Wetenschap en technologie

What is a Prioritising Mechanical Multiplexer?

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This is an idea that I had some time ago, and originally built as part of Project Ultron. I thought I'd redesign it now and ask for your help in deciding what we can use it for. This is a Prioritising Mechanical Multiplexer which allows us to use one large drive motor to control multiple outputs, and prioritise which outputs we solve first based on the inputs.
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Former toy designer, current NLcameras maker and general robotics, electrical and mechanical engineer, I’m a fan of doing it yourself and innovation by trial and error. My channel is where I share some of my useful and not-so-useful inventions, designs and maker advice. Iron Man is my go-to cosplay, and 3D printing can solve most issues - broken bolts, missing parts, world hunger, you name it.
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Reacties 

  1. Jennifer Kellogg

    Jennifer Kellogg

    7 uur geleden

    How about for the axes motors for either cnc or 3d printing?

  2. ja stoddart

    ja stoddart

    7 uur geleden

    robotic snake

  3. Bbonno

    Bbonno

    9 uur geleden

    My reaction when seeing all the steel fasteners: are dovetails hard to make or don't they work in printed parts? I imagine dovetails would look great in your brightly coloured projects 😎😁

  4. Calburno

    Calburno

    16 uur geleden

    Furbies did it better

  5. Paul Taylor

    Paul Taylor

    20 uur geleden

    Here's an interesting thought. If it is passing a lower priority that still needs to change, have it turn the driver motor while it's passing, in order to get a little change done while passing, lowering the total time required to complete all change.

  6. Tazius

    Tazius

    Dag geleden

    You should use a single motor drive shaft with a system of clutches to allow for independent engagement.

  7. Jo Dean

    Jo Dean

    Dag geleden

    This reminds me of the Prusa MMU.

  8. Kai Weixelman

    Kai Weixelman

    Dag geleden

    Idea for this: a gardening water regulator, sensor data from either hydrometers or flowmeters to decide which arears of the garden, and which hoses to open valves for, and how much to open them.

  9. spammer spammer

    spammer spammer

    Dag geleden

    Possible improvement for the programming part: instead of only considering the largest angle to decide which motor is prioritised you could also include a penalty for travel time. With travel time I mean the time it takes for the driving gear to move to the next gear. For example to get the highest score you could write something like "score = angle_deviation - K*travel_time" or "score = angle_deviation/(1 + travel_time)". Doing it this way has two advantages. Firstly you don't need additional code to ensure the motor finishes whichever gear it is currently doing. The current gear has travel_time==0 so it will always finish the current gear. Secondly in the current setup it is possible to have the scenario with priority left>right>center. The motor will first go to left, then to right and finally to center. It is much quicker to do left -> center -> right. Only when the center gear has a very small deviation would it be sensible to skip over it.

  10. Sanmveg S

    Sanmveg S

    Dag geleden

    Car transmission gear does similar thing but with planetary gear. Please try that it is more efficient and fun

  11. Jimmy Hernandez

    Jimmy Hernandez

    Dag geleden

    Have you tried visual reflexes for that type of motor

  12. Uneasiest Daisy

    Uneasiest Daisy

    2 dagen geleden

    idk why but this made me think of robotic eyes, left to right, up to down, and focus

  13. Isabella Electrum - Virtual YouTuber

    Isabella Electrum - Virtual YouTuber

    2 dagen geleden

    A rock crawler style remote vehicle with outputs for suspension height!

  14. Piotr Nod

    Piotr Nod

    2 dagen geleden

    One thing MECHWARRIOR

  15. Darren Murrey

    Darren Murrey

    2 dagen geleden

    The brushless motor looks similar to the technics 1210 motor

  16. Rupert Bruce

    Rupert Bruce

    2 dagen geleden

    Vending machine. User chooses which output delivers their product and your mechanism moves to that output.

  17. Rc off And on road

    Rc off And on road

    2 dagen geleden

    3 speed transmission

  18. alamppmala

    alamppmala

    2 dagen geleden

    Millipede leg groups split into 3 sections. It'd be cooler the more motors/sections it has. Same design concept though

  19. Some Guy

    Some Guy

    2 dagen geleden

    This is almost identical to the power bench seat setup on my 68 buick. They have a simple synchronizer made up of a bit of springs and some lugs on the gears. They use double ended shafts and on each end of those is a flexible cable drive to each of the elevating or sliding gearsets on each side of the bench.

