Iteration Assignment – Nicholas Agate

     For this iteration project, I originally set out to create a box that would hold my vinyl collection, but I quickly realized that the box would be larger, and more costly than I wanted it to be. I then tried to think of another box that could be useful and came up with a gear box for my guitar accessories. I did not previously have any type of specific storage for my guitar gear, so this was an exciting project for me. I ultimately wanted to end up with a box that was lined with felt, had a hole for a lighting insert, had a walled off section to hold picks, and a design that featured bird cutouts, guitar rasters, and my name and the year. I mainly wanted to feature my name as an aspect from the laser name tag assignment because this new box would be the same expression of my love for music, but with an increase in difficulty and complexity. This final box would ideally be in my home or future office and would serve as both useful storage and a conversation piece. Please see the sketch below and original laser name tag below.

     After creating my design, I decided to create a smaller scale box that would be the same design as the final, large box. I did this because I was not one hundred percent sure that the two-piece box was the one that I wanted to commit to. I also wanted to see how the pieces would fit together so that I could have a better understanding of the box for my final design. For both the small scale box and the final box, I used the website Please see the small scale box below.

     Next, I began making my design alterations to the SVG file that I downloaded from I imported images of birds that would end up being vectored, and guitar silhouettes that would end up being rastered. I then created peg holes for the new walls and two square holes for lighting access. Finally, I added my name and the year. Please see my Inkscape progress pictures below.

     I then bought some material from Hobby Lobby which included a hobby knife, felt with adhesive, wood conditioner, wood glue, and wood stain. I applied the felt to the bottom of the box and then cut out each hole that the walls would fit into. After this, I fit the walls together and used a rubber mallet to make sure that the walls fit snugly. Please see a picture and video of the felt work below.


     The walls of the inner box were difficult to fit into the pegs because of the felt, but I ran into a real issue when I realized that I had not designed one of my square holes correctly. I did not notice that one of the walls in the Inkscape design would have to be flipped when creating the box, so the holes did not line up at all. I also cut all the wood that I would need at school and brought all of the materials to my house for weekend assembly. This meant that I had to wait until the Monday after Easter and after the assignment deadline to laser cut a new piece. If I had observed my Inkscape design more carefully, I could have avoided this. Please see the progress pictures (including the error) and video below.

     Finally, I assembled the box with the new outer wall featuring the square hole in the correct position. Another issue that I ran into came from there not being enough play between the inner walls and outer walls. So, I sanded the inside of the outer walls in an attempt to fix the issue. I then applied wood conditioner and wood stain to the outer walls of the box in order to give it the darker look that I wanted. I had never stained wood before, so I used the website And for the light element, I used an Arduino and a breadboard with an LED. The square hole allowed for the breadboard to be inserted neatly into the box. Please see the sanding, staining, and gear pictures below.

     I think that this has been my favorite Informatics 490 project so far. I was able to take inspiration from my original laser name tag that highlighted my love for music, and make a project that is even more meaningful. I ran into bumps along the way, including the hole misalignment and the play between boxes, but I worked hard to fix these issues. Even with these problems, I had fun making this gear box. As I mentioned earlier, I could have avoided the misalignment issue if I had carefully gone over my Inkscape design, so that is what I would do differently next time. Finally, please see the final product pictures and videos below. Thank you for reading.



Birds Silhouettes:

Electric Guitar Silhouette:…0.0..……1….1..gws-wiz-img.hJ4nuFrfX44#imgrc=IvEIxUypWts9RM:

Acoustic Guitar Silhouette:…0.0..……1….1..gws-wiz-img.hJ4nuFrfX44#imgrc=uJi9kKOlyQBurM:

Two-Piece Box Design:

Wood Staining Tutorial:




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Iteration Project

Two projects that I was most excited about were also two projects that didn’t go well. They are laser cutting and stickers. I wanted to iterate laser cutting and add a new feature that I have not added before which is the photos. I wanted to make an acrylic photo frame for a collage of photos. Something that I can display and use it every day. 

