Hello phidget people!
I'm a Swedish software developer who's just getting into robotics and computer controlled machinery. I've had ideas in this area for ages, but haven't got the skill to create the whole USB controlling bit myself, so recently finding out about Phidgets was just great!
So, my first idea that I'm playing withies creating a "painter robot" that applies paint to a canvas or paper with a brush, with a bitmap as input. Possibly with a camera-feedback setup.
I've got some basic questions that I hope some of you guys could help me out with:
1. I'm thinking either robot arm or CNC-table-type setup. I'm leaning towards an arm, it'll be more human like and fun to watch. What do you think?
2. What type if motors should I go with? I need some level of positioning accuracy, so my impression is that it's either servo or stepper. What is more suitable? From what I've understood servo is more common in robot arms whereas stepper is more common in CNC-table-type setups. Is this so, and if so why?
3. Browsing through the API docs I found a small note saying that Phidgets motors/controllers could not supply the synchronization needed for a proper robo arm or CNC table. A bit discouraging to read, how seriously should I take this? I may not need sub-millimeter precision, but I don't want it to be all over the place either!
4. As I mentioned, I'm pondering a camera setup to take a snapshot of the canvas after some paint has been applied and basing the next action on that input somehow. Is there a phidgets compatible camera or should I use a "normal" one. I'm a bit worried about using a regular web camera, that it might be too grainy and different from one snapshot to another. Is there a way to rig up a regular digital camera with flash and all and trigger it from software somehow?
I think that's all my questions for now. Appreciate any input on this!
Oh and also, I've just fired up a twitter account as a micro blog for this and other invention projects and ideas, it's at:
Please follow if you like!
Regards // Erik Gustavsson