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Wire Cubelet

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Jonathan Moyes 6 months ago.

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  • #4922

    Michael Smith
    Participant

    One of the things I love about MOSS (that Cubelets lack) is that it has actual wire. Because Cubelets lacks wires, I found it somewhat limiting in what I could do with it, but not anymore.

    I decided to take a Passive Cubelet, open it up, and extend it with some ribbon wire, 14 pin header connectors, and solder. Thus the first Wire Cubelet was born.

    Please tell me what you think. Questions, Comments, Concerns?

    #1
    #2
    #3

    Video of the Wire Cubelet in action

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Michael Smith.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Michael Smith.
    #4925

    Sawyer Bernath
    Keymaster

    Michael,

    A Flexy Cubelet! So cool.

    You’d be surprised how closely this resembles some custom-made tools we use here in the factory. Nice work. I would love to see what kinds of things you’re doing with it.

    #4926

    Michael Smith
    Participant

    My specific project that I am working on involves building Braitenberg vehicles which are little robots that demonstrate different behavior depending on whether the wires leading from the sensors to the motors are crossed or not.

    Crossed Wires
    Uncrossed Wires

    #4927

    Sawyer Bernath
    Keymaster

    Very cool. Physical manifestations of thought experiments, with Cubelets!

    If anyone else is interested, here’s the Wikipedia article on Braitenberg vehicles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braitenberg_vehicle

    #6039

    Gregory Braun
    Participant

    Very cool.
    Would running wires straight to the faces work? Could you get by with just the center pin, assuming the Cubelet was otherwise powered, like through a Blocker (as in the video)?

    (I actually found this old post searching for Cubelets wires, also specifically for a crossed wire Braitenberg vehicle.)

    #6042

    Jonathan Moyes
    Moderator

    Hey Gregory,

    Cool idea! Running wires straight to the faces should work pretty well as long as the wires don’t get too long. Cubelets communicate pretty quickly with a small signal, so while I wouldn’t call it “delicate,” it’s not designed for hardcore hacking. 🙂 Long wires start acting like antennas picking up all kinds of noise, as well as changing the circuit characteristics in unpredictable ways. You’re not going to damage anything (unless you hook positive and negative supplies in reverse!), but it might cause communication problems.

    Also, the hardware communication standard that Cubelets uses is called UART (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_asynchronous_receiver/transmitter). UART devices use absolute voltage signalling. That means that for the hardware to know that a 1 is a 1, it needs to see a certain voltage (~2.5v) with reference to a shared ground (0v potential). That means if you’re powering Cubelets from two separate power sources, you’ll need to connect the grounds together (Cubelets Outer Rings), as well as the gold datapin, otherwise, you’re bound to have communication problems.

    Good luck, and have fun! Keep the magic blue smoke in. 🙂

    Jon Moyes
    Modular Robotics Engineering

    #6047

    Gian Pablo Villamil
    Participant

    Hmmm, looks like something I could make with my 3D printed Cubelets connector. Maybe incorporate a 3.5mm stereo jack and use shielded audio cables as the “wire”

    #6209

    Gregory Braun
    Participant

    Gian,
    I am actually now printing some wire connectors based on your very cool wheel design. I am just using small screws to make the connection. This lets me adjust the connection to the data pin easily. I printed one and it connected well, and I am printing a second to make a more robust connection I can actually play with and test. I will let you know how it turns out.

    #6234

    Gian Pablo Villamil
    Participant

    Gregory, that sounds great! Do let me know how it goes. I’ve been puzzling over how to build the second ring of connections. The outer ring is done, and a screw for the center pin is perfect, but the smaller intermediate ring will be tougher. Maybe short radial wires?

    #10188

    S K
    Participant

    I had the exact same suggestion, glad to see someone actual put it together as a demo! Since the main user is my 7-yo I don’t think we could pull off the setup above cause it looks to delicate for him. Hopefully that turns into a new cube type.

    The use-case we had was to have the sensors further apart from the cubes with the cubes being used at the core of a lego creation and the sensors being on the outside. The distance wouldn’t need to be too far and with a ‘wire cube’ (or maybe a ‘relay cube’?) that is designed to boost the signal if cable length becomes a bigger issue.

    Does this cube idea look like it will be included in the future?

    #10194

    Jonathan Moyes
    Moderator

    Hi SK,

    Thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately we don’t current have plans to produce a Wire Cubelet, but we might sometime in the future! For now the best option is a crafty one, like Gian as suggested here.

    I’ve added your name to the list of people who have expressed interest in a Wire Cubelet and we’ll keep you informed of any developments!

    Thanks,

    Jon Moyes
    Modular Robotics

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