This is the initial design of my project. The symbol that represents each picture is engraved (rastered) on the acrylic piece that covers the photo.

I first made a main piece of the acrylic panel using the inkspace. I had to get a 12in by 6 in clear acrylic.  I wanted to make a bigger frame but that would have costed a little more. First, I made different sizes of rectangles and squares for the pictures.

I had to make sure the size of the shapes for resizing my photos for corresponding sizes. 

I then had to save the shapes for the wood panel on the right position so my back wooden panel has the right texts on the correct position not covering the picture frames. 

I made the same shapes so I can attach to the original clear pieces so we can easily pick up the pieces to see the photos. This time, I added the symbols to raster on the acrylic. It was difficult to find acrylic scraps that are not aggressive colors and has enough spaces for my shapes. I had to run back and forth a lot to laser cut.

The rastor is kind of hard to see because the colors of the acrylic were not bold enough. I didn’t have a choice to pick other colors so that was a bummer.

This is how it looks like with the pieces in.

I used the poster printer to print all the photos. For some reason, it took me longer than I expected. I had to upload my photos from my iPhone to google drive. Download them and resize all of them to match my shapes. Then, I put them in one file and print them which the printer gave me a little hard time. It was hard to figure out things by myself but it felt good when I got them all printed. The photos are blurry because I had to resize them so small.

this is what it looks like when the photos are in the shapes and the puzzle pieces are covering. 

I combined two shapes so I can pick them up easily. As you can see in the above picture, the shapes are peaking out. 


Overall Thought…

It turned out pretty well. Not as good as how I designed which would have taken too much time (this already took me almost 10 hours). I definitely feel more confident about laser cutting. Thanks to my classmates and people at the fab lab for helping me. It was so stressful as usual. But I’m excited to give this as a gift to my boyfriend. I hope my time and effort were worth it. 

I wanted to make holes to screw all the panels together but I ‘m too scared of shattering my acrylic pieces. For now, they are taped down. I will look for ways to put them together more neatly. I’m glad that I developed my laser cutting and inkspace skills through this project. I felt like I’m not confident enough in any of the materials/programs we have used so far prior to this project. However, now I think I can make more stuff using these materials/machines/programs. 

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Iteration Assignment

For my iteration assignment I decided to combine the pom pom bot assignment with the pop up card assignment and make a little robot with an LED light attachment. 

My idea was to have a puppet “connect the dots”, resulting in an idea represented by a lightbulb on her head lighting up and her hand coming to her chin.

To do so, I knew I would need two servos for the arm movements and a copper wire circuit running through the puppet to the head. For the dots I decided to have a box that the puppet could sit in and be surrounded by dots. 

Here is a more detailed sketch:

..that I used to plan out where the wires from the servo to the arduino would run, and how the circuit would look. 

First, I created the box.

I used popsicle sticks, cardboard, and hot glue. Later decorating with black foam paper and copper tape circles.

I made the bottom open, so there was room to get my fingers in yet still having enough of a floor to glue down the batteries and the puppet.

I made the puppet have a 3d head, leaving the face open for now so I could insert the copper tape. The popsicle stick serves as a body and a cut through another popsicle stick made it possible to glue on some arms. The pipe cleaner serves as extra stability to make sure that the weight of the servos don’t break the puppets arms. 

Servos in position.

Next I made a tiny lightbulb from hot glue.

Adding the copper tape. I was really concerned about conductivity here so I wrapped the tape around the LED, covering some parts twice and then taped two pieces of the tape together to form long strands. I used more tape to tape these down inside the puppet, and left enough tape loose near the button-pressing arm so that it could move to it’s highest (180*) and lowest (0*) positions without breaking the tape. Then, to Dot’s suggestion, I made the contact points for the switch uneven surfaces to increase the chance of the switch working. For the hand I wrapped a pom pom in tape to the popsicle stick I put on the servo arm. And for the other contact point I wrapped tape over a felt dot with a little tissue underneath. 

