EtchABot: a CNC Etch A Sketch

The EtchABot - a CNC Etch A Sketch
EtchABot – a CNC Etch A Sketch

EtchABot turns your Etch A Sketch into a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) drawing machine.  I’m really excited about this project because of its versatility and its well balanced combination of entertaining and educational aspects.  It’s always fun to hack a toy to do something above and beyond its original intent, and if you build the EtchABot and run the example Arduino sketches, you can make:

EtchABot Gallery

There is an EtchABot Arduino library, so it’s also easy to program it with your own ideas.

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Making MeArm

Fully built MeArm
Fully built MeArm with custom controller.

MeArm is an open-source robotic arm kit by Benjamin Gray and Jack Howard.  They published design files for their robot on Thingiverse and a set of instructions on Instructables.  You can 3D print or lasercut the parts, or you can order them as a kit which includes all servos and screws from Adafruit.  If you create the parts yourself, you’ll need to purchase four 9g servos and assorted lenghts of M3 screws to complete the assembly.

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Pi-Bot, an Affordable Arduino Robot

Pi-BotI was recently forwarded a link to the soon-to-be released Pi-Bot robot kit.  The Pi-Bot’s Kickstarter campaign is fully funded and is estimated to ship this June.  This robot kit has many similarities to other Arduino-based robots, but at $75, it is much cheaper than anything I have seen.  This fully complete kit comes with an Arduino-compatible board, light sensor, ultrasonic sensor, breadboard and comprehensive instructions.    It seems like a great follow up for kids who’ve already mastered Mindstorms robotics and are looking to move on with their skills.  If you’re looking for an introduction to programmable robotics at a reasonable price, it’s definitely worth checking out.