Welcome to Daniels blog

Select one of the following projects or scroll down to the newest posts.


a raspberry pi home robot

>> visit robert project page

Cobra robot

industry robot projects and restoration

>> see all cobra roboto posts


a holographic desktop assistant

>> visit the holoGaito project page


a GO game playing robot ... using a raspberry pi, opencv and gnugo

>> visit the iGoBot project page

Vacuum Forming: My first experiences with GaitoFace

Yesterday I had my first experiences with vacuum forming. For the project "GaitoFace" I need a head, which can be projected from the inside with a beamer.

The fact that the material has to be smooth and semitransparent doesn't work so well with the 3d printer. But for the necessary form you can use the 3D printer perfectly.

First I created the 3D model in OpenScad:

Since the head should be life-size, the object hardly fits into the installation space of the Ultimaker 2:

Here the foil made of translucent polypropylene is already clamped into the aluminium frame:

The 3D model on the box that is already connected to the vacuum cleaner:

The foil is heated to 170 degrees in the oven and then quickly press the box:

Worked out great - I now have a thin film in the desired shape:

Building a home robot: Part 7 - the front RGB LED display

(see all parts of "building a home robot")

A Raspberry Pi touchscreen is used to show Rooberts face. So it can´t be used to show status information like battery state or the “feelings” of its python finite state machine.

Fortunately the body front was still missing – so this seemed to be a good place to mount additional optical output.

I tried several small LCD- and OLED Displays, but they didn’t please me.

In the end I used an 8x8 Neopixel array, a 24 Neopixel ring and a 1 Neopixel lighted big button.

In the beginning the 8x8 pixel array was too bright to see the 8x8 pixel as one image. After attaching a 3d printed cover it looked like quadratic pixels.

The python code can read a GIF file and display it on the 8x8 pixel display. When in idle mode, Roobert shows a beating heart GIF.

The outer ring of Neopixels shows the battery state when driving around and the buttons Neopixel glows up when it seems to be a good idea to press it now.

(see all parts of "building a home robot")

Building a home robot: Part 6 - the 3d room sensor

(see all parts of "building a home robot")

The built in Roomba distance sensors can´t prevent damage when driving around because Roobert is larger than the original vacuum cleaner. My first idea was to use an old Microsoft Kinect sensor. This worked very well – even the usage in python.

But the battery power went low very quick when driving around the first times. So I needed a solution without such high power consumption.

For this I used an ultrasonic distance sensor and two mini servos.

The servos can move the sensor on x-  and y- axis – like a 2 dimensional radar system.

The detection speed is slower than the Kinect version and depends on the chosen resolution: It can reach 2 FSP when using 4x3 measure points.

Just for fun I tried a resolution of 30x20 points. That takes 10 seconds for a frame but I was impressed how well you can “see” the shapes of obstacle objects.

(see all parts of "building a home robot")

Just playing around with the ultimaker...

Now I have the Ultimaker for over a year and have only the 0.4 mm nozzle used so far.

Time to try out the 0.23 mm nozzle ...

First tries with Nikola Tesla, Mario and the 0.23 mm nozzle.

Some more Nikola Tesla in 0.23mm...

... and with the 0.4mm nozzle (left: raw PLA, right: painted)

A Bitcoin and a Pirates of the Caribbean Medallion - both painted and printed using the 0.23mm nozzle.

I am Groot! Painted and using the 0.4mm nozzle.