BUILDING THE SCRIBBLER ROBOT

Douglas McDonald from www.tek-tonic.com and I are working on a robot that will use the scribbler algorithm to draw pictures on paper. Douglas contacted me about a half year ago after he saw the scribbler and created a version of it in Macromedia Director. We came up with the idea of creating an orthagonal plotter that will draw pictures based on images it captures through a video camera.
click here to see some of the first drawings the robot made

Below : The first public installation of the robot at TED 2005. Attendees could get their pictures taken by a webcam and could then keep the pic that the robot drew.
Below : pics of the stepper motor, the control board and the power supply that we ordered through steppermotorcontrol.com
 
 
Below : pics of the housing for the moveable plotter. click here to see a quick movie showing the stepper motor controlling the motion.
     
Below : (from an email from doug) "Did some fabrication today on the scribbler. I got some 1”x3’ aluminum box tubing and cut it in half long ways to make the slider tracks. I also got some plate aluminum that I made the carriage assemblies out of and I found some 7/8” shower door rollers that seen to work great for fitting in the tracks. Tomorrow I am going to get some threaded bar so I can assemble the carriages and place them inside the tracks also gonna get some aluminum bars to build the frame for the tracks. The whole thing is going to be like 3’x3’ the drawing area will be a little smaller like 2’10”x2’10”
   
Below: (from an email from doug) "I got the track put together and the slider assembly together. The pictures attached are of the track and the slider. The slider fits great in the track and slides up and down pretty smoothly but there is definitely going to be a problem with it twisting out of the track if it is driven by only one side. The smaller version I first built seemed to work ok but now that it is 4’x3’ it just twists out of the track unless it is driven by both sides. To fix this I will just build an axel on the side of the track opposite of the motor so when the motor turns the it will transfer the motion down the track thru a chain then across thru the axel and back down the other side thru another chain. The track seems pretty sturdy by itself without having to be mounted on to a base like a sheet of wood or something, so it is open on the bottom. Hopefully it will be able to draw on anything flat we can put under it or and any surface it can be mounted on. I’m still looking for some chain and sprockets I found a place online that has chain but it is expensive it is like $20 for 3 feet and we would need like 24 feet so I am still searching. Later this week I am going to fabricate the motor mounts and try and find some bearings and a metal rod we can use as an axel.