Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Sunday, July 8, 2012
I apologize for the 7 month delay in posting, but I am happy to report that construction on my latest ball machine (now officially titled Clockwork) is continuing as planned. School and lack of pieces have both caused some delays, but recent generous donations and eBay purchases have got me back on track for a late summer completion date.
Clockwork will be in every aspect my largest construction project to date. It will contain between 35,000 and 40,000 pieces, it will have over 300 feet of track, it will have approximately 20 long, twisting, fast-paced tracks with support for 30 balls at once. It will have at least 4 lifts, and at least 7 motors. Its central element, a computer controlled gantry crane which spans my entire room, is capable of carrying 5 balls at once, can automatically correct mechanical errors, and can randomly select paths in which to drop them.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I have completed a working prototype of my first Ferris Wheel style K'nex ball lift. The lift measures slightly over four feet in diameter (a far cry from my last K'nex Ferris Wheel), which was the largest I could make it and still have it fit within the space provided. I still have lots of ideas for new lifts and paths, whether or not they end up constructed depends on how much time I have between my classes, and how many Arduinos I can spare for this project.
I have a fully automated working prototype of the overhead crane completed. It is fairly slow, but it will only be one mechanism of many. I am currently in the process of building a ferris wheel lift, which, though common in many ball machines seen on Youtube, will be a first for me.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I am about a week into the construction of my newest and most complex ball machine, which is currently unnamed. The machine centers around a massive two-axis overhead gantry which covers my entire room. When finished, the gantry will be able to automatically detect when a ball has been loaded into it, then deposit it in one of several tracks by the use of a random number generator. This video is the first test of bi-directional motor control in this machine. I will post a new video when I have a test of ball loading and depositing completed.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
This is the finished model of my earlier Automatic CVT prototype. It contains 31 gears and roughly 2,500 pieces. The mechanical design has remained unchanged since the prototype, but numerous structural enhancements have been made to allow for operation at much higher speeds and torques. I plan to post a video of the transmission soon.