Puppy K-9

Dec. 7th, 2014 11:54 pm
terriko: (Default)
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

So, remember a while ago I posted about a work in progress? She's still a work in progress, but while I don't have full setup for her internal hardware, her chassis did indeed get "finished" in time for ABQ Maker Faire, so here's a picture of her on my table:

DSC_6776.JPG

This picture care of the fine folk at Quelab. I've kind of forgotten who actually took the picture. You can tell it wasn't me because that's my elbow in there!

You know how people joke that building ikea furniture together as a couple is the ultimate test of your relationship? Try designing steampunk robots together! With a deadline looming! I think we did most of this in around 2 weeks, although we had batted the idea around for a while.

The germ of the idea was my fault. I wanted a puppy k-9 who would be less hassle to travel with than John's full-sized k-9 replica, which weighs over a hundred pounds when you include the 3 pelican cases needed to ship him. And I wanted her to be steampunk, because it would break us away from being show-accurate and make her amusingly photogenic. Her job, by and large, is to convince people to come talk to us, although we have some other functional plans for her too! However, it's a long path from idea to finished project, and I have to say that John did the bulk of the execution while I handled the details -- he got the c&c machine to cut out dog panels and engineered it so I could have the wing doors I wanted without compromising structural integrity, while I convinced the c&c to cut out a modified minnowboard logo for the resin inlay, and figured out the hinges and staining. I admit, we might have done some arguing, but we worked her out!

I am quite pleased with the details we managed to get in. I insisted she have ears and a tail because John's larger k-9 replica still doesn't have those details. Her tail is a functional USB wireless antenna, and John even inserted a proper usb port into her butt so it's detachable when she gets packed for travel or so you can plug something else in easily while leaving the case closed. Her ears gave us a different kind of trouble, and we were running out of time until I started digging through the recycling bin and found a pair of 7-up bottle bottoms which I painted gold.

The computer on top there is the Minnowboard MAX, which will serve as Puppy's brains. We didn't get it mounted inside until after the show, and you can see the nice laser-cut mounting plate (again care of Quelab; thanks Morgan!) in front of her (it's the smokey grey piece with all the holes). That's all inside now, with a whole lot of hardware attached.

More pictures to come eventually, but since she's gotten side-tracked by xmas present projects, it might be a while before we get back to her!
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Arduino Day 2014


Sparkfun has a bunch of Arduinos on crazy sale today, and they're allowing backorders. It's a one day sale, ending just before midnight US mountain time, so you've still got time to buy your own! Those $3 minis are amazing.

I wound up buying the maximum amount I could, since I figure if I don't use them myself, they'll make nice presents. I have plans for two of the mini ones already, as part of one of my rainy day projects that's only a little past drawing board and into "let's practice arduino coding and reading sensor data" stage. But the rest are waiting for new plans!

I feel a teensy bit guilty about buying so many arduinos when I haven't even found a good use for the Raspberry Pi I got at PyCon last year. I did buy it a pretty rainbow case and a cable, but my original plan to use it as the brains for a homemade cnc machine got scuttled when John went and bought a nice handybot cnc router.

disassembled pibow case
A pretty picture of the pibow rainbow raspberry pi case from this most excellent post about it. They're on sale today too if you order through pimoroni

I've got a few arty projects with light that might be fun, but I kind of wanted to do something a bit more useful with it. Besides, I've got some arty blinky-light etextile projects that are going to happen first and by the time I'm done those I think I'll want something different.

And then there's the Galileo, which obviously is a big deal at work right now. One of the unexpected perks of my job is the maker community -- I've been hearing all about the cool things people have tried with their dev boards and seeing cool projects, and for a while we even had a biweekly meet-up going to chat with some of the local Hillsboro makers. I joined too late to get a chance at a board from the internal program, but I'll likely be picking one up up on my own dime once I've figured out how I'm going to use it! (John already has one and the case he made for it came off the 3d printer this morning and I'm jealous!)

So... I'm looking for inspiration: what's the neatest arduino/raspberry pi/galileo/etc. project you've seen lately?
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My former hackerspace, in fundraising for the new space, offered up a reward tier that let you name one of the rooms, which was a pretty fun perk. "My" room is going to be #16 on this map, the larger of the two electronics labs:

680_Haines_NW-Floorplans_numbered_mods_marked

Being the sort of person I am, I named it the "Pink Fluffy Unicorn Dancing on Rainbows Laboratory" thanks to this earwormy video. (Original song here, punk version here.)



