Profile

Cover photo
Mark Miller
209 followers|976,961 views
AboutPostsYouTube

Stream

Mark Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
The 2015 Hackaday Prize has Launched. What will you Enter?

Last year we challenged you to build the next generation of connected devices. Six months later, the best teams and projects from around the world battled for the greatest prize of all: the respect of their peers and a trip to space. This year, we’re…

#hackadayprize   #socialgood   #competition   #hackathon   
3 comments on original post
1
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

➥ Project/Product photos  - 
 
Going all analog with the ultrasonic.
 I created this ultrasonic sensor from transistors, a 555 chip and a few passives. The output is a set of relay contacts(and an led indicator).
 The idea was to make it stupidly simple, cheap and standalone to activate things without any additional circuitry. The transducers are surplus that I had a bunch of from the old days and are 24 khtz. I squished it all down on a small pcb, sent the boards out to get made, and promptly forgot all about it.
 The boards arrived a few weeks ago and today I stuck one together quick. Works very well-Adjustable out to about 3 feet, far more than I need for my purposes.
 Of course you can buy this type sensor board on Ebay cheap as dirt, but there was a certain satisfaction in making it from scratch, and no controller, programming etc. needed to make it work.
30
2
Basile Laderchi's profile photoMark Miller's profile photoJeramy Brian's profile photoKarl Atwerk's profile photo
8 comments
 
+James Garry 1001 uses! 
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

➥ Robotics  - 
 
Tiny steppers!
I found these on Ebay here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/171429116239?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I got some because they were cheap, and to find out how much torque they had, and possible applications.
 As they photo shows, they are tiny.....The ribbon cable is bigger than the motor as is the header I used for testing. You need to be careful soldering to these, as they do not tolerate overheating whatsoever.
 The gear that comes on the thing was useless- so I got out my plastic gear assortment(also Ebay)and found a gear in the mix that pressed right on the shaft with my fingers.The one that comes with it pops off easily with your fingernail.
After checking continuity, I cranked it up and they work perfect with a surprising amount of torque. All the other assorted gears I can now use to get some kind of useful torque and shaft size for an application. It is going to be a challenge just mounting it.
 Certainly not for everyone, but is kinda fun to play with on the cheap.
 Another amazing discovery-There are even smaller motors to be had.
 Loads of fun for a few dollars. That's a good day for me.
 Will post whatever I end up making with them.
27
2
Mark Miller's profile photoPhillipe Cantin's profile photoShane Gough's profile photo
2 comments
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

➥ Project/Product photos  - 
 
A blast from the past-TTL logic 4 bit computer plays tic tac toe against a human(me). I named it "Nibbler"
 I made this years back just to see if it could be done. I scratch built several versions of 4 bit computers, and made some simple programs to run motorized things. This prompted me to build this experiment to see if I could make a program smart enough on a machine with very small resources play a game and not lose. The larger computer was the first machine I built(actually rebuild/recreate as I originally designed this in the 70's) which ran the game and the second smaller version was just used as a human input terminal.
 I played dozens of games against the machine, and each time it was a draw unless I let the machine win(to be sure it could).

 As a side note, I designed PCB's for these computers a year or so back and thus can now build them without all the jumper wires and hap-hazard layout. Still fun to play with, but still lots of chips to solder. The game board really turned out awesome.
I trimmed the video down to just one game-it gets tedious watching after a few, even though each game is different, the outcome is the same.
A little more detail and info about these computers is on my profile page.
28
1
Chris Chadwick's profile photoMark Miller's profile photoLaimonas Mockus's profile photoS S M Varaprasad Chodapaneedi's profile photo
5 comments
 
ping +HACKADAY 
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
Low tech annunciators for machines, robots and projects.
 I made these to solve the attention span problem I get when doing several things at once. I start a CNC machine and go do something else while it is running, but forget to check it, and change stock for a new part, or other similar chores. It is also helpful when running experiments just to have something tell you when an event is about to happen, or when a sequence is finished. Finally, I wanted these to add to some of my robots to tell bystanders that the robot is running and to be ready for sudden starts or stops.
 I chose to use all inexpensive ready made parts for this project, commonly available on Ebay. The three main parts are the ISD 1820 recording module, the strip amplifier, and the level meter. I mounted all these on a custom PCB that provides for a power supply, interface IC's, and an I/O port in case it was needed(mute the TV, radio etc.). The board is unnecessarily big, but it matches the board footprint of my controller boards, as well as my custom driver boards, thus can be stacked with the other modules. The annunciator boards can also be stacked for multiple use on a single application. I use a text to speech program to record the message for the application and its ready for use. Each unit cost under 5$ to make if you shop carefully.
I used the amplifier module as the sound level was not enough when a machine is running for more volume. In some applications it can be turned down. The audio level meter is helpful to set the volume for a specific application although I admit may be overkill.
While there are certainly more techy ways to do this, I like the simple nature of not having to make or do much to get these running.
another application I have found is a doorbell, as well as being able to plug in a variety of sensors a record a message specific to that sensor. The example in the video clip is for my newest multi-arm robot, and alerts folks to beware the moving arms thus avoiding getting whacked.
 An SD card system would be bunches more techno but those are not as cheap yet. I don't normally do things this way, but it seems to work just fine.
5
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

