Sometimes, you've just got to build yourself a robot arm that draws pictures by dotting them on paper with a Sharpie, and that's exactly what Chris over at PyroElectro projects did. Enjoy!
Sure, this particular desire doesn't come up often but when it does, it's important to listen to the call of robotic nature, go out and buy some arm servos and a stepping motor, and get to work.
The end result? The Sharpie Dotifier.
The Dotifier is composed of a PIC P40 Dev Board, a Stepper Motor control board, a Stepper Motor, and Robotic Arm with a Servo Motor. The project grew out of an earlier one known as the "Wooden Menace", which was a wooden robotic arm directed using a Playstation controller. In creating the new Sharpie Dotifier, Chris hoped to enhance his earlier work and make it something both "intelligent and controlled", and the Sharpie Dotifier delivers.
Using the stepper motor and a threaded rod to control the servo arm, Chris was able to precisely control the location of the Sharpie-wielding hand and use it to dot exactly where he told it to via serial communication with the PIC micro-controller. The result is a marker-gripping robotic arm that can create precise and detailed pictures at Chris's whim.
This project isn't a commercial one, merely something that Chris over at PyroElectric wanted to do to expand his knowledge of the robotic arm industry and just what could be done with effort and ingenuity.
Sure it's a marker now, but how long until a million robot arms using a million pens scribble out the best works of literature the world has ever seen?
We don't really have a time-line of that one - we'll have to let you know.