By using a joystick, some controllers, written code, and some elbow grease, you can build yourself a life size, 21st century computerized canvas. This video shows all of the working components.
The difficulty of this project depends on how large you make your board... the bigger... the more difficult. This board is 4x4 feet. It was also built in my dorm room, so precise measurements without a stable table were kind of difficult.
This project was most recently seen at the San Mateo Maker's faire at the Microsoft booth.
*There are a bunch of improvements I am going to suggest that have not yet been implemented onto the board.
Step 1: Before you start!
I will tell you what I used, and then I will suggest how you should improve/embellish upon them.
1. Not buying a previously mounted dry erase board.
-Because the board was not mounted, or framed, the wooden frame I built warped. This caused an uneven distribution of friction on the board's surface when the pen would move.
- There really is no reason to purchase the board unframed, I did not want to be stuck with a material that limited the range of the pen's motion... I was wrong... buy a framed board.
2. Not doing torque/power calculations on my motors.
-I was just trying to piece together parts without doing precise calculations.
-I was originally only supplying about 2 amps of current to both motors, when they were drawing about 7-10 amps each... yikes. The solution: a lawn mower battery.
-Once I finally got the power right, the motors were not giving enough low end torque, and because the board was warping, the added friction made the pen skip around in certain areas... :(. I'll show you later how we can fix this!