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Revision as of 19:32, 6 March 2013 by Whiteisd (talk | contribs)

Maker Tech Tuesdays is a hackerspace provided by Chas Colburn at his place of business, 3DMetalParts, just south of the University of Maryland. The space is free to visit and is open every Tuesday.

David Whiteis has set up a CRS/Fisher F3 Robotic arm at Chas's place, which is now available for members of HacDC to play with.

The robot went online March 6, 2013. David gave an overview of how the robot operates, followed by general discussion about what we might want to make the robot do. There will be other days scheduled soon. Anyone that first gets a basic safety and operations overview from David is welcome to begin operating the robot.

Here are some videos to give you an idea of what the robot can do. Grabbing dominoes from a stack, setting them up to tumble over in a row:

Holding a video camera in the gripper, and filming while in motion: That second video gives a limited overview of the robot's ability as an advanced 3D video camera dolly. We know a lot more about what is possible now. You could make some amazing videos with that setup. Here are some of the lessons learned:

- Videoing miniatures such as model train layouts is fun and gives great results.
- Get in close, and don't pan too much. 
- Keep a single object as the center of focus, and change the camera location while keeping that focus.
- Track moving objects. The O scale train in the above video was good, but tracking an HO or N scale train would be even better, since then the robot could track the train through multiple left and right turns, much like a real-world helicopter filming a train for a Hollywood movie.

David plans to reach out to model train enthusiasts and film school students to see if there is interest in collaborating on a movie that really demonstrates what is possible.

More info about Maker Tech Tuesdays:

Chas & Maker Tech Tuesday's Facebook page:

More info on Chas is here, search for 'Colburn':

We will use this wiki page to document what we have learned about the robot, what projects are proposed, planned or implemented, and more videos of the machine in action.