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Blog

21 Apr
21 Apr

Keyboard Playing Kat

Inspired by all the piano playing cats on the internet I'm working on a cam powered keyboard playing cat model. Here's the sketch. Turn the handle and the Keyboard Kitty pounds at the piano keyboard.

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14 Apr
14 Apr

Website Upgrade

robives.com is based around the Drupal content management system. This makes it flexible to use and easy(ish) to maintain. The time has come, though, to move from Drupal 6 to the latest version. This is a fairly major undertaking so I'm using it as an opportunity to upgrade the look and feel of the site and streamline the membership system.

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06 Apr
06 Apr

Tuning the Birdbox Pipes

I'm experimenting with ways of tuning the pipe on the twitterer project so that I can hopefully create a bird box automata where the bird sings a song with changing notes.

I've tried two different ways of tuning the pipe. Firstly, with an outer sleeve that moves back and forth, this works in the same way as a trombone hanging the length of an open ended pipe. It works fine and the pitch changes maybe five or six semitones between the extremes of travel.

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24 Mar
24 Mar

Birdbox - Crank Driven Bellows Prototype

I've made some progress on the birdbox project. As I'm sure you remember, I'm working on a paper version of the old Victorian singing bird automata. There are limits to what I'll be able to acheive in card but already I think I'll be able to do more than I had originally planned. As I progress through the design process I am releasing various prototypes as downloadable models for you to try at home. This stage looks like a likely candidate for the next downloadable project.

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22 Mar
22 Mar

New Books Coming Soon(ish)

Over Christmas I was working on a set of new book for publisher Hungry Tomato. They have just appeared on Amazon ready as pre-order items. The Tabletop Wars series is a collection of fun projects that you can make from everyday items you find around the home. From trebuchets to to marshmallow land mines the books have all sorts fun to make projects based on a tabletop warfare theme.

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21 Mar
21 Mar

Two Bellows Designs to Download and Make

The bellows part of the Bird Box Project have caused me some difficulties. The problem was that as the bellows are compressed they twist. This made it difficult to mount them inside a mechanism. I've come up with a solution to the problem which I outlined in my previous blog post.

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19 Mar
19 Mar

Bellows Design - Problems and Solution.

Next step in the bird box project. Bellows and crank. Turn the handle to pump the bellows. This is similar to the type three model I made before but the guide rails will keep the moving plate horizontal as it moves. There's a problem though.

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15 Mar
15 Mar

Further Bird Box Experiments

Further experiments on the Bird Box project. This time, a crank with a big throw (70mm between the extremes) driving a higher volume bellows. You can click on the picture to see a quick Instagram video clip with sound of the first draft.

 

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