I glued the puppets face on and glued it into position in the box. Then I had to figure out how to get the tape and batteries in the right spot. 

It took a while to get the batteries in the right spot on the tape, and then to put the dot through the foam and on top of the batteries but eventually I got it, and it conducted super easily. 

I then added more foam to the top and made a shirt from fabric. After that, I cut black construction paper to form a bottom, since the Fab Lab only had the 1 sheet of black foam paper.

The servos were plugged into the arduino and pushed through a hole in the back of the puppet, but I forgot to label which wires were which so I had to cut the bottom out and see.

When it came to coding the robot, my laptop really did not mesh with the Arduino online software. I went home for the weekend and only had access to my Mac laptop.

While trying different codes and positions I would constantly get the busy sign when trying to upload the code.

The arm that acts as a switch for the circuit worked perfectly, but in the end I simply could not get the second arm to move. My suspicion is that a wire may have gotten knocked out inside the puppet, but it doesn’t help that I was really infrequently able to test changes in the code.

All in all I’m really happy with how the robot puppet turned out! I put more TLC into this project than some of the others and it really does look like how I envisioned. I’m going to try the code again when I next have access to one of the Acers at the lab, but if that doesn’t work I might open up the bottom for a second time just to see if the problem is really with the wires.


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My Iterative Custom Arcade Cabinet


The theme of this project was iteration. Iteration is when you take a current version of something and modify it and make it better. There is not one sure fire way to iterate on a project to make it better so the sky is the limit on this project. The only catch was. that we had to use at least two techniques in conjunction, with each other, when making the iteration.

For this assignment I decided to iterate on my arduino concept project. In that assignment I simply made an arudino print text to a LCD screen. The text that was printed was dependent on which button was push, left button, or right button.

Pictures 1 & 2: Picture 1 shows actively reading input. Picture 2 shows (printed on the LCD screen) what could happen if you pressed one of the buttons. 

How I planned to make an iteration was in three ways: physicality, better back end, and finally content. Before the iteration, the product was a skeleton that barley did anything. It was a ton of fun to breath life into this project!


What I mean by “physicality” is, changing what the project looks like. To change the project physically I considered what I wanted to make over. Being me, I wanted to make a game. What is the most iconic physical manifestation of a video game then? An arcade cabinet. An arcade cabinet is the name of the console that 70’s arcade games were put into. Classics like: Mrs. Pacman, Galaga, and Street Fighter can be found inside arcade cabinets.   

Picture 3 & 4: Dimension planning & reference photo.

Here we have my plan on paper and my inspiration. Once I saw this adorable little thing on the right I got to work jotting down dimensions. I modified the drawing a bit because I thought it would be easier without it. the dimensions on the left are relative to the arduino parts that I was using. Funny enough, the base of the cabinet ended up being a square (the picture is wrong). the length of the LCD is 3.25 in and the width of the arduino is 3.25. Besides the neat presentation, the case also allows for handheld game play. The player can play the game in the palm of their hands instead of being anchored to the table. 


Pictures 5, 6 & 7: Arcade Shell (left) Dissection (center) Mess up (right).

On the left we have the assembled shell. ideally what it would look like when completed. This shell was created by putting together two halves (center) with some wood glue. The back half of the shell turned out to not work with my design. The wires for the LCD prevented the back half from being put on. The red marking on the right picture was a marking telling me where I needed to cut. I ended up remaking the entire back half with a big window for the wires. 

Picture 8 & 9: Completed Front & Completed Back.

The front of the cabinet looked amazing. On the left side of the picture we can see the little window where the wires get to peak through. The six cords coming through the middle are for the two buttons I will use for input. In the back we have some awesome wiring that I very proud of despite it being simple. The LCD and arduino are held together in place my rubber cement. I used rubber cement because it is what works best for gluing plastic to wood. I have a full back panel that I did not put on, for ease of access reasons, that makes the back look even more clean while giving me access to the power supply. This was the most intensive change done to the original project. 

