Yarn and Nail Art - An Eye

This is a little art project I made. On a 29,5 x 60 x 1 cm MDF board, I sketched an eye and nailed in a bunch of nails. After taking of the paper I sketched on, I then connected the nails with yarn.

 The finished art piece:


DIY Soundproofing Panels

On occasion I am making music, so I decided to make a music/sewing room in my spare bedroom. The major problem is that the acoustics in this room are not the best. Too many flat surfaces are reflecting the sound. So I made some soundproofing panels, which absorbs the sound and keep the neighbors sane. Because of the filler material used (200x100x4 cm soundproofing foam panels) I decided to make 4 100x100cm panels. I started with 16 wood slats of 100x4x2cm.

 Using wood screws and metal angles I made 4 frames.

Laying a frame on backing fabric, I used staples to stretch the fabric onto the frame. It is important to give the fabric a lot of tension.

I cut my foam panels in half, giving me 100x100x4cm panels (black cat for scale).

I put the front fabric down and put the foam and the frame on top. Similar to the backing fabric I stapled the front fabric to the frame.
On the back side I hammered two nails into the lateral wood slats. I connected the two nails with a thick wire, which I used to hang the panels on the walls. And here they are:
I the rectangular room I have one panel on one wall....

...two panels on the side...

...and the last panel on the third wall.

And what should I say? It works!


My "Urban" Garden

Hi there, long time no see! I was busy moving this year, so I did not have as much time as I would like to make awesome stuff.

Today I would like to show you my little "urban" garden I put up at my terrace. I decided to plant vegetables, so I have something of my gardening efforts (and you know, I have to stock up on food, because...Winter is coming!).

This my Zucchini plant blooming.

I have a planter with 3 tomato plants (Montserrat and Bull's heart) with salad planted at the bottom.

On the sides of the planter I have Snow Peas. I never tried those.

I also have cauliflower, onions, garlic, strawberry and cat grass (so the cat wont eat the other plants... yeah, as if that would work...). 

I even have some radish and carrots growing.  

And I hope my chili peppers will come out red hot!

 So, this is my little garden. It is a little cramped, but it is fun to watch the plants grow and bear fruit. At least I will have something to eat, which in this economy is something to celebrate.


The pop-up house tutorial

Hey there! I haven't updated this blog in ages...

I've got mail from Allesandro asking how I did the pop-up house way back in 2010 (Click here to go back in time...) I did not have a tutorial on hand, so I made one to share with y'all. Okay, first print out the next two pictures. The first one are the parts of the house....

...the second one is the ground plan showing how to position the house in the fold.
You start by cutting out all pieces.

Take the biggest piece and fold the vertical creases. glue the it together so you end up with the walls of the house. 

Fold the long piece in half and spread the lips on the sides apart. Glue it together lengthwise.

Put the wall part down flat. On the inside of the gable glue the spread lips of the long piece.

Do this on both sides and you get the structure which holds the roof up.
Fold the roof part in half.

Glue the roof on the structure. I use cello-tape, because the roof flaps have to move freely.

See? The roof flaps can move like wings.

Now, fold the ground plane.

Lie the house flat on the plane and glue the flap on the bottom of the short side of the house to the line on the ground plane.

Unfold the house and glue the lip on the bottom of the long side to the ground plane.

You are done! If you open and close the ground plane, the house should pop up.


Meet the robot

This summer I started a fun little project, a small wall avoiding robot. When power is connected to the robot, it will scoot around until it finds an obstacle wall. If it detects an obstacle between 5 and 20 cm away, it will turn about 90 degrees to avoid collision. If an obstacle appears nearer than 5 cm the robot will roll back to have enough space to turn. It is a very simple behavior I coded in this one.

As a basis for the robot I designed a chassis for the components and wheels and 3D printed them. It has 2 wheels and uses a plastic coaster (usually used for furniture) as a third point of support.

The robot uses a HC-SR04 distance sensor to "see" obstacles, two micro servos for movement and an Arduino Leonardo as a brain. To connect the sensor and the servos I used an Arduino sensor shield. On the bottom of the Robot a battery holder is attached to hold 4 standard AA batteries. I used a 9V battery first, but it was not enough to power the two motors. 

The micro servos are modified to turn 360 degrees following the tutorial on Letsmakerobots.

For the ones interested, the Arduino sketch for my robot is this one: (Parts of the distance sensor code comes from http://arduinobasics.blogspot.com.es/2012/11/arduinobasics-hc-sr04-ultrasonic-sensor.html)
 HC-SR04 Ping distance sensor:
 VCC to Arduino 5v
 GND to Arduino GND
 Echo to Arduino pin 7
 Trig to Arduino pin 8
Servo myservoR;  // create right servo object
Servo myservoL;  // create left servo object
int posR = 90;    // variable to store the servo position
int posL = 90;
#define echoPin 7 // Echo Pin
#define trigPin 8 // Trigger Pin
int maximumRange = 200; // Maximum distance range
int minimumRange = 0; // Minimum distance range
long duration, distance; // Duration used to calculate distance
void setup() {
 pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT);
 pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);

 myservoR.attach(5);  //attach right servo signal to pin 5
 myservoL.attach(4);  //attach left servo signal to pin 4
void loop() {
 digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);  // trigger impulse
 digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);

 digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);
 duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH); // listen to the echo

 distance = duration/58.2; //Calculate the distance (in cm) based on the speed of sound.

 if (distance >= 20){
 /* Drive forward */

 if (distance < 10 && distance > 5 ){
 /* Turn around */

  if (distance <= 5){
 /* Back up */

 //Delay 50ms before next reading.