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Tools & Tech Group 2

Hi! We are group 2, our group consist of 4 people: Lieve, Robin, Fatma and Adinda. We are making a creating robot that will cause chaos and destruction. Or at least chaos.

At the beginning of the project we did not set explicit group roles . We all want to learn everything (or at least something) and everyone has to take a part in this. Therefore each of us helps to bring in materials, get some parts together or destroyed and figure out the Arduino.

First Ideas and Sketches

We started our project by making a few sketches and coming up with some ideas for making a creating robot. Soon we found out we all had some different ideas of what we wanted. After a look on the sketches that Adinda brought we went to search for some inspirational images to broaden our view on a creating robot.

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Allround inspiration

Confetti Robot

During class Lieve came with the idea to make a big mess and several things could do this for us. Things like whip cream, water or other fluids, markers and confetti. We talked about canons, bomb drops and more of that to make this mess. Fatma remarked that she wanted that our confetti had a meaning or a message, which we all agreed on. After we talked about this, we decided to make a confetti robot. Lieve and Robin went out for balloons, Fatma made the confetti and Adinda got the car. Our idea was to use the car to make our robot moving. While moving we want the robot to pick in balloons so that they explode and a huge bom of confetti will go of. Because we didn't exactly knew how this would work yet we googled a bit to support our idea.

A quick sketch in class for the confetti robot idea. We had a lot of ideas to spread the confetti. For example hacking a dust cleaner to spread the confetti instead of absorbing it.

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Inspiration Images

Robot comes to live

Before we can start building we needed some parts and some extra ideas about how to shape our robot and spread the confetti. We decided we needed a servo for this that would make a 180 degree turn to make the balloon explode. In class we already had a little play with the servo so it was not completely unknown to us of what we could do with it. We took the sample code of the arduino website and found out that it was a little bit complexer than we thought. Luckily we had Simons knowledge to help us with this.

After some research for our "moving object" that we actually wanted to be a robot "stofzuiger" we found out it was way out of our budget to buy this. Even at marktplaats it was impossible to find a knockoff. So we went over to the car idea. and decided to do a searching hunt for a toy car that was not too expensive but also not crap and unable to carry the weight of our future object.

Material List:

Servo (+ extension)

Arduino (wires etc.)

Infrared Sensor

Car (moving object)

Parts & Ideas

In the beginning we decided that we wanted to make confetti that had a meaning so Fatma went to make a first lasercut trial of the confetti. We decided to make it a statement to our enemy HAHAHAHA our evil team laugh, supported by our mean little looking robot.

Here is our first balloon filled with confetti. The experiment turned out to be really successful, the poppin sound and the burst of confetti definitely made quite the impression.

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The Making Of

Session 1

The time finally came to put our robot together. It was a challenge to get all the parts working like we wanted to. We started with the car that we already had demolished and could we used as our transportation. Last class we decided that we wanted our robot to react on the balloon so it would 'see' it and the pick in it. In theory we needed a sensor for this. But we soon came to the conclusion that regular objects, also had sensors that react on movements. The fact that halloween was nearby was of course a welcome thing. During class Fatma went to the store to get a solution for a sensor that altered our robot to take action. She came back with a Halloween skull that reacts to movement and sound.

So we stepped of our original idea of making a sweet bird/chicken that picked in a balloon. And the head of the Halloween Skull got heavily demolished and its evil laughs kept spreading in the interaction station. We connected the wires of the sensor to the Arduino and the Servo which without a code didn't trigger the reaction of course but that part will be covered in our arduino chapter.

Because we let the batteries in the head we didn't had to connect the sensor to the batteries of the car. But the servo doesnt move on itself so this we had to connect to the power source of the car. luckily this was not hugely complicated.

At the end of the class we had our Arduino code and the robot finally working together correctly.

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At first we had only the servo in the arduino code, this made our servo turn in an angle with a pause of several seconds. But because we wanted something extra and we added the head with a sensor in it. Our arduino code had to be adjusted to this. Because we had no clue how to do this we first went to google for several codes that would go with the sensor. Soon we wound up in a big pile of information and we had no idea how to connect the servo to the sensor. Again we called Simon for the rescue, he explained that tee could use the button code as input. This because a button can be seen the same as the sensor. They both react on something as a result to trigger something.

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Session 2

After our week off we went to finish the last parts on monday. This is the day we put our robot together as a whole being. Unfortunately this didn't went without any troubles. When we first turn on our robot, the sound and servo worked fine but when we taped the arduino to our 'car' the servo did not respond anymore. We got in a little panic when Adinda made the remark that maybe the batteries where empty. After Robin and Lieve went out to get new batteries and we replaced them, the car still did not work quit good when we put everything together again. We checked every wire and connection to figure out what the problem might be. Lieve saw a loose wire but we didn't knew if it was a extension of another wire or something that got loose (and where it came from).

So again it was Simon for the rescue, it was indeed the loose wire that caused all the problem. And when he helped with putting it back on our robot, our robot worked like an evil (talking) sunshine. This was the moment that we could put every part back together and hot glue it to our robot! yes.. hot glue, the perfect solution to everything that must stick.

During our making proces we faced a few problems, but nothing that could not be solved. We had loose wires that let us freak out a few times but by the time we figured out it was a loose wire the problem was quickly solved. We also had some problems with putting the robot together, the servo had to be on the side of our ‘car’ but the result of that was, that the head of our robot was to heavy on the other side, because it was not supported with anything. We quickly solved that with iron wire. I think that the fact that you work in a group and everyone thinks of the problem or is attended when the problem is face, you can always find a solution. This because you have four different angels to look at it and different proffessions together. Therefor you also challenge eachother to think of another way to make certain things.


We also made our confetti this day in the lasercutter. Because we needed more, Fatma placed more pages in the lasercutter. With the unseen result that we had to take all the HAHAHA apart.

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Because the code was already finished in session 1, we didn't have to adjust it anymore.

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  • ipv. 2 heeft onze robot 4 batterijen


Today was our presentation! It went very well and luckily we where very proud that our robot did not collapsed. Robin drove our little evil machine and our Robor let our balloons with confetti explode on just the right times. The sound of the robot and the bangs of the balloons got an extra effect on the whole show.

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The opponent

After our robot was finished and created a big mess, the job was to our opponent to erase what we created. The oppenend brought in sticky tires and a proppellor to erase everything. But our mess was to big to handle, or well, alright.. they just had some trouble with their proppellor ☺

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Group 1 vs. Group 2

But we are all friends, so here a portrait photo of our 2 together.

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During making this robot we learned quit a few things. About arduino and sensors, robotica and wires. After the presentations there was a little feeling that maybe the other groups had used more arduino like things, more sensors, more this and more that. But at the end we where very proud on what we made. A robot that worked correctly and did exactly what we wanted without failing. Each member of our group learned about building a robot and the essential of it. For all of us it seemed way harder in the beginning than it actually was at the end. If we had a couple more extra weeks to continue with our robot we would definitely fix its appearance and make the sensors more sensible and add some extra destroying functions in it. Maybe a ventilator to blow the confetti away, or an automated gluespray to glue the confetti on to the ground. There are a lot of things we could make up and the beauty for us is, is that we got so excited of this. Because we all where not huge tech fans.

Blog updated by: Adinda

Photos: Adinda & Fatma