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.


My Nacho Recipe

This is the nacho recipe I make from time to time. It might be called the unhealthiest salad of all times,
What you need (for 2-3 servings).
  • 1-2 bags of tortilla chips
  • 4 Tsp creme fraiche (or sour cream)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 tin of black olives
  • 3-4 pickled chilies
  • 100 g grated cheese
  • iceberg salad

Lets start! Spread out some chips in a bowl, sprinkle with cheese. Do this again, so you have two chips and cheese layers. Microwave this until the cheese melts.

Finely slice a bit of iceberg salad and spread it over the chips.

Add a few tablespoons of creme fraiche.

Now mush the avocado and spread it over the cream layer. You might want to add a bit of salt or the avocado layer is to bland.

Now, slice up the tomato, black olives, chilies and onion. Spread the mix over the avocado and you are done. Eat the nachos by using the tortilla chips as edible spoons.


My Fig Marmalade Recipe

The fig tree in our garden is bearing fruits now and every week we have to harvest the figs. The best way to preserve the figs is to make marmalade. Here is my recipe.

You'll need:

  • 8-10 jars with tight closing lid
  • 2 kg figs
  • 1.5kg sugar
  • 700ml water
  • 1 teaspoon cinammon
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
Lets go!

Peel the figs.

Put the figs with the water into a cooking pot and bring to boil.

After 15 minutes of boiling add the sugar.

Simmer the marmalade until sufficient thick. Stir well. For me it was 1.5 hours. If the marmalade is too chunky, use a hand blender to make it smoother. Add cinnamon and lemon juice and stir well.

When you have reached a nice thickness, fill the marmalade in your jars.

Tighten the lids and turn the jars upside down. This heats the "neck" portion of the jar, killing bacterias that might be there.

When cooled down the jars will be vacuum sealed. Keep in a dry and dark place. 



Winter is coming: Make a hat!

Winter is coming and to protect your noggin from the freezing cold it is time to make a hat. I made a Brainwave pattern beanie (Pattern from Ravelry can be found here!) .