table itself. The wood is lasercut and the corners and motor mounts are 3D printed:

And assembled, ready for use: 

ROS Workshop wrapup and pics

Hi All, Gav here.

Last Saturday I ran a workshop in the space on ROS, the Robot Operating System.

We had a great attendance, and lots of good back and forth about how to make a robot and what sort of stuff is possible.

Slides and materials are up here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38462165@N05/sets/72157633235758439/

Here’s the quick and dirty map we made on the day: 

And I’d highly recommend getting into ROS if you’re interested in robotics. There are tons of ready made software stacks out there and you can use them with very little change. There’s nothing more frustrating than reinventing the wheel. 

Also, there’s been enough interest that we’ve started a new Sydney ROS Users group here:

https://groups.google.com/group/sydney_ros?hl=en

And we’ll be having a monthly get-together in the Robots and Dinosaurs space to discuss things. Next ROS meeting is 27th April at noon.

 

Feel free to come along and bring your project for show and tell!

RND BBQ special: Water balloon launcher!

In preparation for the up-and-coming RND BBQ, we tested our first water balloon launcher design. 

It was super simple, only cost $15 and threw a water water balloon over 50m! with some simple mods it should have fairly repeatable accuracy but that’s for others to figure out, I’m going to test a different design… :)
Now we just need a castle made out of tissue paper…

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Happy Hacking!!

Introducing RND-Announce!

The hottest new place or Robots and Dinosaurs official announcements! 

Subscribe today and be kept up to date on club events, functions and meetings without all the fun of the main list :)

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/rnd-announce

The Flightscythe

Here’s a quick post of a recent project at the space called the Flightscythe.

We modified a cheap ‘bixler' remote control aircraft. This is readily available, can be driven like a glider or under constant power, and has plenty of room to mount extras like FPV gear or electronics. It's also very forgiving in crashes, as you can probably tell from the tape at the front. 

Testing was a lot of fun, but sadly the airframe succumbed to crashes after a few tries. With a new carbon fibre strut it should be up and running again in the future.

Code and implementation details are available here: https://sites.google.com/site/mechatronicsguy/flightsycthe

Robots and Dinosaurs Holiday-Inspired Rocket Powered Drag Racing Championship

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Well last weekend was the RnD Christmas party and the RADHIRPDRC!

We had a good sized and enthusiastic turnout, with some really awesome and original designs. Everyone had 2-3 cars each, some serious, some not-so-serious. The best time of the day was 0.686 seconds with a half dozen cars clocking in below 0.75. Over the 18m track that’s fairly impressive!
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First place of the day was given to Scott’s Ground effect sled, which picked up of the ground and glided almost perfectly!
Honourable mentions go to John ‘Madox’ for his 3d-printed monster (at first I thought he had installed booster rockets!), Frank for his beautifully detailed printed sled  Rudolph-1, Ada for her deadly ‘Mr Squiggle’ inspired spear and Max for having the most Christmas cheer :)
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Some impressive photography by Scott - This is my rather fragile laser-cut sled speeding towards it’s death.
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Here is a video compilation of some of the action from Madox and more pictures are on the RnD Flickr group 
Of course, being a Christmas party at the end of the day we all had pavlova. Unfortunately quite a few had left by this point and 7 of us had to eat the pavlova that claims it serves 20.
We did OK.
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Until next time, Happy Hacking!