Better Back End

A better back end simply means that the coding was improved. What I did differently was, instead of just simply printing text to the screen using a void loop function, I implemented switch case functions with global variables. Switch case is basically a better if statement. Switch case functions get to bounce around depending on the situation, very manipulable through the use of global variables. Once a situation occurs I can change the global variables so that the program can jump to the right situation instead of just going down the list. 


Content is the game side of the project. Within the switch cases, I spun a simple dungeon crawler game. What the player picks, or doesn’t pick, will affect them as they travel through the dungeon. Also, a mechanic in the game will be the buttons changing purpose. In the original project, I made the buttons only print yes or no. Now, the buttons will change purpose per the situation. Before a battle, two lines of text will display what the buttons do. For example, I have text saying “left is defend, right is attack” before a battle. This text tells the user that the buttons now serve a different purpose. Overall, I will use this mechanic to force the player into situations where they have to ponder the consequences of their future actions. The mechanic gave the game its name, “True Dichotomy.” Because, there are literally only two options thus the true dichotomy.  


In the link provided one can see the project in motion. The switch case allowed the “really, no” text to come out. Since the variable counting the number of times left was pressed was one, instead of presenting nothing it jump to the next option. 

Overall, this project was a ton of fun! This is one of the few times where an end project actually turns out how you wanted it to turn out! One aspect of this project I would change was in the planning phase. instead of doing: construction -> coding -> turn in. I should have done: coding -> construction -> turn in. I felt that I needed to construct the physical object before I coded the game, but that was wrong. I just needed the skeleton to code the game, and debug it. This left the end product feeling rushed. Other projects got in the way last week, so I really only was able to go to the FabLab today (extra time really helped!) thus I was only able to code the game for a couple hours. Coding the game before all this would have saved me a ton of time and stress! One final change I could make to this product is a portable battery. While one isn’t too anchored when playing the game, the 1.5 foot USB B-type cable doesn’t allow the user to stray to far from a computer. have an external power supply would really increase the portability of this product. Again, this project was super fun, and now have some thing to put on my future office desk!

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Makeathon: Accessible Design

I participated in the Accessible Design Makeathon in place of the iteration assignment and joined Team Solestice from Vishal’s class. Our goal was to create an attachable shoe tread that could be used to travel in a variety of terrains. The tread would be lightweight and one that prosthetics users could use to walk around icy terrains more safely and confidently. As the fab lab consultant on this team my goal was to become familiar with the project they had been working on all semester, help make the prototype, and to help them with the tools and resources. I attended the initial meet-up for presentation which is where I meet and talked to various teams, need-knowers, mentors, and team Solestice. I then met with them to discuss their progress, research, goals, their mentor’s perspective, and to prepare for the makeathon weekend.

During the Makeathon weekend I spent 10+ hours with my team to create a useable prototype of their designs. It started off with making a tread mold out of a shoe using a ready made molding mix that we only had to add water too. The first time we did this it didn’t work because it stuck to the shoe because we didn’t oil or put baby powder on the shoe. The second time we used baby powder and got it to work well. Here’s the result:

Then we had to fill the mold with a material that would work well with the mold, created stabilizing friction, was lightweight, and a little flexible. We were advised to use silicone or hot glue. We choose to use hot glue because it was better for black ice and creates enough friction to prevent falling. I spent about 3 hours filling the mold with hot glue. Then to smooth out the top of the mold I used a heat gun to melt and resettle the top layer. In hindsight, using the heat gun and laying glue sticks in the mold may have worked and been more time-efficient, but doing it the way we did resulted in a better prototype that filled all the small cracks in the tread mold. 


Meanwhile the other members of our team worked on the Arduino pressure sensor for the attachable tread. The Arduino would light up attached LED’s to indicate how much pressure the wearer was putting on their heel. We deicide to add this component because prosthetic leg users indicated that they had trouble knowing how much pressure they were putting on it. Adding this would help maximize stability and make our product unique from other attachable shoe treads. 

