Calling all makers: how 2git meArm 2flex?

  • Classroom

    Let me start by saying that I love the meArm project. It is a really cool example of making something awesome combining lasercutting, mechanical assembly skills, and programming skills.

    The documentation that I have been able to find isn’t so great in my opinion. As far as calibrating the servos and assembling the meArm, it stands up, but for the programming and control aspect, not so much.

    I have had many people approach me for help but so far, I have not been able to. This includes one student that did an official workshop with the Kamloops Makerspace and his homeschool group over two years ago. He did not finish the assembly in the class, and afterwards went to considerable effort to get some pieces that were either missing or broke during assembly. After getting it together there was very little information for him to figure out the controls. He has four potentiometers, and I can find wiring diagrams for the servos, but can’t find the right code to modify. The stuff listed with the meArm project seems to use different systems, and more complicated controllers.

    Does anyone know about the meArm kits sold for Canada day? Do we give away any instructions for programming? Someone requested help on this thread, but it doesn’t look like they got any.

    If we want to keep selling these kits, and promoting this as an educational kit, then I would love to work on someone to improve the documentation around the programming end of things. If anyone can share or point me to some code, and/or help me getting a meArm up and running, I will spend some time making clear instructions that we can distribute with the kits.

    I really don’t like the idea of selling the kits without this critical gap in the project filled. If people invest significant money buying the kit from us, and their time in assembling it, and then ultimately don’t complete the project, it creates a negative experience that could deter them from trying this type of project again, or could affect their opinion of the space in general and their willingness to contribute/participate in the future.

    I would really love it if someone with the skills can help me figure it out, so that I can try to help others figure it out. I think the positive benefits from completing the project could be huge, and I want to give everyone who tries one of our kits the best chance possible for success. I would like to increase the meArm literacy of the Kamloops Makerspace membership. I know there are more members who would like to learn this, and if they do it will be all the easier to give support to the public at hack nights.

    Thanks for reading and for any comments or suggestions!

  • I’m not ignoring you. I have 8 other projects on the go and need to finish something else first.

  • Classroom

    @Grant-Fraser, if you know the project then awesome! I’m sure you have a few priority items ahead of this so whenever it makes sense. This isn’t the top item on my list either, but it is one that I’ve been aware of for a bit, and wanted to see if I could get a dialogue going.

    Thanks for piping up!

  • How about we put a meArm in a display case with WiFi control (wemos arduino clone) and a webcam? Then members can upload code to it over the network…

  • I like that idea Pierre. Lets strap a wemos to one. I wonder how much current the 5g servos eat up?

  • Classroom

    @pierre, this sounds like something really cool to work towards.

    To start out though, I would just like a simple instruction sheet that we can send out with the kits. Any chance you might have some time at hack night this week to walk me through the basics of running with pots?

    I would be happy to document this and make it available to all.

  • @kile I can try. I’ve never operated one with pots though… we used an arduino on the one at work.

  • Classroom

    @pierre, awesome! @Ron_Ron sent me a resource that should help as well. I will be working on it at hack night tomorrow for anyone else interested in teaching or learning about this. @n0pe?

    I want to learn specifying movement with code as well, but this is much less tactile, and the applications are either much more limited, or require much more setup due to sensor integration an programming behaviour from these.

    I think that for most people who are learning, pots (or joysticks) will result in easier use/demonstration of the project in the future. There are certainly people out there that may want to automate a routine task and perform it repeatedly.

    I think we should look at a working robot arm with some sort of tactile control as the point that we should offer support up to (in terms of documentation and Wednesday assistance), if we are selling the kits.

    This will be a big win for most people, and should offer a solid understanding to move forward with more advanced programming applications in the future.

  • Does anyone have an already assembled meArm to work from? We should be able to get it working then swap out the arm easily.

  • Classroom

    @pierre I’m pretty sure there is one on the display shelf with @Ron_Ron gack. My plan was to look for this, and if it isn’t to be founds, assemble a kit on Wednesday. I’m really hoping that it is there. . .

  • Has anyone got any further with this MeArm project? I am building it with my daughter, and we can do the build, but there are no potentiometers or code to actually control the arm in any way. After the Arduino seminar, I understand all of the connections, but can’t seem to find any code for how to control the servos to even get started with calibrating or using the arm. The link above doesn’t have code I can download any use. I bought two of these, so I want to make sure that my daughter and nephew get to use their arms. Any help, especially with basic coding to control the servos would be very much appreciated.

  • This is fun! I should have usable code for the arm in a couple of days for at least a basic control. I learned the basic commands and I’m just finishing up the build and then I’ll make some basic commands to pick stuff up and move it around, etc. I’ll post the code as soon as I’ve got it working. Maybe I’ll add some lights, just for giggles, if this modified KITT Lights thing I programmed doesn’t give me a seizure first. If anyone else has any code we can share, please post it as well.

  • Classroom

    @robert, thanks for posting here! I look forward to hearing what you figure out.

    I’ve played with this a bit, but haven’t found more than 20 min at a time to spend on it. Stuff just keeps getting added above this in the priorities list. I know others are interested, and will make some time to pull together documentation for any future kits we sell based on what we can figure out here.

  • I havent worked on it at all yet.