  20. Jim Smith

    Jim Smith

    3 dagen geleden

    I don't know about the robot but I think you could utilize it in your ping pong machine somechow.

  21. russell

    russell

    3 dagen geleden

    You could also have the motor run two knobs at the same time. In this build, with a longer gear, it could turn two knobs in the same direction until one of them reaches the correct position, then slide over and finish turning the other one.

  22. Bored Saiyan

    Bored Saiyan

    3 dagen geleden

    2 ideas 1. A slow moving robot platform with 8 or more legs thats both moves and self levels 2. A device for dispensing various ingredients on a line for making different drinks or doing food prep

  23. Angus Cameron

    Angus Cameron

    3 dagen geleden

    Could you build a catapillar?

  24. Emma_Da_Bean

    Emma_Da_Bean

    3 dagen geleden

    would it not be easier to just use solenoids to push a gear between the worm gear and one large main drive gear, making it possible to adjust multiple outputs at once so long as they are going in the same direction, and allow for much faster switching between the outputs

  25. madDragon08

    madDragon08

    3 dagen geleden

    12:00 Makes me think of the Useless Box people have built. The ones with personality. Depending on the situation, your machine started at knob 1 that was in chaotic change, whereas knob 3 had a problem but wasn't changing, therefore it was better that the machine corrected the constant problem first and came back to the chaotic one. I suspect there are times when the chaotic one needs more attention than the constant one, as it might be more vital; but different scenarios require different solutions.

  26. KU MAIL

    KU MAIL

    3 dagen geleden

    Useful for an Omni-directional car {mecanum wheels} with only one motor

  27. TiagoTiago

    TiagoTiago

    3 dagen geleden

    Might make for an interesting display piece to have a humanoid puppet robot with plenty articulations that "dances", switching into a new pose whenever it finishes setting the all the body joints one by one to match the current pose.

  28. IRMacGuyver

    IRMacGuyver

    3 dagen geleden

    You could use two drive gears and adjust the spacing of the screw gears to create a system that would reach the next desired transfer gear more quickly. A pattern like this |->||. Three drive gears would work to really tight timing but I guess that would make the gearbox longer. Or you could arrange everything in more of a 3D structure that would make it fatter but shorter if space is an issue.

  29. Bon Vi

    Bon Vi

    3 dagen geleden

    Nice work mate, what software do you use for modeling and printing - can you suggest some free one? Thanks in advance!

  30. Sriharsha Gadiyaram

    Sriharsha Gadiyaram

    3 dagen geleden

    It looks like an electronically operated gear box. Made use it as an electric transmission? 🤔

  31. cliffcheney

    cliffcheney

    3 dagen geleden

    It could be used as a refreshable Braille Display if you could make it smaller. The shuttle could move to each character position and then the rotation position could activate different character diplays. Maybe design the character to reset on backwards motion and then set the character with a mechanical algorithm for the readout.

    • John Clayton

      John Clayton

      Dag geleden

      Or a musical instrument... the shaft rotates a drum with spikes to pluck those tuned musical "combs" to produce a note, but here there would be "Combs" of different octaves in each of the three positions.

  32. Edoardo Pastore

    Edoardo Pastore

    3 dagen geleden

    An interseting improvement would be to arrange the whole system in a linear fashion: with the output gears facing each other with their shaft one inside the other (much like several gears with the shaft in common but this time the shafts are indipendent and one inside the other) . The drive gear should be a gear with teeth facing inwards that slides back and forth around the output gear it wants to transmit the movement to. Much like the speed change in an electric screwdriver with an orbital gearbox. This would make the mechanism much more compact and more robust. I hope I have explained myself well, regards!

  33. TheInevitableHulk

    TheInevitableHulk

    4 dagen geleden

    It seems like if you have to sweep the entire distance anyway, you can process the middle output partially on its journey across.

