josh ingram

mas.863 how to make

Light Spine
   new and improved and 100% arduino free

and the grand finale is.... drum roll.... lightspine!! IT is great when you can imagine something and then only a short 154 hours later it is sitting in front of you. like magic... or a tiring rollercoster of successes and failures that finally amounts into something that you are either blow away by or too tired to care anymore. In this case, i am satisfied. I feel good about the result despite a handful of set backs.

light spine is an idea i have had for a while to try and create a tall slim object that could control it's shape, similar to a snake or plant. the idea of supporting the entire weight of the object cantilevering way beyond it's center of gravity looks like magic to me.

light spine is made up of:

fabduino back to top

the fabduino is a do it yourself version of the arduino. I personally have had a huge amount of problems getting it to work successfully. I resorted to a arduino for the final but and going to try remaking the fabduino momentarily. one of the issues i run into frequently with the fabduino is the resonator. if you use the internal resonator, how do you know it is calibrated properly? and if you use a 16mhz external resonator, how do you program the board? These question i still haven't answered completely.


now 100% arduino free. I was able to build and replace the arduino with a fabduino. it's strange on how now it seems more complete.

stepper motors and drivers back to top

Daniel Rosenberg was nice enough to give me 3 beautiful stepper motors. they were all 6 wire steppers, which i was able to through trial and error figure out the wire pairing. They all worked wonderfully. the driver i modified from the MTM snap motor driver design. it also performed wonderfully after only exploding once. Yes, one of the resistors, maybe cracked while building the board exploded shortly after my first test. luckily i was able to replace it and everything worked successfully there after.

phototransistors back to top

i love tiny boards and my phototransistor boards are the tiniest so far. they are just the transistor and two wire leads. i moved the rest of there circuitry to a second board so that i could have minimal wires on the actual spine. 3 phototransistor board plug into the middleman board which sends the values to the fabduino. works perfect!

vertebrae back to top

these guys are the backbone of the project ;). I wish i could redesign them to incorporate few extra things, like integrating the phototransistors into them and building a cap piece. But these guy performed flawlessly. i guess its a testament to good design :)

misc components back to top

there are a lot of other small components that made this project work. One the springs. I wish i had more time and money to get springs that force was proportional to the weight of the vertebrae. but of a one shot they sure do work well! also the base i cased out of hydro-stone was a quick a dirty cast, but like everything else in this project turned out exceptionally well. those a few other components you'll see in the project are definitely the keystones that hold this project together.