kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
Saturday I preesented "The Accidental Roboticist" at the Livermore Public Library as the final talk in the Livermore Reads Together program for 2016.

Between 80 and 100 people attended, at least 1/3 of them children. My talk was short, 15 slides in about 35 minutes (or so, I took questions as we went along) and then time for people to come up and play with ThinBot, Arthur-9 and some of my neoPixel projects. (ThinBot was filled with water only, before you ask).

Thanks to [ profile] bovil who shepherded people through the ThinBot navigation while I bounced between the youngsters driving Arthur-9 with my phone and people who had questions about Arduino, wearable electronics, and various and sundry other topics. Thanks, too, to Diane O. who helped encourage the shyer kids (or parents) to have a go with A-9.

We arrived at about 12:20, the talk started at 2pm, and we were done and loaded to head home at 5pm. Andy's Photos are up on our robotics team page, Drinks Advanced Research Project Agency.
It was a long but rewarding afternoon, and I urge folks to support Friends of the Livermore Libary, who sponsor the Livermore Reads Together program.

Also, if you live in Livermore or have friends who do, they have assorted robots you can check out for a month at a time to learn to program!
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)

I've taken the day off so I can load ThinBot into the car and head north to set up for BarBot 2013.75, a special event tonight and Saturday that is one of the official kickoff events for this year's Bay Area Sciencefest.

Details are available at the barbot website, , or on the BarBot facebook page.

I have finished some small mods to ThinBot, we'll have to see how they work.

First is adding tips to the nozzles, which I hope will increase the stream velocity sufficiently for better mixing.

Second, I repolished the brass counterweight, cleaned and recemented our "Asta" to the brass, then gave the works a clear polyurethane topcoat so it won't be attacked by the lime juice.

Finally, after doing a bit of online research, I've modified my recipes to simulate the dilution achieved by cooling a drink by shaking with ice. That ought to dramatically improve the mouth feel and taste of the cocktails.

(sorry, no pix; my LJ app isn't being cooperative -- but you can see them on the event facebook page, or on our DARPAbots page


Apr. 19th, 2013 10:53 pm
kproche: (Default)

ThinBot took the Gold!

Posted via

kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
The one last thing I'd hoped to add to ThinBot for Robogames this year was motion, to swing the glass in and out from under the spout, making it easier to place a glass and pick up the finished drink.

I'm happy to report I got it working!

Photos and Video under the cut )
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
Last night I got pumps 9 and 10 wired and mounted. They will cantilever off the back of ThinBot's frame to be less obtrusive.

Photos under the cut )
I also got a 5.5V current source wired up, on the off chance I get a servo for the arm installed and working.

I'm planning to put the whole shebang together tonight to make sure it all fits :-)
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
Today I made the nozzle jets for the heat exchanger. The final 2" is bent (electropolished=food-safe) stainless 1/8" OD tubing. This constriction at the end of the line (the rest is all 3/16" ID) should accelerate the ingredients into a set of streams that mix better in the glass.

Pix under the cut )

I also got the glass-detection microswitch wired up and the code now recognizes it properly.

In addition, pigtails permitting two additional pumps have been wired in. The code has already been updated to make use of them if desired.
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
Today I finished milling the new glass stand for Thinbot, and test assembled it. I still have to wire up the switch and update the code to recognize it.

Pix under the cut. )

I probably don't have time to get it anodized before the show, but it looks pretty good in its natural silver.

Oh-- I also ran the pressure test on the heat exchanger now that it has had a chance for the sealant to cure. No drips after running it for an hour!
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
I've made the first pass with the milling machine on the glass rest. It now has a slot to pass the stem of an up glass or other stemware.

photo under the cut )

I should get everything done on time. I also made a quick pair of small outrigger panels to hold two more pumps.
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
Yesterday I did a complete assembly of the heat exchanger. It's so shiny :-)

Photos under the cut )

Today I try to finish the glass rest and panels for two auxiliary pumps
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
The parts came back from the anodizing shop. I'm really pleased.
photo )

While I was waiting, I started machining the new glass holder:
More machining! )
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
I've been working on a replacement chiller (heat exchanger) to replace the steel-tubes-through-cocktail-shaker assembly on the front of ThinBot. I just dropped it off at PK Selective Metal Finishing to be blue anodized.

Before I could do that, though, I had to do a test assembly to make sure it actually went together.

Photos under the cut )

I did a compatibility test last week to make sure that neither the lime juice nor cranberry juice will react with the aluminum. Everything turned out fine.
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
One of the upgrades I finished in time for BarBot: Automatic! 2013 was the artwork for the pump-mounting panels on ThinBot. This was done by trimming the panels to the right height, then masking each panel with adhesive vinyl (Cut on the CNC vinyl cutter at TechShop SJ) and sandblasting. The result looks like a fusion of white milk glass and shiny metal. I'm very happy with it.

The design is based on a motif from a Art Deco font I found, re-drafted to have proper symmetry and sharp edges. You'll notice the pump numbers are part of the design, as well.

ThinBot's Deco Shininess... )
kproche: (Jungleboy Transparent)
I know there are plenty of options for your entertainment dollar this weekend, but if you like cocktails and robots, you might want to get tickets to one or both nights of BarBot 2013

It's at a new venue this year, SomArts (, but the organizers fully expect it to sell out. Tickets are $25 in advance. Note the show was just moved up (yesterday) to 7pm-12 midnight for both Friday and Saturday

That's Friday March 1 and Saturday March 2, to be perfectly clear.

ThinBot will be there, looking quite a bit shinier than at his debut at BarBot 2012 (and there have even been upgrades since Gallifrey, if you saw him there).    
kproche: (Default)
[ profile] bovil and I got to Seattle without incident and are checked into the SeaTac Doubletree.

More important, we have ALL our pre-con errands run: ThinBot collected from FedEx, all our share of the party shopping done. This means we can do whatever we want for the Fourth!
kproche: (Default)

Featuring, of course, ThinBot, our perfectly ordinary robot bartender

And the day before (Friday), you can Go Underground with London in 2014 and Westercon 66, sharing hosting duties.

Same suite, 8ish.
kproche: (Default)
ThinBot (and yours truly) have been invited to appear at an event sponsored by Swissnex SF:

Monday, May 21 6:30-10pm


May. 7th, 2012 06:29 am
kproche: (Default)

We have to equip two of our footlockers as padded shipping containers for Thinbot so we can get him to conventions.

[ profile] iamradar had a defective memory foam mattress that needed a home.

So [ profile] bovil and I squeezed it into the Subaru, took it home, and chopped it into 8 smaller pieces. The stacked slabs looked rather like megalithic plinths, so what else could we do?

Read more... )

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

kproche: (Default)
Here's video of the very cool mechanized Gold Medal ThinBot was awarded at Robogames 2012 last night.


Apr. 20th, 2012 10:23 pm
kproche: (Default)

ThinBot took the Gold!

Posted via

kproche: (Default)
Here are a couple of photos of ThinBot after installing the full-length food-grade Norprene tubing.

photos under the cut )

I also did a quick calibration test of one pump, it delivered almost exactly the 100ml requested. The new hoses also maintain better vacuum back to the pump, so the nozzle drips almost not at all when dispensing ends.

Next step (this weekend): build the bell ringer and glass detectors, which are not necessary for ThinBot to perform properly but will definitely add some zing.

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