After some interesting discussions on a Saturday afternoon, the Archi Fab-Lab gang decided to pursue a research and fabrication of a drawing machine! Here are a few links to the machines that people have previously made:
Later that night, each of the team reconvened to start sketching, testing, and fabricating different components -- small series of dry-runs on electronics and the mechanical designs. We managed to produce some successes with the hello.boards, before we fried them one by one. Still, a great atmosphere in the Archi Fab-Lab when everyone was pouring his / her energy and helped each other.
I'm a part of the Electronic Team for this project, who would interface with the Software Team a lot throughout. We planned to test communications between the different boards we wanted to use, so we started to use the existing hello.boards series to start this with.
As per Matt Edward's suggestion, Cagri and I tried to test the possibility of using the ISP Headers as Serial Connections between the different boards, i.e. to be connected as a bus. Here, we used Neil's Bus Bridge board connected to a Stepper Board. Cagri wrote up a code that allowed for us to use the ISP MOSI & MISO to act as Tx & Rx, while getting the board powered through the VCC and GND from an FTDI connection.
The video demostrated the success we had. Check Cagri's Networking page out as he continued to develop this as a part of his weekly assignment.