Archive for the 'Science Projects' Category

The Mega Claw – Summary (9 of 9)

We took the Mega Claw to Maker Faire on Friday and it was amazing. We had a great time in the pre-events, plenty of free food, free beer and samples, yum! We also got to play in the hall of science’s playground without those pesky kids in the way. The machine took us hours to setup, but it was all in good shape. Things didn’t break until Saturday.
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The Mega Claw – Maker Faire (8 of 9)

The Night Before Maker Faire

‘Twas the night before Maker Faire, when all through the house
Not a motor was spinning, not even gauss;
The sensors were mounted, on the joystick with care,
In hopes that Bre Pettis soon would be there;
The engineers were nestled all snug in their beds,
Whiles visions of tesla coils buzzed in their heads;
The prizes were ready, some were wizard caps,
Some were inflatables, but none are pure crap.

Happy Maker Faire!

Continue reading ‘The Mega Claw – Maker Faire (8 of 9)’

The Mega Claw – Prizes (7 of 9)

So what kind of prizes does a massive claw machine have? Well we all chipped in and bought over $700 in prizes for Maker Faire. All the earnings will be used to power Splitreaction’s web fees, projects and cost of the machine. We certainly like the prizes. We hope you guys will too! Also since we hate unfair claw machines, the MEGA CLAW will be a PRIZE EVERY TIME!


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The Mega Claw – Electronics & Software (6 of 9)

HARDWARE

This is the block diagram, some of the things may have changed since we first worked with it. The Mega Claw is an Arduino Pro Mini with some Sabertooth Motor Controllers and a PC communicating over serial.
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The Mega Claw – The Frame, Sliders and Prize Bin (5 of 9)

THE FRAME

For the frame of the Mega Claw we figured we would start with a regular canopy. It was affordable and much more portable than the original one we started working with. In this segment We’ll talk more about how the main structure was put together and why it was designed that way.
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The Mega Claw – Joystick (4 of 9)

The joystick was a definite must.  We had talked about it and stumbled across Mary Flanagan’s giant joystick and it was final, we needed something epic. Just like her’s, ours is modeled after the Atari days of joysticks. It’s human sized and enough to be a project itself. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to use this to play games as well.
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The Mega Claw – Claaaaw (3 of 9)

So I designed the real claw in Google Sketchup, a 3d design tool. I decided to make it out of 1/4in plywood and to add a skate bearing at every joint to reduce any friction or strain on the motor. In hindsight this cost a lot more and probably wasn’t necessary. Continue reading ‘The Mega Claw – Claaaaw (3 of 9)’

The Mega Claw – Concepts and Experiments (2 of 9)

Here’s a little sketch of the original idea for the Mega Claw. Build a big frame, make a slide go back and forth left and right and drop a claw. Easy right?
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The Mega Claw – Logistics (1 of 9)

So we gave a lot of thought on what we would bring to Maker Faire NYC 2010. It needed to be fun to build, challenging to design and fun for non-makers to see. We wanted to keep it low cost or it needed to be marketable. Also it should be something we can upgrade every year. A mega sized claw was the best idea we had. It needed to be the biggest in existence, modular and transportable in a van, and just thinking about it brought nostalgia of childhood. The first thing we decided on was the size, it had to have a 10′x10′ footprint. It’s the maximum length we could fit in our cars and the maximum length any hardware store sells. The next thing we figured out was how many prizes we would need to stuff into this to make it look awesome. We figured the best way to fill the machine was to use balloons so it would look like a giant ball pit. The balloons would all represent a prize of some sort and be easier for the player to grab. A little math in the excel sheet below and we figured it would take close to 1000 balloons and take 1 person about 8hrs+ to fill it all up. Yikes! Also we started playing around with some numbers and we figured the project would cost us around $2000. It was too awesome an idea to pass up, no matter the cost. So we all committed and started chugging away at concepts and mini experiments.

Cost Estimate

Maker Faire 2010

Table of contents

The Mega Claw – Intro (Splash)

The Mega Claw – Logistics (1 of 9)

The Mega Claw – Concepts and Experiments (2 of 9)

The Mega Claw – Claaaaw (3 of 9)

The Mega Claw – Joystick (4 of 9)

The Mega Claw – The Frame (5 of 9)

The Mega Claw – Electronics & Software (6 of 9)

The Mega Claw – Prizes (7 of 9)

The Mega Claw – Maker Faire (8 of 9)

The Mega Claw – Summary (9 of 9)