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Kevin Roche
Here's video of the very cool mechanized Gold Medal ThinBot was awarded at Robogames 2012 last night.

Kevin Roche
14 April 2012 @ 02:59 pm
Here are a couple of photos of ThinBot after installing the full-length food-grade Norprene tubing.

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I also did a quick calibration test of one pump, it delivered almost exactly the 100ml requested. The new hoses also maintain better vacuum back to the pump, so the nozzle drips almost not at all when dispensing ends.

Next step (this weekend): build the bell ringer and glass detectors, which are not necessary for ThinBot to perform properly but will definitely add some zing.
Kevin Roche
Having identified the interference problem with the pump motors, I took a break and built a new cable for the control unit.

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I also mocked up the design for the new mounting panels:

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Satisfied that the new design would work, I set out to build it, and assemble the works:
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Next post: assembled with new hoses.
Kevin Roche
The Anko pumps are much beefier (over a pound apiece), so I got a new set of panels and set out to rebuild the pump head portion of ThinBot, with blue LEDs behind each pump rotor.

Everything looked great until I tried to assemble the four panels into the head assembly and discovered that the pump motors collided with each other.

Along the way, I figured out a bunch of things for the second attempt, so the effort was not entirely time wasted.

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As I said, back to the drawing board.
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Kevin Roche
19 March 2012 @ 09:59 am
I just got notice that the better*, custom, peristaltic pumps I ordered for ThinBot in December have finally shipped from Florida, delivery tomorrow.

Too bad Barbot was 3 weeks ago. On the other hand, this means they can be installed for the actual competition at Robogames.

*Well, we hope better. Certainly designed for more demanding service than the aquarium dosing pumps I've used as backup.
Current Mood: relievedrelieved
Kevin Roche
15 March 2012 @ 10:01 am
I have submitted my registration to enter ThinBot in the Robot Bartending category at the Robogames in San Mateo April 20-22.

More details as I know them.
Current Mood: artisticartistic
Kevin Roche
08 March 2012 @ 12:32 pm
I haven't had time yet to write up the awesome (and intense) event that was BarBot 2012.

ThinBot performed very well, and got many kudos from the crowd and the other 'bot makers. Based on its performance Friday night, I did a quick update to the pouring software Saturday morning, and we had to field swap one pump head in the middle of Saturday night (15-20 mins downtime, max). Other than that, even with the "Emergency Holographic Pumps" it went pretty smoothly.

We were mentioned (with photos and video) by name in the Make Blog review of the event, so for the moment I'll point you at that:

Scroll down and look for ThinBot!

(Note for the future: it doesn't matter how fab your 'bot is when all that's left is the cheap booze. The drinks won't taste as good)
Current Mood: happyhappy
Kevin Roche
28 February 2012 @ 10:50 pm
Since I know better than to have Friday night be the first real run with a new 'bot, we let ThinBot make Vespers this evening:
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MMMMMMmmmmm, Vespers....

What's the beverage equivalent of nomnomnom?
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Kevin Roche
26 February 2012 @ 11:00 pm
We used Andy's camera to shoot some better photos than I could get with my iPhone.

Presenting (sans fluids): ThinBot!

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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Kevin Roche
We observed last year that it was important to elevate one's power supply above the wet components of a barbot, lest leaks or condensation find their way into the wiring (one bot was offline for a while until its power supply could be replaced).

I'd already mounted my power supply and control relays on a shelf above all the other components of ThinBot, but wanted a little more protection from spilled drinks. Besides, a dome would just sort of finish the look.

After a bit of shopping (we considerd the outer bowl from a salad spinner, and another from a microwave popcorn popper, but they were both translucent rather than transparent) I found a polycarbonate serving bowl that I could repurpose as a dome:

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I then reassembled everything so bovil could use a better camera for a final shot of the assembled ThinBot; I'll put that in a separate post.
Current Mood: happyhappy