They can call it PFUDOR labs for short or something. I actually proposed it as a joke when the campaign first was getting set up, but it got so many laughs that I decided it was actually kind of fun to have a name that really didn't take itself too seriously.

A few days after I made the official declaration, I got an email from an adult male friend there, bemoaning my choice of names in a gentle, joking, but also a little bit sincere way.

He is a friend and I don't want to mock his words in public, but I saw the email and thought THIS IS HOW I KNOW I HAVE CHOSEN THE RIGHT NAME. If this even a little hurts the manhood of even someone who knows me and my sense of humour, then you know that the anti-girly sentiment often prevalent in hacklabs is going to be rankled by this for as long as the space lasts. So now not only do I get to earworm my friends, but I run the risk of affronting people who haven't quite dealt with their own minor misogyny? And maybe give the hacklab an excuse to fill a space with rainbows, with all the connotations thereof? That actually kind of sounds like a bigger social win than I was intending, but maybe, just maybe, it'll combine with the already excellent people at Quelab to help keep the space as friendly and fun as it can be.

So next up I'm going to be buying a friend's pony patterns, a bunch of stuff from adafruit, some fabric, and I'll be making a hilarious e-textile pony with glowing rainbow neopixels to go in the space. Because I am not very subtle. ;)
terriko: Adorable icon care of John (bubble bobble)
And, to offset the griping in my private posts today, here's a pretty picture of something I'm working on:

Knitting big and small

I took this photo for the Active Assignment Weekly flickr group, which gives a weekly photo challenge. I haven't been participating much for a variety of reasons, but this week's challenge was "big and small" and the knitting was right there.

I have to say, though I love the final look of knitted cables, they are the most hand cramping awfulness at that size and my level of experience. The metal needles are new, purchased because I have horribly bent the wooden ones in that size that I was using. Glad I started on the wood, or I'd have given up in despair over dropped stitches on slippery needles, but I'm also glad I switched because it's so much easier now that I've got the hang of it. And I'm glad I didn't give up, 'cause gloves are a nice size to carry around and now that the first one's close to done I'm so darned pleased with myself for managing it! I have clearly leveled up in knitting between this and the chunky lace scarf I've been working on.

Next up: finishing my long-neglected pony for Katie (she has hair now, but I'm rubbish at embroidering cutie marks on crochet...) more crocheted angry birds for people to play with at the Albuquerque mini maker faire, and finishing my set of mane 6 teensy tiny felted crochet ponies. Plus a Top Secret present project that must be done before the end of September.

I am also trying very hard not to get drawn into making an arcade sona dress. I've been playing some more LoL specifically because she was free in the pax swag bag and not only do I like playing support (something I didn't have a char for in LoL) but I also enjoy the cute little video game touches they put on that skin. The DDR attack forces people to dance!



Unfortunately, I'm not interested in spending a day wearing nothing but a bra on top, so it's not likely cosplay for me. But I am obsessed with her skirt right now with the pixels and the rainbows. I have a problem, I know.

Edit: because the Arcade Sona costume idea is in my brain now -- wouldn't it be cool to build her console and have the buttons make the light effects, including the DDR attack? I could totally find a little set of projector lights that would let me do that... Darnit, I'm not talking myself out of this anytime soon, am I?
terriko: Adorable icon care of John (bubble bobble)
A random bit of makery 'cause it occurred to me to take a couple of pictures tonight:

Untitled

No, the xbox controller has nothing to do with it. It's just there for scale, although I do find it amusing that it looks like I might be advertising for some gay gamer/maker thing or somesuch. I hope I didn't get anyone's hopes up!

Star Hook Case (open)

All it is is a nice way to hold a subset of my crochet hooks. I have a larger case that my friend Marlene made for me, but it's a bit too large to tote around, so if I want to take a small collection of hooks, now I've got an easy and colourful way to do so. yeay!

The pattern for the star hook case is available on ravelry or the direct pattern link on the author's blog. All I did was change colours every two rows to make a rainbow case, which maybe isn't quite as clean and classy, but I think it's fun! It's a pretty interesting pattern, since all it does is make use of a stitch pattern that contains reasonably tight holes to make a ornate mesh that I can push hooks through. So clever!

It's also very soft. I'm tempted to make myself a very rainbow scarf to wear around town. But my PAX costume isn't done yet, so that comes first!

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