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Need Help Creating Robot To Lay Beads Down

Share your building instructions or ask questions about constructing your robot

Need Help Creating Robot To Lay Beads Down

Postby babylonpride » 29 May 2012, 23:53

So. I haven't even bought the kit yet and am wondering if I should.

I make perlers. http://www.deltaattack.com/wp-content/u ... _MA_03.jpg for an example. They're small beads, 5 mm in size, with holes in the top that when ironed together melt. I have a business and sell them, only to make enough stock takes forever, due to that each one fo those takes half an hour.

I was wondering if anyone had any input on how to even start a robot that can build this. I know I'm asking a lot, considering I have no idea where to start. They're laid on a grid so I know it needs to be something that moves. The feeder itself wouldn't be too difficult considering the beads are slightly different sizes when it comes to length and width. For example, they're a bit smaller width wise (if you consider from side to side of the side with a hole on it the width) so they fit in a straw perfectly. It's how I'm doing it right now, but I can only fot about 20 in at a time.

I'm looking for something that will lay them down according to a program. I was a programmer for two years, went to RIT, etc. etc. so I don't think the code will be too difficult. Granted, haven't done it in 4+ years but the problem I'm having is just building it.

Or hell, even a device that just spits them out when I tell it to and I can move it around, like the straw only... better, considering sometimes 3+ perlers at a time fall out.

I'm just a bit overwhelmed, and was wondering if anyone had any input on if I should even buy the kit or stay in the stone ages with how I make it. Argh, I wish I knew where to buy a darn machine that just did this, or could pay someone to build me one.

Thanks!
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Re: Need Help Creating Robot To Lay Beads Down

Postby mcsummation » 30 May 2012, 02:31

Robin Newman has a method of only allowing 1 ball at a time through his ball sorters - http://r.newman.ch/lego/movie4.html. It might give you an idea. Of course, yours needs to be much smaller.
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Re: Need Help Creating Robot To Lay Beads Down

Postby hassenplug » 30 May 2012, 13:05

Sounds like it would be a fun challenge to try to build a robot to do that. However, I wouldn't recommend it as a first project.

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Re: Need Help Creating Robot To Lay Beads Down

Postby h-g-t » 01 Jun 2012, 13:22

If I was going to try that I think I would have a horizontal plate to carry a sheet of sticky paper.

There would be a fixed hopper with a circular, vertical pipe for each bead colour.

Each pipe would have some device at the bottom to let out one bead at a time and the pipes would end just over one bead height above the paper.

This could be a moving plate with the hoppers fixed or a fixed plate and the hoppers on a moving gantry.

Hopefully, the vibration of the moving parts would keep knocking the beads into the pipes.

Sort of like a milling/ cnc machine (Google lego cnc)
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Re: Need Help Creating Robot To Lay Beads Down

Postby jwiger » 05 Jun 2012, 04:35

I'm visualizing something like the connect four game, that builds them in a dot matrix fashion. Unfortunately, I think to lay these out with a mindstorms system accurately, would be slower than doing it by hand, and that is not even counting time to build and perfect the mechanical side and program it. Still would be a good challenge, but i don't think mindstorms could lay the beads faster than you can.
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Re: Need Help Creating Robot To Lay Beads Down

Postby mattallen37 » 05 Jun 2012, 17:33

jwiger wrote:...i don't think mindstorms could lay the beads faster than you can.

I don't think that matters. I think the advantage to the robot doing it, is that the human time is reduced significantly.
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Re: Need Help Creating Robot To Lay Beads Down

Postby jwiger » 21 Jul 2012, 01:55

Good point, I also forgot to count the fact robots can work 24/7 as well.
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