After the thermal glue tread was finished we started attaching the velcro straps to the tread with hot glue. These straps were stable and tested many time to ensure maximum stability on the shoe when walking. Then we attached the pressure sensor to the back of the tread with the lights on the side. Our final prototype turned out pretty well but we ran out of time toward the end so we were unable to create an enclosure that would contain all the Arduino cords and parts on the back. Future improvements we would have made would include a 3D printed enclosure for the Arduino, a smaller Arduino board and a more aesthetic looking sensor and shoe attachments. 


We also created a poster and powerpoint presentation for the judging and presentation part of the Makeathon and were interviewed by a TV station. The product we ended up with would be beneficial for many people who have difficulty walking outside when it’s icy out including prosthetic leg users, older adults, and people with brittle bones. Overall, it was a long exhausting weekend but I’m really glad that I was able to be a part of this great team and participate in this Makeathon.

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Craig Santo – Iteration

(Iteration on Arduino Week 1)

Original: Simple temperature sensor that shows a color between blue-green-red depending on where the temperature is relative to a low-medium-high set-value.

Light on Low Setting

Light on Middle Setting


My goal was to turn the temperature sensor into a more useful, more ‘physical’ thermometer. Feature-wise, this included integrating more sensors that I’ve never used before: An lcd screen, buzzer, button, and changed the single RGB LED for an array of neopixels. The max-min range of the thermometer is changeable in the code easily. The neopixels start at blue at the bottom, and interpolate up to red at the top. An alarm can be set to go off if the temperature goes above (or below, with a different flag) a certain temperature – and a button can enable/disable the alarm. The lcd screen displays the current temperature.


Pastebin of final code:

I spent a lot of time tinkering with the LCD – the trouble being that there are several libraries with the same name (LiquidCrystal_I2C.h) and it took a while to find one that worked. This library did the trick:

Clean wiring was another thing I struggled with – especially when factoring in the box itself. I used a simple press-fit box and smoothed out an edge on each of the walls.

Otherwise, incrementally adding more components to the arduino wasn’t an issue – adding more sensors is easy enough once you’ve done it a few times.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but if I had the chance to iterate again, I might redesign the box with thought given to how the components will sit.

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Makeathon Blog

During our initial meeting, I met my group members when we were interviewing our mentors. I asked John about wearing a watch with limited hand mobility and he told me that he doesn’t wear a watch because it’s hard to get on. But my group was originally planning on creating a glove to help people with limited hand mobility eat, so during the presentation on Friday, we did some research and found a lot of products that had already been created. We changed gears and ended up going with the watch band idea.

Our first idea for the watch band was making it easy to get on. We used fabric and some makeshift pieces to make our first prototype, but it was hard to understand how it would work without a real watch face. I used the laser cutter a lot to print clasps that ended up being a part of our final prototype. They were simple, but they also got me extremely comfortable with the laser cutting machines and using Inkscape again.

I had someone from Autodesk help me take a 3D model of an Apple Watch and create clasps so we could attach our fabric to it. Here is a picture of the watch:

Next, we worked with some textiles and the sewing machines to create a solid band that we could attach to the 3D printed prototype. With trial and error, we ended up using a mix of faux leather, Velcro, acrylic laser cut pieces, cloth and the string with different elasticity to finish the band.

It felt good to know that we created something that helps others, and on the side, we ended up tying for first place. Our group worked well together and even though we struggled through some of the processes, we were really happy with our final product. As an example, Friday was a tough night for the makeathon because we spent hours working on the watch band idea and didn’t get very far, but when we came back on Saturday, we had fresh ideas and were ready to work. Things began to flow, and the ideas became realities. Overall, I’m glad I participated in the makeathon and I learned a lot about the making process.