  34. James Cann

    James Cann

    4 dagen geleden

    This reminds me of the Armitron robot I had (twice) when I was younger, and tore apart (twice) - One motor running one shaft with a bunch of freely rotating gear trains. Two joysticks with 3 axis each just moved tabs that jammed the appropriate gear groups in place with shafts running through the arm. Loved it. Sad that I didn't keep at least one intact, and thinking I may have to make my own now :-) www.theoldrobots.com/armatron1.html I can see the multiplexer being activated with some careful path planning to line up everything such that the final movement is a tangential single axis slide into place. Thanks for the ideas James!

  35. PowerScissor

    PowerScissor

    4 dagen geleden

    The absolute best use of this device is for NLcameras video content, and showcasing the possibilities of 3d printing. So I think you nailed it first try.

    • James Bruton

      James Bruton

      3 dagen geleden

      Or a coding challenge :-)

  36. Jim Viau

    Jim Viau

    4 dagen geleden

    Great build ! I think if the logic addressed the middle gear while passing to the third the whole set would end up adjusted faster then if going to the most offset ( depending on the overall status , of course )

  37. bleepblorp

    bleepblorp

    4 dagen geleden

    Could be used for an automated football table? The hard part is detecting the ball position.

  38. Geek Detour

    Geek Detour

    4 dagen geleden

    Nice video and prototype! I am interested to know which applications would make sense for such system... There are some serious limitations: it needs all the outputs to be aligned (or at least share a common axis) and it is very bulky. It looks like it would always be simpler and far more flexible to just have individual motors.

  39. John Raffaelli

    John Raffaelli

    4 dagen geleden

    Hi I'm a robotic Engineers well and I just love the idea of prioritizing these motors maybe we can collaborate on a robot my email is John raffaelli77@gmail.com

  40. David Menasce

    David Menasce

    4 dagen geleden

    You built a differential computer. If you can map the inputs to variables in an equation, you could solve equations?

  41. greenaum

    greenaum

    4 dagen geleden

    Aw FFS! So the "prioritising" is done in software. Well, duh! I could have written that myself, knowing as I do, the bigger-than operator. I thought this was some extremely clever device. I've genuinely seen much, much better in Lego Technic or Meccano. Two 3D printers and they're wasted on you. You've made a knob-twiddler. Wow. An ugly, enormous, obvious multiplexer of a type I don't think is ever used in any engineering ever. You haven't even figured out how to use one motor, so turning this-way selects an output, and that-way turns it. I created better than this when I was 10, with less resources than your enormous workshop full of stuff. A "prioritising mechanical multiplexer" would *prioritise **_mechanically!_* That would be something worth seeing. Do you not understand grammar, or are you clickbaiting, with nearly a million subs?

  42. greenaum

    greenaum

    4 dagen geleden

    Since you build such chunky things, would you not benefit from a 3D printer with a much wider nozzle? Like maybe 3mm or 5mm or even more? You'd still have the precision, but it would make much stronger prints much quicker, rather than scribbling with spider-webs layered over each other. I'm not sure they make nozzles so large, but you're the mechanical genius, get on it!

  43. smilefreakify

    smilefreakify

    4 dagen geleden

    This man is a mad man, sleep my guy, its okay to relax 😂😂

    • smilefreakify

      smilefreakify

      4 dagen geleden

      Dude builds ultron and Boston dynamics spot

  44. Kenny

    Kenny

    4 dagen geleden

    Suggestion for you - Remove the lead screw setup and replace it with a fixed rotating shaft with straight cut gears at each power take off position. Have a hinge at the end of each worm gear bearing so that the worm/straight gear assembly and be pulled/pushed down by an electromagnet/pneumatic source to engage the output. The worm gears will still mesh fine at a different angle. This will mean multiple simultaneous drives can be used, reduce parts cost, increase switching speed, remove lag between engaging and disengaging gear sets and enable outputs to be selected without moving other outputs on the way as is the case in the current setup. Really cool idea though, hadn't thought about that.

  45. William Huston

    William Huston

    4 dagen geleden

    How about a hexapod with the fewest motors. Whatever that is?

  46. Matt the 2nd

    Matt the 2nd

    4 dagen geleden

    I think a good allocation would be moving different systems on a satellite, such as a space telescope where you can have a single heavy motor move around and manipulate lenses and filters and save weight.

