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Re: [SeattleRobotics] advice on appropriate (mechanical) switches ...?

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  • robotMaker
    Maybe this might help a little bit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rO2TR_8jXPc ________________________________ From: Pat Tressel
    Message 1 of 24 , Dec 7, 2012
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      Maybe this might help a little bit.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rO2TR_8jXPc



      From: Pat Tressel <ptressel@...>
      To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:37 PM
      Subject: [SeattleRobotics] advice on appropriate (mechanical) switches ...?



      Hi, all!

      I'm looking for advice on what sort of switch or other sensor might be appropriate:  I'm going to be helping build a robot that reacts to touch -- think of a cat being petted or whose whiskers are touched.  Won't be a literal cat -- more a fantasy creature, but we want to have it respond when its whiskers / quills / ruff / fronds are stroked.  Kids are involved, so it'll have to be fairly sturdy.  It'll be on the order of 4-6 feet long, and the "whiskers" might be 1 - 1.5 feet long, so not really tiny switches, but not something that needs a solid shove, as the whiskers will be flexible (for safety).

      I was thinking of something like the switch in a return to center joystick, but I'm only finding actual human-hand-sized joysticks, not bare switches.  Could probably do with some sort of return to center bidirectional switch, or maybe mount the "whisker" shaft between some bumper switches.  For bumper switches, I suppose one could surround the shaft with four bumper switches.

      Any ideas or suggestions?  Got favorite places for buying this sort of thing?  Any local retailers where I might be able to get some for trying out?  (Does Vetco carry bumper switches or joystick-like switches?)

      Thanks!!!

      -- Pat

      P.S.  Hmm, found this list on the UW Dxarts site:
      http://wiki.dxarts.washington.edu/groups/general/wiki/1d4c7/Where_to_Shop_for_Fabrication_Supplies.html







    • Chuck Harrison
      Going an entirely different direction, how about something optical? Imagine a plastic optical fiber attached to the whisker base and arranged so that as the
      Message 2 of 24 , Dec 8, 2012
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        Going an entirely different direction, how about something optical?

        Imagine a plastic optical fiber attached to the whisker base and arranged so that as the whisker bends the fiber end gets closer to one or another of a triad of LEDs (rgb). Run the fibers out to an xy array you can look at with a webcam. Each fiber spot in the video image will change color and brightness as the corresponding whisker moves. You should be able to watch the deflection of several hundred whiskers this way.

        The video processing would be a bit much for arduino but I bet it would fit a raspberry pi just fine.

        On Dec 7, 2012 10:56 AM, "robotMaker" <robotmeiker@...> wrote:
         

        Maybe this might help a little bit.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rO2TR_8jXPc



        From: Pat Tressel <ptressel@...>
        To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:37 PM
        Subject: [SeattleRobotics] advice on appropriate (mechanical) switches ...?



        Hi, all!

        I'm looking for advice on what sort of switch or other sensor might be appropriate:  I'm going to be helping build a robot that reacts to touch -- think of a cat being petted or whose whiskers are touched.  Won't be a literal cat -- more a fantasy creature, but we want to have it respond when its whiskers / quills / ruff / fronds are stroked.  Kids are involved, so it'll have to be fairly sturdy.  It'll be on the order of 4-6 feet long, and the "whiskers" might be 1 - 1.5 feet long, so not really tiny switches, but not something that needs a solid shove, as the whiskers will be flexible (for safety).

        I was thinking of something like the switch in a return to center joystick, but I'm only finding actual human-hand-sized joysticks, not bare switches.  Could probably do with some sort of return to center bidirectional switch, or maybe mount the "whisker" shaft between some bumper switches.  For bumper switches, I suppose one could surround the shaft with four bumper switches.

        Any ideas or suggestions?  Got favorite places for buying this sort of thing?  Any local retailers where I might be able to get some for trying out?  (Does Vetco carry bumper switches or joystick-like switches?)

        Thanks!!!

        -- Pat

        P.S.  Hmm, found this list on the UW Dxarts site:
        http://wiki.dxarts.washington.edu/groups/general/wiki/1d4c7/Where_to_Shop_for_Fabrication_Supplies.html







      • Paul J. Ste. Marie
        ... A spring around a central pin works, too. The feelers on the Hexbugs work this way. If the feeler bumps into something, the spring bends and contacts the
        Message 3 of 24 , Dec 8, 2012
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          On 12/5/2012 5:22 PM, Pat Tressel wrote:
          > Ooo, interesting! You mean something like an inside-out commutator ring?
          > Are there actual parts like that or is this something one would make?


          A spring around a central pin works, too. The feelers on the Hexbugs
          work this way. If the feeler bumps into something, the spring bends and
          contacts the pin in the center.

          -- Paul
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