Visit us at the Maker Faire Bodensee 2016!

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On 25th and 26th of June 2016 a Maker Faire is going to take place in Friedrichshafen/Bodensee. LXRobotics is going to showcase numerous of our robotic projects e.g. the latest version of the featherweight class combat robot Schnauzer, both mini sumo robots Sergeant Pain and Evolution as well as all of our products (which are mostly Arduino Shields 🙂 )

We are looking forward meeting you at our booth A5-310 in the hall A5 at the Messe Friedrichshafen!

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Setup AVR-GCC with Eclipse

With the Atmel Studio the Norway based semiconductor company provides a very powerful development tool for writing firmware for Atmel microcontrollers - for Windows. If you want to enjoy the benefits of an comfortable IDE on Linux you will need to setup the AVR-GCC compiler with Eclipse. Fortunately this is very easy - read here how to do it.

Download the latest AVR 8-Bit Toolchain from Atmel and move the downloaded archive to /opt where you unpack it:

Set the path so you can call the AVR-GCC from everywhere in the system:
You have to logout followed by a subsequent login to apply the changes to the environmental variable.To verify that the path has been entered correctly open a new shell and enter the following line:
The result should be a output very similiar to the next listing:
Next you have to start Eclipse and install the AVR-ECLIPSE plugin. To do so select the menu "Help - Install New Software". In the field "Work with" you must enter the following string:
avr-eclipse-1-install-eclipse-plugin

After the completion of the plugin installation you need to restart eclipse. Once restarted you can create a new project by selecting "New -> C(C++) Project". In the appearing menu you have to select "AVR Cross Target compilation" and "AVR-GCC Toolchain".

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As a last step you should set the CPU type for your project. By right clicking on the created project and selecting "Properties - AVR" you can select the CPU type as shown in the next picture.

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You have now setup the AVR-GCC with the comfortable Eclipse IDE and are ready to go. Build something great 🙂

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LXRobotics at the Maker Faire Vienna 2016

On 16th and 17th of April 2016 the first austrian Maker Faire took place at the "Atelierhaus der billdenden Künste" in Vienna. More than 240 makers and companies did present their work on three floors of the time-honored building to approximate 6000 visitors. The next picture sports an overview of the entry area. The LXRobotics booth is located at the left corner at the bottom of the image.

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The next picture shows the three floors on which exhibitions took place. Additionally there was a large room attached to the ground floor as well as food trucks plus a robotic band in the courtyard.

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The Maker Faire itself was more centered on the "do-it-yourself" theme and did have considerable less exhibitors with electronic gadgets than other Maker Faires. However, there were always people making inquiries about our robots and Arduino Shields.

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The next two pictures provide better insight into the layout of our booth. Since we forgot all our cameras at home I had to borrow those to pictures from the Maker Faire organisation team who also put together a great photo album. Also, there is a short video of the Maker Faire available.

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The left part of our booth was filled up with our large scale robots Queen, Steroid and Schnauzer. We also displayed Lunchbox and the Mini-Sumo Robots Sergeant Pain, Evolution and Argos.

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As mentioned before a robotic band was playing in the courtyard: The One Love Machine Band. It is a very interesting "artsy" installation which you should definitely pay a visit to see them live in action 🙂

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Apart from the big music playing robots there were many other creations such as the cute robot in the next picture ...

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... as well as a myriad of small projects developed by fellow Makers.

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And what would be a Maker Faire without 3D printers? (This question is purely rethorical 🙂 )

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Finally we want to thank all our visitors for the good conversations we had at our booth. Furthermore we would like the organisation team for the great organisation and also the delicious food supply at the saturday evening come-together.

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Featherweight Schnauzer Part 16

Welcome back to another update in the (re-)build process of the featherweight Schnauzer. In the previous blog post I've described the mounting of the wheel boxes to the base plate as well how I did manufacture new side armour plates out of Hardox. In this blog post I am going to talk about the assembly of the complete drive train. As a first step I did disassemble the whole motor and the gearbox in order to check all parts for damages sustained during the last fight(s). After the gearbox and the grease have been removed the Robot Power Magnum 775 motor with its gear pinion remains, as you can see on the following picture.

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On the next picture you can see the shaft of the planetary gearbox. If you take a closer clook you will notice that the diameter at the front of the shaft is smaller than the diameter at its back. It was necessary to reduce the diameter because the bevel gear which needs to be attached to the shaft only has a 10 mm wide bore. The reduction was done by my uncle with a lathe (Thank you 🙂 ).

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After this step I could start with reassembling the gearbox. The first step was to put back the four small gears on the four rear shafts of the gearbox shaft. Together they form the second stage of the planetary gearbox.

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Then this unit is inserted into the front ball-bearing which is press-fitted in the front motor base plate.

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Afterwards the first stage of the planetary gearbox with three bigger wheels on its three rear shafts are inserted into the previously assembled second gearbox stage.

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Now the outer ring of the planetary gearbox which has gears inside can be imposed over the gears of the first and the second gearbox stage.

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Finally the motor can be attached to the assembled gearbox.

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After mounting the back plate the assembly process of the RobotPower Magnum 775 motor is complete.

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Since the front part of the gearbox shaft was cut down to a diameter of 10 mm the bevel gear can now be easily attached at the shaft.

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In the next step three M4 set screws are inserted in the threads evenly spaced around the bevel gear.

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On the next picture you can see a close-up of the set screws.

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After the set screws have been screwed completely in (by using an allen key) they are on one level with the surface of the bevel gear. In order to prevent them from vibrating loose Loctite bolt adhesive was applied.

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In order to mount the motor to the base plate of the robot an polycarbonat adapter plate was manufactured.

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On the next picture you can see a bottom view of the polycarbonat adapter plate.

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Finally both motors were mounted on the base plate utilizing aforementioned adapter plate.

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In the next picture you can see how the bevel gears of the motors are interlocking with the bevel gears of both rear wheel boxes. This solution consumes little space while still allowing for powerful motors.

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Next you'll see a glimpse of the bottom side of the base plate. Notice how all screws are embedded in the base plate by means of counter sunk drilling:

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With the drive train being (mainly) completed it was time to start to work on the wiring. As a first step two polycarbonat panels were manufactured and mounted between the front and the back wheel boxes. The upper panel contains one red LED for signalizing that the robot is powered. Furthermore two red connectors (for the removable link) and one black connector (for charging the battery) are mounted on the upper panel. The lower panel consists of a green and and yellow signal LED - they do not have yet a functionality assigned and are kept in reserve for future upgrades.

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A more detailed picture of the upper panel:

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A more detailed picture of the lower panel:

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Stay tuned for further news about Schnauzers progress 🙂

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