  47. µJoeTheMean

    µJoeTheMean

    4 dagen geleden

    Very cool! What about putting multiple drive gears on that lead screw in a Vernier arrangement to reduce transition times? You could even set it up so that different alignments of the 'Vernier gears' would drive different combinations of outputs by having 'bald' spots on your drive gears. So for example if 0 and 2 are out by 150 and 100 respectively, you could select a lead screw position that engaged 0 and 2 for 100 units, then switch to just 0 for the remaining 50. Although I guess that would produce weird transition artifacts that might be hard to correct for, and there'd be a limit on the number of combined outputs you could achieve.

  48. Goldpenny1

    Goldpenny1

    4 dagen geleden

    A back scratcher.

  49. Matthew Musante

    Matthew Musante

    4 dagen geleden

    Why move the drive motor? Use the a common drive shaft with electronic clutches. Am I missing something?

  50. roy larsen

    roy larsen

    4 dagen geleden

    we did this in 1800s when on stem motor was driving it all ... look back !!

  51. Christopher D

    Christopher D

    4 dagen geleden

    that reminds me of the way the old radio shack super armatron was built.

  52. Brian Link

    Brian Link

    5 dagen geleden

    Useless Box

  53. Charles Balliet

    Charles Balliet

    5 dagen geleden

    man 3d prints clutch in home.

  54. Juan C Leal

    Juan C Leal

    5 dagen geleden

    So... a gear shitfer, like in a car

  55. pikadroo

    pikadroo

    5 dagen geleden

    Armatron from radio shack used a system like this. However, it was all mechanical. Meaning the control stick physically engaged whatever gears were needed for a particular direction. Pretty sure it meant you could only go one direction at a time on either control stick.

  56. radnukespeoplesminds

    radnukespeoplesminds

    5 dagen geleden

    If you connected the input and output rotation and set the programming to restore the potentiometer to 0 you can make a pointless machine woth knobs instead of switches

  57. Charles Ashurst

    Charles Ashurst

    5 dagen geleden

    I love to see the maker movement developing.

  58. Odd Fellow

    Odd Fellow

    5 dagen geleden

    usless box

  59. Odd Fellow

    Odd Fellow

    5 dagen geleden

    rather poor CNC machine

  60. ADRIAAN1007

    ADRIAAN1007

    5 dagen geleden

    if you used clutches you can power all three outputs at the same and just selectively turn off outputs

  61. judgeomega

    judgeomega

    5 dagen geleden

    how about exploring budget junkyard motors such as used power window and windshield wiper motors.

  62. Machin3D

    Machin3D

    5 dagen geleden

    You could use it for an motorised louver roof (for an outdoor area) so you could turn them with two small motors rather than a very large one one. The sequential nature would look spectacular.

  63. David Nilsson

    David Nilsson

    5 dagen geleden

    Would static loads on the outputs result in the gears being driven in reverse?

  64. Daniel DeGagne

    Daniel DeGagne

    5 dagen geleden

    Well, a dispensary system that controls multiple valves was my first idea. Be it liquid, gas, or solid material. A vast amount of uses there. and the more dispensaries the more economic the use. How about a robot that has both mobilities as well as separate isolated functions. Like a robot arm that is also on a mobile platform. First, connect to the drive shafts to move then switch to the arm for operations. This would be a workable option if the primary drive motor and multiplexer motor combination is either cheaper or less weight than having 2 primary motors. If the system had 3 independent functions then it's even better. Say an arm on a mobile platform that picks up an object and then moves it to a machining tool on the platform that does some work on the object. So a robot in a greenhouse. moves around picking up plants that it removes dead leaves, checks moisture then waters the plant before putting it back

  65. Jeffrey Black

    Jeffrey Black

    5 dagen geleden

    I think a significant improvement would be more drive gears on the main shaft. Ideally you only want to have to move enough to disengage one gear and engage the next. Any extra motion is wasted time. But it does mean it may need to have a main drive shaft roughly equal to the length between all the gears, plus the width of the gear multiplied by the number of gears.

  66. Haplo

    Haplo

    5 dagen geleden

    This could be used as a 3D printer system. Possibly bed leveling or keeping the tool head level.

