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Week 12

This week, we built a machine! View the entire team page here.

Marble release

My contribution to our machine is a component that would release marbles onto the floor on the input signal. This would consist of a container with a door held by a servo latch that is triggered remotely. I hooked up my breakout board and implemented a simple Arduino sketch to turn 90 degrees on a push button.

Alexia laser cut a container for the marbles out of cardboard. In the spirit of Home Alone, there were no fancy components and the door hinge was simply a fold in the cardboard. Alexia included a slot for the mini servo to easily fit in.

Modular things

The next step was to hook this up to the rest of the machine so that the input signal would trigger the release. I used one of the generic servo modular things boards. I accidentally soldered a 10ohm resistor instead of a 10uF capacitor and realized when the board was overheating.

With Treyden and Leo's help, I downloaded Modular Things and implemented a simple sketch to write the position of the servo to 0 or 90 degrees. Because "microseconds" are a more absolute measurement than "angle" for the servo, I calibrated the values by hand to figure out which position corresponded to each.

There were three breakout pins on the modular board: 3.3V, ground, signal. I had soldered on a 2x3 header to the footprint (which I was later told was not the intended use), so I crimped a female connector to the servo. I also got to use shrink wrap for the first time in a while!

We filled the container with marbles and made a complete mess filming the completed product!

Tips for the week