➥ Project/Product photos  - 
 
My newest linear tube actuator design. This time I used a simple motor which can operate from 5 to 12 volts, some inexpensive gears from Ebay, and a clear block of lexan to make the driving gearbox. Really pretty simple build, a total cost of less than 3$ in materials, and a very powerful powerful mechanism as a result.
 The feed rate at 5 volts is 1/2 inch per second and about 1 1/4 inches per second at 12 volts.
No plans for use yet, but am going to make several more in various lengths to experiment with and gather some force data.
You can look at my profile page for other builds of actuators in the past.
15
2
Thomas Manz's profile photoNicholas Cantrell's profile photo
Add a comment...
Have them in circles
209 people
altLab DIT's profile photo
David Elbakidze-Machavariani's profile photo
SinoVoip(banana pi)'s profile photo
HerArt SheLoves's profile photo
Fabio Gaddi's profile photo
Todd Fleming's profile photo
Madelene Crowe's profile photo
Dat Chu's profile photo
Charlie Watson AKA Chuckcrunch's profile photo

Mark Miller

➥ Project/Product photos  - 
 
A game of mechanical pong...
I made this to try and find some uses for the tiny stepper driven linear actuators I had posted about here earlier(see my profile page), and as a test of outrageous machine/motion control I decided to try a simple game.
The game of pong seemed easy at first- the traveling ball, a paddle to return the ball, and a sensor to track hits and scoring.
 As it turns out, not quite as straightforward as imagined. I wrestled with this for several days just getting the easy part going smoothly. The ball traveling back and forth, changing trajectories and adding some randomness was just a bit nightmarish. Of course, now it is easy because I finally figured it out and simplified it. The ball travel is shown running in the video at half speed. To score you not only have to return the ball but strike it dead center in the paddle. To add more difficulty to the game, the faster you make the ball go, the slower the paddle responds.
 The ball travel speed is changed with the joystick. pushing the stick up adds ball speed, down makes it slower. Pressing down on the joystick resets the game to start over.
 The joystick was made from a standard ps2 type, and I added a pcb or two to convert it to a 4 position digital output switch. I have used these in my small machine making also.
 I also made use of my audio annunciators designed earlier for other projects(the post on that is also on my profile page, and reported here). I still need to add a third for the ball sound when it is struck.
The VFD display shown, I have patched in for a score board. The photos and video show all the components used and the mechanical layouts.
 The electronics will get reduced way down to single small board.(Handheld game!)
The last experiment was to try and play the gave through video-That video is shown after the normal game play(live).
8
1
Constantin Gheorghe's profile photoShane Gough's profile photo
 
very clean and tech stack of modules, chapeau
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
Tiny Steppers! A follow-up post for:

https://plus.google.com/117449506018831131711/posts/FnTeWgNdz1P

 As I reported earlier in the above post, I had found these tiny steppers on Ebay, and have just made this small actuator from one and the gears from the assortment described in the post.
 Works pretty well, not as much torque as a servo, but can be commanded to an angular degrees by inputting step info from a controller.
 The block shown as the mounting media is a scrap of lexan. This could me made smaller, but is getting to my limits on tiny stuff fabrication.
 Honestly, I still have no application in mind for these, but have played with them diligently since receiving them.
 One thing to note-I make my own controllers and drivers, but you can drive these with the easydriver module. Be sure to dial back the current control if you run them continuous as they will heat up quick.
The easydriver modules can be had on Ebay here for 1.98$ each:
 http://www.ebay.com/itm/271807820391?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
I have found them even cheaper-you need to shop around a bit.
2
Slava Petrov's profile photoMark Miller's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Slava Petrov I actually made such a machine back in the 90's for cutting tape for wrapping wiring harnesses! That's a possibility! 
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