  67. Pietro Saporiti

    Pietro Saporiti

    5 dagen geleden

    Maybe a 7deg of freedom robot arm with only the two motors at the base , without motors on the arm it could theorichally lift more weight

  68. AZHAGU05

    AZHAGU05

    5 dagen geleden

    Make a tortoise robot 😂

  69. Max Myzer

    Max Myzer

    5 dagen geleden

    I wanted to do this

  70. Amateur Programmer

    Amateur Programmer

    5 dagen geleden

    12:08 ...or you could have it prioritize the closest one to the motor's current position with any error above a defined threshold

  71. Civelier Algon

    Civelier Algon

    5 dagen geleden

    I have made something similar in the past, it wasn't exactly a multiplexer like you made here, but it was designed to take one bidirectionnal input and have two unidirectionnal outputs. The way I made it was by using a sort of variant of a ratchet mechanism. The use I had for this mechanism was because I had a limitted amount of motors I could use (it was for a Lego mindstorms competition called Zone01, I was like 14 back then) But this allowed me to make two movements with one motor. And since we were limitted to 4 motors, this was a big plus

  72. F4ngel

    F4ngel

    5 dagen geleden

    I'm thinking maybe a crane-like robot where you only need to move the X Y Z co-ords individually, or a centipede-like robot where you only need to move a few sets of feet forward or back at a time.

  73. grimsdagger

    grimsdagger

    5 dagen geleden

    This would also be really useful in hvac ducting, you could measure each rooms temperature and redirect heat/cooling to whatever room in your house that needs it the most.

    • John Clayton

      John Clayton

      Dag geleden

      Awesome Idea. I was wanting to do that very thing in my house. You know, the wife upstairs says she's freezing when I'm burning up then 10 minutes later we both switch.

  74. grimsdagger

    grimsdagger

    5 dagen geleden

    This would be really good for a multiple fillament extruder.

  75. Mohit Joshi

    Mohit Joshi

    5 dagen geleden

    Sir make full series on robotics for biggner to learn

  76. Helena Of Detroit

    Helena Of Detroit

    5 dagen geleden

    I've got an idea, but it's a tricky thing.... Basically, you use centrifugal force to send ball bearings further away from the shaft of the motor and they index on different outputs. So the output is changed based on the speed of the motor.

  77. Hunter Parmley

    Hunter Parmley

    5 dagen geleden

    I know its just a proof of concept but instead of wasting the traverse while its in route you could keep it moving but check for the direction while in route. That would solve the making the delta worse. Would only be necessary if moving over an internal gear. E.g. going from 0 to 2.

  78. Flav M

    Flav M

    5 dagen geleden

    I didn't see it at first, you did a great job presenting every step....then it clicked. Nicely done. Could you add two more axis, a joystick(or integrate like a game controller) and an arm with a cup? Excavator, or those could be the programing inputs for like a pick and place arm, safe cracker, laser guided drill press, etch a sketch with retractable pen....damn the possibilities.

    • Flav M

      Flav M

      5 dagen geleden

      Have your TV or PC screen oriented at optimal position. With the proper sensors it could follow you around the room. This would be awesome in a home gym where one has multiple exercising machines spread throughout the room or while working on a project in the garage/shed.

  79. aé Aon

    aé Aon

    5 dagen geleden

    @James Fantastic Works ,i wonder if this can be arranged in a way that all of them can run at the same time, flip direction ,lock in place or vary its gear-ratio separate from each other in relation to the main motor rotation so an entire robot or arm would be able to run of one Main Engine

  80. Jonny Poole

    Jonny Poole

    5 dagen geleden

    It would make a cool split flap display mechanism!

  81. IcyMidnight

    IcyMidnight

    5 dagen geleden

    Might be good for adjusting flow rates. E.g. on a forced air heating system, tweaking vent openings to make sure the coldest room gets the most air flow; or maybe to open the right valves to water different parts of a garden at different times/rates.

  82. Frankhe78

    Frankhe78

    6 dagen geleden

    Build a robot caterpillar.

  83. Madpegasusmax

    Madpegasusmax

    6 dagen geleden

    it can be used on a triple solar panel alignment ?

  84. Max N

    Max N

    6 dagen geleden

    A robot arm where the first output is driving the base and each subsequent one drives a less power demanding section.

