Archive for the ‘MatLab’ Category

Arduino based Milling Machine

Monday, June 25th, 2012

This is a working model of an Arduino based Milling Machine created using FischerTechnik. For those of you who are unaware of FischerTechnik, it is similar to the LEGOTM Building Blocks.


A group of four Mechanical Engineering students at the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) created this project as part of their Mechatronics class in their Second year of Bachelor of Sciences (B.Sc.) Program.

Laurens Valk, one of the creators, explains the essence of Arduino in the project:

“The system uses the Adafruit motor shield to run two stepper motors, and the Sparkfun EasyDriver for the third stepper motor. The Arduino runs code that listens to Matlab commands over USB. We expanded that code a little to make it possible to add the third stepper motor and some other commands. Most of the actual code was programmed in Matlab, with the Arduino as the interface between computer and motors/sensors.”

We had a little chat with Laurens. Here is the excerpt:


When did you first hear about Arduino, and when did you first start using it?
I’ve seen a lot of Arduino projects over the years, but this was the first time we used it in a project. Personally, I usually build robots with MINDSTORMS NXT, but this felt like a good opportunity to combine mechanical work (the printer hardware) with real electronics (Arduino).
How did you end up making a Milling Machine/ 3D Printer for your project?

We chose to come up with our own design challenge and decided not to do the standard exercise. Initially we thought about making a (2D) plotter or scanner. Then quickly we started thinking about the same things, except in 3D. One of the projects that inspired us was the LEGO Milling Machine by Arthur Sacek. Both a scanner and printer would still be doable in 3D, but the time was limited, so we settled with the printer idea.

All construction had to be done in one workweek for logistical reasons. To make sure we were able to finish in time, we prepared much of the electronics and software outside the lab. We finished just in time, but unfortunately we could do only one complete print before we had to take it apart. Not surprisingly, it was very exciting to wait for the result of the one and only complete test run. We couldn’t see the result until we used the vacuum cleaner to remove the dust.

Here is a video showing the working of this machine. [And the Vacuum Cleaner Laurens is talking about]:

This gives an Insight into the many feats that an Arduino can accomplish.


Portal turret using MATLAB + Arduino

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

In the Maker’s own words:

This is the final project for my Advanced Mechatronics class at Penn State University. The robot is the skeleton of a turret from the game Portal that uses an IP webcam to track a target and fire nerf bullets at them. This is the current state of the robot as of 5/9/12, but I am currently molding a shell for the frame to make it look like the Portal turret, along with improving my code to make the tracking faster. All programming is done with MATLAB and Arduino. Enjoy!


Arduino and MatLab

Monday, September 20th, 2010


Arduino has always been linked to some programming enviroments (like Processing, Pure Data, VVVV, Max/Msp to name some of them) but since it has fast become a quick & easy way to make your project get in touch with the physical world, many different solutions are there for people who is working with other, not-only-performative programs.

[Matlab] (high-level programming tool for technical and mathematial computation) has *probably* different ways to receive data from the Arduino. I found a well and detailed step-by-step guide with codes and pictures on this presentation from Giampiero Campa who lead the webinar “Learning Basic Mechatronics Concepts Using the Arduino Board and MATLAB“:

The webinar introduces the ArduinoIO package, which allows the user to perform Analog and Digital Input and Output, as well as to control DC, Servo and Stepper Motors interactively from the MATLAB command window, without having to write, debug, compile, upload and run C programs.

you can downlaod the Arduino package from here.

Any tester?

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