MakerClub.org is a webpage offering 3D-printable designs and control software for small 3D-printable robots.
By building robots from the Make Club webpage one can learn the skills to design and construct own robots. Definitely worth a visit!
Getting started with 3D modeling:
Download and install Sketch Up Make (if want the program in a language other than english be sure to visit the webpage in the corresponding language) For example, http://www.sketchup.com/de leads to the German version.
Download and install the software for your 3D printer (in my case, the Makerbot desktop).
Start Sketch Up make. If you get an annoying prompt every few minutes, start sketch up make with administrator rights until the demo time for the Pro version is over.
Usually, 3D models are printed from an STL file, so you need to install the STL export extension. The extension can be found and installed via the extension warehouse. The extension warehouse can be found via the Window menu of Sketch Up. For accessing the warehouse extensions, you need to log in with a Google account.
So far you can draw and export STL files.However, these files often suffer from model errors like inverted surfaces, holes, etc. In order to repair these problems, we recommend to run the STL file through the model repair service from NetFabb. The service is free for non-commercial use, but requires to sign in with a MSN ID to be used. Upload your STL there and download a repaired version (unfortunately there is no feedback what has been repaired).
Finally, open the STL with 3D printer software and hit print! Happy printing…
… and waiting hours for the printer to finish.
Post-doctoral Fellow in Sensor Networks
The research group on Computer Engineering at ETH Zurich (Swiss
Federal Institute of Technology) has an opening for a
post-doctoral fellow the field of sensor networks.
We have a long and successful history in sensor network research
and we are involved in several large-scale interdisciplinary
projects in environmental sensing. Our research combines
theoretical investigations with serious applications. Wireless
sensor networks are in operation at several field sites in high
alpine regions (permafrost research and early warning) as well as
cities (air pollution). In terms of basic research, our focus has
been on areas like synchronization, highly dependable wireless
protocols, network tomography, testing, formal verification
methodologies, formal methods, and energy harvesting.
The Computer Engineering and Networks Laboratory offers a creative
international environment, a possibility to conduct highly
competitive research on a global scale and to be involved in
teaching. The main responsibility of the position is to conduct
successful research in the field of sensor networks. There are
plenty of opportunities to cooperate with highly recognized
national and international partners. In addition, active
participation in research projects and leading a group of
highly motivated Ph.D. students is expected.
The candidate must hold a Ph.D. degree with top performance in a
field that is closely related to sensor networks. He or she should
have a track record in conducting original highly competitive
scientific research and publishing the results in top conferences
and scientific journals. Maturity, self-motivation and the ability
to work both independently and as a team player in local and
international research teams are expected. Interest in
interdisciplinary collaboration with environmental sciences as
well as outdoor proficiency is advantageous. German language
skills are not required, English is mandatory.
Deadline for application is the 31st of May 2014. Applications
should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Lothar Thiele). They
must contain a statement of interest, a CV, the names of two
references and additional documents, in particular copies of
degree certificates and the associated scores.
ETH Zurich: http://www.ethz.ch/en.html
Research Group: http://www.tec.ethz.ch/
WSN Research: http://www.tec.ethz.ch/wsn.html
Jan Beutel: http://www.tik.ee.ethz.ch/~beutel/
Lothar Thiele: http://www.tik.ee.ethz.ch/~thiele
Peter Purganthofer, associate professor at the Vienna University of Technology, built an amazing project involving an Amazon Kindle, a computer with built-in webcam and a Lego Mindstorm robot.
The robot presses alternately the “next page” button on the Kindle ebook reader and the space button on the laptop. Thus, a computer program on the laptop takes a screenshot of the current page, which is subsequently converted into text using an OCR software. This way, one gets a DRM-free copy of an e-book “bought” at Amazon. Purgathofer states that due to Amazon’s e-book sales model, “The owner isn’t even an owner anymore but rather a licensee of the book”.
The video below shows the system in action. The overall machine is awesome. It reminds of designs for Rube Goldberg machines.
Of course this is definitely not an efficient way to re-digitize an e-book. For example, the process could have been better automated using Kindle software and a screenshot tool directly on the computer. However, the goal was to make a noticable statement about copyright, eBook DRM and ‘ownership’ of eBooks. And to have fun playing with robots.