  85. federico alegria

    federico alegria

    6 dagen geleden

    a crab or spider like robot tha is controlled by half as many motors as it has legs or even fewer

  86. AlienWacker

    AlienWacker

    6 dagen geleden

    Radio Shack's "Armatron"... There is only one motor inside of it, with a weird multi-gear in the middle... Linkage from the joysticks decides which degree of freedom is being powered... If you want to see unique gearage, I suggest you take one apart... My brain is far too small to get the full picture looking at it...

  87. apb1111

    apb1111

    6 dagen geleden

    A high strength neodynium magnet coupling would be good for the worm gears (maybe change the orientation) it would transfer between outputs without ever jamming. As for the use of the concept, like others have said i think a vending application or a game where you guess the positions prior to it starting then hit go and see how close you get (to something) . Neat build!

  88. Sam Foltz

    Sam Foltz

    6 dagen geleden

    It might be cool as a Roman ship with sales and boat oars?

  89. Alex Bruski

    Alex Bruski

    6 dagen geleden

    I teach First Lego League (FLL) to 5th through 8th graders. The robot building competition allows only using one controller which can only control 4 motors and 4 input sensors. I showed them this same concept three years ago on using two motors to activate any number of discrete output shafts. I did it in a very similar way using worm gear drives so those discrete output hold their position when not being driven. I used multiple drive gears coupled to the main drive motor so the movement of the drive system was minimized. Center position drives the center gear. Sliding one gear width left of center drives the output shaft left of center. two gear widths left of center drives the second output shaft left of center. One gear width right of center drives the output shaft to the right of center. The separation of output shafts is determined by how many output shafts are incorporated into the system. This also allows output shafts that are side by side to be run simultaneously by moving the drive gear in half gear distances so the drive gears engage half of each of two driven gear trains. The worm gear drives were more complicated than yours in order to have the driven gears all side by side in a row. I accomplished this by running the worm gears with a bevel crown gear that meshes with the side of the driven gears.

  90. TheMusicGeek

    TheMusicGeek

    6 dagen geleden

    That could be controlling valves of 3 paint colors, Red, Green, and Blue. The pots can be replaced a by a camera watching the output mix in a feedback control loop. Then you can build a machine that mix any color of paint where a user just need to input the desired paint color and volume. This means manufacturer will only have to produce 3 paint colors which can dramatically redice the cost.

  91. John Hollowell

    John Hollowell

    6 dagen geleden

    It would be interesting to see a locking mechanism so the outputs not currently being driven are held in place

    • Alex Bruski

      Alex Bruski

      6 dagen geleden

      Since he is using screw drive mechanisms, the output shafts will hold their positions!

  92. King Masterlord

    King Masterlord

    6 dagen geleden

    cable actuators?

  93. Jean Courtemanche

    Jean Courtemanche

    6 dagen geleden

    Take a look at the Radio Shack's Armatron Robotic Arm from 1984. It was using that concept. Only one motor for a robotic arm. I think that should be your next project James but make it bigger and all 3D printable. Here is a link on youtube nlcameras.info/wiki/aoG9nXmi2ofFupg/video You can still find those arm on E-bay.

  94. a51mj12

    a51mj12

    6 dagen geleden

    poor (dumb) man's differential mechanism.

  95. roidroid

    roidroid

    6 dagen geleden

    idea: On it's way to the biggest turned knob - as it goes past other knobs on it's way it should be actively turning the main motor so it helps those knobs along as it goes past (as much as it can without stopping, on the way to the biggest turned knob).

  96. Grant Percival

    Grant Percival

    6 dagen geleden

    This would be great on sluice gates. Or chamber releases.

  97. Mathias Stjernström

    Mathias Stjernström

    6 dagen geleden

    Why is the l298n driver a terrible thing? 🤔

  98. beartastic

    beartastic

    6 dagen geleden

    ..this clearly needs to go into EnragedRabbit CarrotFeeder multimaterial feeder!

  99. Mr.Crankyface

    Mr.Crankyface

    6 dagen geleden

    Really cool concept.

  100. Andrew Oliver

    Andrew Oliver

    6 dagen geleden

    Could be an efficient way to drive some wire driven face 'muscles' (eyebrows, mouth open close etc

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