An update on the MMZ Arduino Marble Roller project. We got the mechanics in place and a reliable system for transferring the marble to the top of the ramp via servo motor.
Because it is the job of the servo motor to simply move the platform up and down as opposed to accomplishing significant amounts of work, we counter balanced the ramp with a spring to assist the servo in lifting it.
Eli does a great job explaining it in this video:
We made a wooden shield out of 3/4″ hardwood plywood. To get the perimeter, we bent an aluminum bar into the shape of one side, and then used it to trace both sides, making it symmetrical.
We softened a section of 4″ PVC pipe and flattened one side. After plenty of sanding the endges, we screwed it to the back of the shield with 3/4″ screws.
We cut the handle out of a section of 2×4 on the bandsaw, routed, and sanded it smooth. Here are the pictures! All done but a coat of gold or silver paint.
Today we devised a way to (hopefully) raise the marbles from the bottom of the track to the top using a servo motor. It is rather obvious at this point that we did not plan our initial track high enough and the end of it is too low. Oh well, version 1 is usually that way, right?
Here is an update to the marble roller project. We are using foam board and hot glue for construction. This is a surprisingly strong construction method for prototyping and projects like this.
In the foreground is a new stepper motor. Not sure if we will be using it or not for this project yet.
I got a cool little 4-wire bipolar stepper motor and wanted to drive it via Arduino.
I based the design on this reference:
http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/StepperBipolarCircuit (credit for following image belongs there as well)
Here is how it looks for real. Kind of a mess of wires, but you know what? It works great.
We found a bird nest with eggs in it recently. A few days later — no eggs!
I grabbed this mosquito at the gas station and took a picture.
The kids and I are building a Arduino powered marble roller. It is a “demo” project for us to learn how to use servos, steppers, input, output, lights, transistors, h-bridges, and so on and so forth.
Hot-glue and foam-board are a great prototyping material!
This is a photograph of the sunset from Altoona looking toward the Wopsi / Buckhorn / Horseshoe Curve mountains.