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Final Project Proposal: Nature Themed Infinity Mirror

For the final project I would like to make a nature themed infinity mirror which can be hung on a wall and will create an illusion that makes the mirror seem to have a deeper field of depth. My interest in doing this project was inspired by instructables I watched and the upcoming Champaign-Urbana Immersion Festival. 

Mirror Instructable:

I’ll be using a broken mirror frame I already have. For the front piece I’ll need plexiglass, clear glass, or a clear acrylic sheet that’s 14 inches by 16 inches, glass would be preferable as it has better results.  

Using the laser cutter I would cut this sheet into the specific oval shape I need for the mirror frame. I would also need a mirror that is 14 inches by 16 inches and would cut this using the laser cutter or a glass cutter. If the Fab Lab doesn’t have a glass cutter I would order a mirror piece that is already cut to the exact oval shape I need. Then using an Arduino and a 41in (~3.3ft or 1m) string of LED’s, I would program the LED’s to go off in a certain pattern. I wanted to decorate the outside of this project as well so I could add a new tool or technique to this project. I could do this by making decorative mushrooms using 3D resin printers, sound activated glowing mushrooms, or Ecovative fungus mold. Preferably, I will be able to use Ecovative and make the mold made using 3D printing or milling. From the video’s I watched it seems like it will take about 2 weeks but this may be cutting it close to the immersion festival.


Grow it yourself:

Glowing Mushroom Instructable:

Thingyverse 3D mushrooms:

Supplies Needed:

14x16in plexiglass (or clear acrylic)

1.5ft x 2ft mirror film 

14x16in mirror

3.3ft string of LED’s 

Ecovative supplies


+ Do research beforehand to understand the process of the project I’m trying to do to make sure it’s possible and to reflect a lot on the project before fully deciding on one 

+I want to challenge myself to become more comfortable with using and programming Arduinos through this project

+I want to push myself to learn about and use Ecovative material if possible within time constraints and to use this material or other types of decorations using a new technique to make my project unique from other infinity mirrors

+ Submit my piece to the Immersion Festival in Urbana-Champaign and participate if selected 

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Iteration: Nametag

For this week’s assignment, we had to re-do a previous assignment, using different tools and materials. 

I decided to re-do my name tag, as an infinity mirror. I decided to use led strips, laser cut wood for the sides, mirrored acrylic for the back, and clear acrylic for the front, with mylar film.


Making the Side Panels

For the sides, I had to measure the led strips so that I could have holes in the side panels to have the led go through. Then, I used the epilog laser to print out the sides. When the sides were done, I had to glue them together with wood glue. Holding it clamped proved to be a bit of a challenge, as the sides couldn’t really support the strength of the clamps by itself. I had to cut out some popsicle sticks, and clamp it together to provide support to the sides


Soldering Led Strips

The led strips had to go outside the side panels, which meant I had to cut a strip for each of the four sides, then solder them together. This proved to be the most difficult part of this project, as soldering tiny wires onto the led strips were very challenging. Cutting out small wires were not easy either. After a while, however, I was able to solder all four strips together, and have them working. I used code from a website that provided instructions on how to program led strips.


Front and Back Panels

The front and back panels were fairly straightforward, as they just had to be large enough to cover the sides, and the led strips. The front side was clear acrylic, with my name etched on the front, and the back side was just mirrored acrylic.


Assembling All Parts Together

As I had all of the parts to my project ready, I assembled them together. First, I had to tape the led strips to the side panels, then I applied mylar film to the front panel, so it would be reflective enough to create the infinite mirror illusion. Then, I clamped all three of them together, and applied tape around the edges to hold them all together


Finished Product & Reflection

The new name tag worked very well, and I am very pleased with how it turned out. It required a lot of time to make, and I think it paid off really well.

I had a lot of help from Dot, who helped me get my hands on mylar film, and also Jess, who generously allowed me to use some of her own supplies.

I think that I could have made a better frame, sot hat the assembly was easier and so that it would be easier to take apart, in case I wanted to use a different label for the front panel.

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Final idea

My final project is inspired by Mother London’s “Wildhomes for Wildlife” campaign with Ikea.