➥ Project/Product photos  - 
 
Blast from the past- Robot boxing project turns 10 years old.
 I started working on these ten years ago, and this was the first-Batt'lin Maxo, to really be a cool design. It started out a much simpler machine and just kept evolving. Of course it's no fun just having one single fighter, you need at least two, so I made the second shown in the video. There are two others, built after 2010 also.
The idea behind boxing robots was never to have them beat each other to pieces, but score with embedded sensors and keep actual damage to a minimum, but I did have repairs to make more often than I liked.
 One of the most fun projects I made, never regret the hours and work required to get these going.
 These are nearly 5 feet tall, heavy, and hard to transport. I keep them safely stored and preserved, but do get them out occasionally for fun or events.
 Recently they were included in a Popular Mechanics story called "61 things robots can do now" :
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/robots/g1872/what-robots-can-do-now/?slide=53
 I can only imagine what I could build a robot boxer to be capable of doing if I were to build yet another generation of these, I hope to find out someday. These were not terribly expensive to build at the time but ate up lots of resources I no longer have access to component wise..
The video shows Maxo sparring with Hammerhand Bob, the second boxer I made. The second generation designs were much more robust than these, and much more interesting to play with.
2
1
Nelson Taylor's profile photo
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
Outdoor field test of the duel arm robot. This machine was not really meant to run on bumpy dirt.....And it didn't do to well as shown. The vibrations loosened bolts on the arm joints and made them sloppy(retightened later then OK)You can see the arm joints have loosened when the arms move and they flap a bit. Will have to use some locking nuts to keep them tight.
 I took this out in the dirt just to drive it around and run things, test everything to be sure it was functional before I start adding more sensors, programming etc. My shop floor space is way to limited these days for this size machine.
Going to change out the end effectors for grippers. Drove it around for several hours on the 12 volt SLA battery and it barely moved on the voltmeter.Super happy with that!
 Got some fine tuning to do......
See my profile page for more info on this machine, and pictures.
5
jon sanford's profile photo
 
stress testing
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

Shared publicly  - 
 
Some very tiny linear slide actuators I found on Ebay(wish I could buy more but low on cash!). These are tiny bipolar motors and would make an excellent positioner for microscopes, scanners etc.Video shows them running at about half of what they are capable of running(speed). A few bucks each, easy to wire and play with....FUN. Hopefully will be for sale for a while before depleted.
2
Shane Gough's profile photoAndrew Hull's profile photoMark Miller's profile photo
5 comments
 
+Andrew Hull I make my own drivers, but these can be driven easily by the easystepper driver board(Ebay $1.45 each.)If you want something ready to go.
Add a comment...

Mark Miller

➥ Project/Product photos  - 
 
My latest build -Duel arm mobile robot. I spent the last week building this to test some new ideas on arm and navigation control. The end effectors will be both changed to grippers later.
 It is constructed of thick lexan, powered by heavy duty gearmotors (as well as the arm bases) and uses three mictrocontrollers for operation. Each arm has its own as well as the base. With the number of encoders and functionality I was going for, it seemed almost necessary.
The cabinet on the back is laid out vertically for PCB mounting and access, as well as a swinging gate door which will mount two more boards that have not arrived yet. I am powering everything with a 12  volt SLA battery and built in charger.
 I plan on adding navigation sensors next week for obstruction sensing etc. This is still a work in progress, but at least have all the mechanics done and 75% of the electronics.
 It is a heavy beast-standing two feet tall and 18 inches square it weighs in around 35 lbs....so far, but is very spunky on the locomotion! It is very colorful as I was using up leftover cans of paint.

 Will shoot some video and post it as well as more details later on my profile page. The current battery is is wimpy and I am on the lookout for a better one, and this thing needs a good battery for proper operation..
My goal here was to operate two arms simultaneously and completely independant, or cooperative on a highly mobile platform.
12
1
Rishabh Sharma's profile photojon sanford's profile photoalain frenois's profile photo
2 comments
 
Looking forward to see more of this.
Add a comment...
People
Have them in circles
209 people
altLab DIT's profile photo
David Elbakidze-Machavariani's profile photo
SinoVoip(banana pi)'s profile photo
HerArt SheLoves's profile photo
Fabio Gaddi's profile photo
Todd Fleming's profile photo
Madelene Crowe's profile photo
Dat Chu's profile photo
Charlie Watson AKA Chuckcrunch's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Robotics and Animatronics, art and automation. I love making things. I am always looking for new opportunities
Skills
Designer,PCBs,machinist,moldmaking and CNC machine design,Electronics, fabrication.
Links
Story
Tagline
If you can dream it, you can build it.
Introduction
I design and build robots, androids and automation. Self funded(yeah..right, I am SO not funded), scrounger,packrat of old tech for building fodder. I just always want to build more stuff. Serious longstanding electronics background. I design and build durable, long lasting and reliable gear. No project too big, insane or farfetched.
Bragging rights
Despite 40 years of fabricating, I still have all my fingers!
Basic Information
Birthday
November 8
Other names
The Android Man