217: 10000 Pounds of Pressure

Bob Skala of Interactive Instruments spoke with us about very large servo motors, wind tunnels, and staying current in tech. 

Hydraulic Press YouTube channel (and our favorite video)

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Other good tech podcasts included The Amp Hour and HamRadio 360 WorkBench

Chris talked about getting into WSPR in 197: Smell the Transistor but we first talked about it in 76: Entropy is For Wimps. The new WSPR mode he mentioned is called FT8 (google it).

And a note from Bob:

Below is a link to a type of servo system that tries to simplify the interface to be more like a stepper.  It integrates the driver and motor into a single package so you can treat it like a stepper with digital step and direction or serial commands.  You get the smoothness, speed, accuracy and low power (when idle) of a servo but the servo motor, driver, and cabling are integrated into one magic box.  You add a DC supply and simple control signals and you are all set.  They came out with this to replace stepper motors.  I haven’t used one yet but I hope to at some point.

https://www.teknic.com/products/clearpath-brushless-dc-servo-motors/

 

201: Accidentally Incredibly Dangerous

Shaun Meehan (@logiclow) joined us to talk about robot arms and stealth rocket companies. Shaun’s rocket startup is hiring; information about the job openings are below. 

Shaun’s robot arm is an ABB IRB-2000 (video of Fred). Elecia was reading How to Choose the Right Industrial Robot when Shaun emailed. He convinced her that the MeArm Pocket Size Robotic Arm is the likely best choice for her machine learning typer project (which needs a better name). 

All this led to a discussion of inverse kinematics, robot operating system (ROS), and OpenAI. SparkFun has a nice guide to selecting the right motor if the DC, servo, stepper section went by a bit fast. Elecia mentioned the TI Piccolo line as good motor controllers, assuming you aren't building an FPGA controller from scratch on your own.

Repair cafes are a thing.

Shaun was on The Amp Hour 220: Doctiloquent Dove Deployer where he talked a lot more about his robot pets. For more about Fred, the robot arm, check out LogicLow.com. Also, see Shaun's github repo, Fun with Flip-Dots (on hackaday.io), his intended page for big servos (Not Your Hobby Servo, also hackaday,io)  His personal site detailing new projects, motors, and fire-breathing dodo birds is ShaunAndKelly.com.  

Shaun recently enjoyed The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

Stealth Space Rocket Company Hiring Information

We are a small, highly entrepreneurial team of rocket engineers with deep technical expertise who love to build things and relish the idea of a grand challenge. 

Building on over a decade of technology development in rocket propulsion, structures, and avionics funded by NASA and DARPA, we are applying a fast-paced, hardware-focused, agile approach to space launch.

Are you an engineer, hacker, maker, or physicist who has always dreamed of building rockets? Come help us build the hardware and launch the services that will open the frontier of space to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The company is in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. If you want to apply, email Shaun: space at logiclow dot com.