Project philosofy & description

This project concerns the ways to convert virtual information into the real world objects and try to simplify access to digital fabrication tools.

Tweet A Ball (TaB) is a robot designed to "draw" the text of tweets containing specific hashtags on balls, eggs and other spherical surfaces. Unlike other Eggbot and similar, TaB is fully autonomous and doesn't require an external control station (PC) nor software for processing text draw

Project history

TaB was designed by Fablab Napoli within IntelMaker competition for the occasion of Maker Faire 2016 exhibition. The project, mainly intended for teaching purposes, aims to explore Intel Edison platform capability.

Our Team

Rosario Buonfiglio

Carlo Colella

Sergio Costigliola

Salvatore Di Benedetto

Clemente Giorio

Antonio Grillo

Francesco Guarino.

How does TaB works?
Exploiting the power of Intel Edison, TaB can connect directly to internet and scan the Twitter stream to research specific topics of discussion (hashtags). Identified a message matching the search criteria, the software inside the robot converts the text in lines, curves and points. Finally the whole is converted into a sequence of movement commands that trigger the writing arm.

Software stack
The entire software stack is designed specifically for the Intel Edison platform and consists of the following modules:

  • Dispatcher
  • Host
  • Post-processor
  • Firmware

The modules Dispatcher, Host and Post-processors have been designed in Python and are executed by Intel Edison CPU, while the firmware module has been adapted for Intel Edison MCU.

Step 1: Bill of Materials to Replicate This Project

For this project we've used an Intel Edison development board as basis for the prototype, plus other hardware equipment showed later in this instructions.

  • n. 01 ---> sheet 600x400mm plywood 3mm (or, if you want a cool and more strong version, 1x sheet 600x400mm Plexiglass 3mm thickness)
  • glue (vinyl or methacrylate, according to the material chosen for the laser cutting)
  • n. 20 ---> M3 x15 Screw
  • n. 04 ---> M3 x20 Screw
  • n. 04 ---> M3 Double Pass Hex Nylon 25mm
  • n. 01 ---> Intel Edison development Board with the Arduino Breakout Board
  • n. 01 ---> Arduino CNC Shield v.3.0
  • n. 02 ---> Pololu A4988 Stepper Motor Driver
  • n. 02 ---> Stepper Motor NEMA 17 17HS3404
  • n. 01 ---> SG-90 Servo
  • n. 01 ---> Ball Bearing 508zz
  • n. 01 ---> Power Supply Output 12VDC 6.A (Traco Power TXM 075-112)
<p>Thanks Jason!</p>
<p>Interesting. Then you have a physical representation of all the tweets.</p>

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