Author Archives: Steven Smethurst

The Giant Claw Game! – The Controls System

Only two weeks left to get the Claw up and running ready for Breaker Faire the Maker Faire fund raiser party. I am starting to get worried that I might not get it done in time. I have been having lots of problems this week with getting the motors working with the gantry system. The motors are […]

The Giant Claw Game! – The Gantry System

This week I have working on the gantry system. The gantry system is used to move the claw around inside the Cube. I was originally planing on attaching the claw to 4 cables running to pulleys in each of the corners of the cube. The cables would be attached to four electric motors. Just like the sky cam that you can […]

The Giant Claw Game! – The Claw, Prototype 3

I started working on the third version of the claw this week. In this version I have added a motor, extended the length of the prongs, and started on the electronics. At first I tried using a direct drive electric motor that I found at VHS. I constructed my own shaft coupler out of sheet metal and hotglue. It […]

The Giant Claw Game! – Controller

Continuing from my last post on The Giant Claw Game! This week I build the controller for the Giant Claw using the laser cutter, a arcade joystick and a button. The box was cut with VHS’s laser cutter, using a pattern that I created with this laser cutting box making tool. I purchased the joystick and button from a local arcade suppler John’s […]

The Giant Claw Game! – Vancouver Maker Faire 2013 project

This year for the Vancouver Maker Faire I am planning on making a giant Claw Crane game.  Normally claw games are found in video arcades and shopping malls and are a glass box where players can control a crane with a joystick and attempt to pick up prizes from the playing area. They are also known as teddy picker, candy crane, […]

Space ship mobile

One of my good friends just had a child and I wanted to get them a hand made gift. I decided on making a mobile with VHS’s laser cutter. The first version I designed while at VHS one night.   I changed a few things in Version two. I added more rings, designed in holes […]

Raspberry PI controlling an Arduino via the pyfirmata protocol

The Raspberry PI is good for a lot of things from computer clusters to home automation but its missing a few things such as a real time clock, terminal/barrel power connector, or  Analog pins.  The Arduino has analog pins that can be read by the USB virtual serial port from the Raspberry PI. In MagPI issue 7, has a great article on […]

Raspberry PI and the GPIO pins

This week I have been playing with the Rapberry PI, Python and the Python GPIO pins library. Software I started by formatting a SD Card with the Raspbian “wheezy” (2012-12-16) image from Raspberry PI’s website. I followed this tutorial on how to set up the Raspberry PI for the first time. I then enabled SSH so I don’t have to attache a monitor, keyboard […]