At the request of several viewers I’m launching a Mini-bot project this week. The goal of this project is to provide a basic guide on how to go about building a small robot from scratch. There are many sources for parts for a robot and for this one I chose Pololu. They offer parts as well as robot kits at reasonable prices.
For this project I chose the smallest components I could find. The micro gear motors are an amazing piece of hardware. It’s incredible that there is a planetary gear transmission inside the 5mm diameter housing! The micro controller I chose is about the size of a postage stamp and the motor driver board isn’t much bigger. This allows for a final assembly that will fit on a small perfboard.
In part 2 I’ll post a wiring diagram and a parts list.
This week I’m doing some final cleaning and polishing of a few aluminum parts. I made some sodium hydroxide to help get the job done. This solution also works well as a de-greaser that can be washed away with water. Sodium hydroxide is also known as Lye. It’s in all soaps in very dilute quantities. It’s also the primary ingredient in most off the shelf de-greasers like Purple Power.
USE CAUTION WITH SODIUM HYDROXIDE! WEAR EYE PROTECTION AND RUBBER GLOVES! IN CONCENTRATED FORM IT WILL SLOWLY DISSOLVE FLESH! ewwwwwwwwwww
Sodium Hydroxide will eat aluminum! The byproduct is hydrogen gas. Use a dilute solution (2 – 3 tablespoons per gallon of water) in a well ventilated area.
It’s a caustic base chemical and can really irritate bare skin. If you get a concentrated amount on your skin rinse thoroughly with water. Follow the mixing directions and precautions in the video. I made mine from Draino drain cleaner in crystal form. Don’t try this at home.
We did it! We got married April 18th 2015 and I put this beautiful ring I made on Lisa’s finger. Many thanks to my jeweler friend Mark for allowing us to use his foundry and for all the help along the way.
I found this USB rechargeable lighter in Walmart and immediately thought about using it as a rechargeable battery for small electronic projects! It’s pretty easy to take apart and remove the heating element, install a switch and you have a neat little 3.7 volt LiPo battery pack for about $6.00!