Tag Archives: Robot

RS Components: DesignSpark – Demonstrating the Raspberry Pi!

DesignSpark by RS Components is a progressive engineering community dedicated to providing an interactive outlet to the engineering world that will be featured at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this year!

About DesignSpark

DesignSpark is an online engineering community sponsored by RS Components that provides a gateway to online resources and design support for engineers. Created two years ago, DesignSpark.com is an interactive environment for all types of engineers to express their ideas, share their knowledge, and learn from others. Upon free registration to this conducive community, one also has free access to the award winning PCB Design Tool, thousands of free 3D models, and the eTech (a digital and tablet edition electronics magazine), all of which will be featured at DesignSpark’s Mini Maker Faire booth and workshop, so be sure to check out these free DIY tools to amplify your engineering experience!

Raspberry Pi: A Demonstration

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized bare board that operates many of the functions of a PC, featured by RS Components DesignSpark. Add a keyboard, a mouse, and plug it into a TV, and then it functions just like a basic computer! These days, with society’s ever progressive technology it is almost impossible to see the computer at its bare working basics; however, the Raspberry Pi allows us to take bring technology back about 20 years to its bare essentials. Aspiring engineers everywhere are now able to learn about computer programming interactively—using the Raspberry Pi system, students are able to program their own codes and see how the computer responds to them. It’s all about discovering the world of computers in its most simplistic and beneficial form! DesignSpark will be demonstrating the Raspberry Pi at the Mini Maker Faire, so stop by at the faire to check out this new and innovative way to learn engineering!

DesignSpark is Amplifying Ideas

Upon speaking with the members of the DesignSpark community, I found the organization to be very dynamic—DesignSpark is dedicated in inspiring engineers to fuel their passion and in turning ideas into realities. In both their booth and workshop, they will demonstrate how their free design tools, such as the DesignSpark PCB and the 3D cad model can help makers turn their conceptual ideas into a concrete design. The tools DesignSpark is presenting will break the barriers in designing and spark new ideas for inspired makers everywhere! Currently, DesignSpark is working on the DesignSpark PCB verion 4, which will be the introduction of industry open source hardware platform to its community members. DesignSpark is certainly enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and creativity to help the maker community of Singapore thrive!

Make Your Own Electronic Gadgets

“Wouldn’t it be great if I could create and make my own electronic gadgets.”

If the above thought has ever crossed your mind, visit Wai Him’s booth and experience for yourself how you can translate that dream into reality. It is easy to get the Arduino hardware, download and setup the necessary software on a computer and start tinkering. You could be the next great inventor. Take that ‘One small step’ and make your way to his booth. It might just turn out to be a ‘Giant leap’. (for better or worse…)

 About Him

Wai Him is a hobbyist who has been interested in electronics since secondary school. In those days, he built his own electronic gadgets to give his class-mates harmless electric shocks or make simple blinking bulb circuits (flip-flop) out of curiosity.

His other hobbies include building and flying remote-control (RC) aircrafts as well as building and programming robots.

Wai Him’s workspace

These hobbies involves electrical, electronics and mechanical parts. His work space at home resembles a mini-workshop with tools and  parts and lots of drawers.

Coupled with an interest in these ‘technology hobbies’ and being the father of two sons, he looks for interesting way to share concepts of maths, science and technology with them so that they don’t merely see the topics as curriculum that are to be learned in school for passing examinations but as an integral part of daily lives.

He wishes to share, support and promote the Maker movement in the hope that more people will become interested in technology and in turn would be motivated to ‘Learn rather than to be Taught’.

His view on The Maker Movement

Advancement in electronics has lead to a reduction in the cost and size of electronic devices. The open source movement and the Maker movement coupled with the internet has resulted in ease, convenience and relative low-cost for the average person to create and make ‘stuff’ as a hobby.

Unfortunately information overload makes it difficult for the average person, especially those not familiar with electronics, to take the first step in building their own electronic gadget. Wai Him will be showing what is needed to start ‘playing’ with the Arduino platform from scratch and how to progress to make your own gadgets. He hopes that the presence of the physical items as well as someone to demonstrate and share right in front of your very own eyes would motivate you to start on your own journey of discovery.

A Glimpse of the Possibilities

Arduino Circuit boards

The Arduino circuit board comes in various shapes and sizes to perform different functions. Some of the Arduino boards are as shown.

The Arduino can be used as the ‘brain’ of a simple robot like the one shown.

Arduino Robot

This robot is capable of detecting the presence or absence of a (Black) line and would follow or ‘track’ the line as it moves forward.

The robot consists of 2 motors for propulsion. It has an LED for emitting light and a light sensor to detect the amount of reflected light.

You could probably think of more tasks for your robot to execute.

3 x 3 x 3 LED Cube

This picture shows a 3 x 3 x 3 LED cube. The stand-alone unit when powered up provides many hours of mesmerising non-stop blinking.

You can see the electronic components at the base of the transparent casing. A small battery secured beneath the (black) base powers the unit. 

Would this serve as an interesting birthday gift ?  

Wai Him is currently working on a 4-digit 7-segment LED display.

LED Display Counter

This display can be used to show numeric information. It could serve as a clock to show the time or as a calendar to show the date. According to Wai Him, he will be using this as a counter to show the number of ‘Likes’ his booth gets. But please do not confuse this with the internet version that you are familiar with. In this version, you will have to be physically at the event to activate the ‘Like’.

The possibilities are endless. But would you be starting on this journey?

[Note: This write-up was contributed in full by Wai Him himself. Thank you, Wai Him. :) ]