Designers took Ikea furniture and repurposed it to make wacky and creative birdhomes. I want to do something similar utilizing ‘woodshop tools’ and ‘laser printing’ to make creative homes for bees. In addition to this, I want to have my 2 learning goals be really purposeful. Firstly, I want to challenge myself to use limited resources. Only using items that I can scavenge and give a second life to. I think using recycled and repurposed materials will add another level to this sustainability focused project, as well as challenge me to not take the easiest route. Secondly, I want to work on my time management. I plan to allow myself more time than I think I need, as I’ve underestimated the time cost of nearly every project this semester. 

Support-wise I think I will definitely need to reach for assistance with anything woodshop related. Friends & Fab Lab employees pls help. Additionally, I’ll use online resources like Google and Youtube to inspire the construction of the house itself and then creatively design the outside to be aesthetically pleasing in the garden. 



Not sure why it uploaded upside down. But I’ve decided to call the project “Air Bee&Bee”

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Arduino II Assignment

For this week’s continuation of Arduino, we incorporated movement using servo motors. Our assignment was to build a locomotive pom-pom bot using these motors, the Arduino for programming the movement, and basic arts and crafts skills for the robot creation. 

In honor of Game of Thrones premiering its last season this weekend, I wanted to try creating a dragon. My initial prototype imitated simple wing movement. 

While using the servo motors to create movement in the dragon’s wings was my original plan for this project, I figured it was too simple for the final product and obviously did not incorporate the “walking” movement that we were asked to do.

So for my second prototype, I just wanted to try creating simple “walking” movement. I taped two servo motors together and some sort of initial skeletal body, and programmed the Arduino to rotate the motors in a back and forth motion. Only having two motors on me, I could only imitate movement for what would be the two front legs of the dragon.

It sort of worked. Because of the lack of friction however, the prototype mostly moves backwards or in place rather than forward. So for my next and final prototype, I tried hot gluing all the parts together rather than tape for better stability, and added some decoration to make it look more like a dragon as well as adding some weight for better friction.

As you can see, I’m not a very crafty person… the dragon turned out to look more like a chicken. I even tried adding some fire coming out of its mouth. 

Unfortunately the extra weight and stability did not help it go forward, but at least it’s moving more in place rather than backwards. If I had more time on this project, I would definitely look more into increasing the friction between the feet and surface for better, more realistic movement, as well as more time on decorating.

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Arduino bots


I learned how to make two motors work at the same time in class. I also learned how to change the starting position and delay time to make the motors go at a different time or different speed. This is the video of my first prototype going forward. Later, I found a way to make it go straight with two motors which is how I created my bots. 

It was having difficulty going forward because it was heavy and the friction from the desk. I attached a popsicle stick to give a little support. I thought it would make it easier to move forward; however, now that popsicle stick is attached, it was having more frictions. I decided to give more support to the motors so they don’t have to carry way too much weight going forward. This is how I got to make my tarantula. I made some change in my code to make the two motors go at a different time. This way, they could resist frictions and go forward more easily. This is the final product of my Arduino bot. The front two legs of my tarantula have two motors attached and make the bot moves forward. I came to this design after figuring out how to move the front two motors. It doesn’t go straight so it reminded me of insects/animals that don’t move in a straight line. Some of the improvements I made to the first design are changes in code that make two motors work at a different time, perfect delay time and starting positions to make it go forward, perfect distance between two motors so they can resist the frictions, and support system from the popsicle sticks.

It was definitely challenging to make changes in code without help from instructors. However, my classmates who are familiar with coding helped me write codes and understand how to resist the frictions. I was kind of discouraged when it was working and other people were making such cool bots. I felt a little incompetent, but I figured things out myself and created this cute tarantula! It always feels good after I finish my project after having so many emotional obstacles during the process. 

I’m just surprised by how many cool things you can do with Arduino. I hope to learn more skills so I can create more cool stuff with it.


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