Robot Army : Deltas in the Window

Mark and I finished up our window display at SYN Shop last night, which we set up to look kinda like a pet shop window. You know, with shredded graph paper at the bottom, little boxes stacked up to play in, and food dishes filled with misc components on the side. We have a rather busy taco joint next door with a walk up bar, so maybe…. just maybe…  the drunken shrapnel off Fremont Street will walk by, see my adorable little babies wiggling, be mystified by them, and feel compelled to rip one of our links off the adoption flyer.

Sadly by the time I woke up this morning our friend Pawel reported that two of our kids had destroyed themselves over night. Leaving them there running all night was kind of an unfair endurance test though. We switched out all their parts for the new tighter beefier versions we designed last week… all but the paddles. – You know, the part that bares all the weight. Guess which pieces failed. So, at some point today we’ll come rescue our kids and give them new little chicken wings… Then hopefully we don’t end up with a pile of sticks again… Saddest thing to see ever : http://moby.to/k4zpr1

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Yup. I can be honest and admit to you that Mark and I have been checking our phones, or updating our browsers every five minutes to see if we have new backers. Yesterday during the Super Bowl we forced ourselves only to check in between quarters and otherwise drank wine and talked about our campaign, ignoring the game. After the first two days we were at 25% and at this very moment as I type this we are hanging just above $3k. It’s a promising start… but none of my PR has paid off yet. I really hope that’s due to it being Monday and not the fact that I am either unpopular, unskilled at writing about my ideas, or too much of a tart to take seriously. Ahhh….. and this is yet another thing that’s feeding the neurosis. On that note, check out our page.

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Robot Army : Video Done… sigh…

It’s done. We filmed close to 100gb of video footage and ended up using less than a percent of that. We story boarded, scripted, tried various locations, and in the end chose the most simple three-minute segment that told the bare minimum about our project. It felt the best, flowed naturally, and isn’t so long that you’d stop watching in the middle of it. So I guess we succeeded. Here it is ^

Now that we’re over that hurdle, on to the next headache. In order to launch a project, Kickstarter requires that you have an Amazon business account to transfer money into once you’re funded. This is all well and good. Mark and I got our corporation made, filed for our EIN and were about to get everything underway with Amazon- however for reasons unknown there was a discrepancy with our tax information (or something???) and we got locked out of our account. This is irritating because they wont give us any details why or what we can do to fix it. ::sigh:: So… Mark and I have been in contact with Amazon’s call center in India, which isn’t really all that helpful. We can’t proceed with setting up our business account until this issue is sorted out, so for now we’re at a stand still. I’m hoping this mess doesn’t delay our February 1st launch… but it just might.

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Other than that, the end effector got a major upgrade this week. We got our light defuser samples in the mail and they’re quite sharp! Of the two sizes, it looks like the larger, more opaque domes will work perfectly for our kit. This means we’ll be replacing those cylindrical paint containers we jammed packing foam into with these new milky nipples :

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All I need to do is tweak the end effector to have holes for the four mounting pegs… SO PLEASED with these.

The stuff that goes inside the lenses also got a makeover. Mark’s tiny PCBs for the SMT LEDs also came in from OSH Park. He couldn’t refrain from adding an easter egg to the back side of the board… which is the reason for their new name. These “F Face” boards are great and will replace the little red through hole tiles I was using for the original six deltas :

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Mark is in the kitchen right now working on a new demo with the Kinect. We now have six robots working at once (two of the six were out of commission during CES). We also have nine more motors now, which will allow us to make an additional three whenever I get around to finishing the next revision of all the parts. Like I mentioned before, everything is getting tweaked. If it’s at all humanly possible, I’ll have all that ready tomorrow so I can print the new pieces and start assembling the three rev. B deltas so they’re ready before our next demo at Work In Progress. That would put us at 9 robots working in tandem. ::wiggles::

Tuesday is the next meeting for the hardware startup group Mark and I are a part of… and we’re giving a demo as well as announcing our February launch to all the downtown people. Hopefully the skelly tracking is ready before then- and of course, nine robots is better than six, so I will work my butt off to get those made too. Wish us luck!

Oh yeah, join the mailing list if you haven’t already! Show support for world domination with robots here : Robot Army Starter Kit Mailing List