Belt conveyors are key components of industrial automation systems. This modular mini conveyor belt is designed to replicate a miniature version of an industrial automation process that can be used in educational environments for industrial automation illustration using microcontrollers. It consists of a speed controller to drive a stepper motor with up to 2 Amps, and an Arduino board for automating tasks. The speed can be varied from 0 to 300 RPM, and is displayed on a 3-digit seven segment display module.
Arduino powered mini conveyor belt
The design was conceived to have the least amount of complex mechanical elements as possible, however, two special non trivial steps are required: cut and joint the timing belt that transfers rotation from the motor to the axle, and make the conveyor belt.
If you have an old-school knob-turny style window AC unit that is still in working condition, you might want to read this article from Phil Rowe who talks about how he reinvigorated his old AC unit to a fully automated AC system using Arduino. He writes,
This article covers the development of an Arduino controlled air conditioning system. It converts an old school, in-window, air conditioner (AC) which was in a very hard to reach spot to an automatic system which can be activated and monitored from MegunoLink Pro at your desk. The system consists of an Arduino Uno, a servo driven mechanism to active the AC, a DS18B20 temperature sensor, and MegunoLink Pro to plot the temperature and control the set points.
The DIY Soldering Robot was an ongoing project of Brian Dorey for a while and now he has just been able to finish it and test it with some real-world soldering.
DIY soldering robot
The DIY soldering robot which we have been building in our spare time over the past few months is now working and we have been able to solder some test Raspberry Pi expansion board headers with the machine.
Before starting on this robot we looked at the various commercial soldering systems that are available. Wave soldering machines would have been impractical as the connector is on the top side of the board next to the surface mount components. Wave soldering would also coat the full length of the pin in solder which we don’t want to do as it would make it more difficult to stack the boards.
There are several commercial soldering robots available and we got quotes for some of them but we decided that they were either too big, too slow or too expensive, with most costing more than a new car. In the end we decided that what we wanted was so specialized it would be easier and cheaper to make one ourselves.
We tried to design the machine in a way that would be small and easy to replicate so if we need to speed up production of our boards we can quickly make more soldering robots and have a row of them running on a desk. A Bluetooth module was added to the design so when we do build more robots we can use one master robot to wirelessly control several slave machines.
If you like gardening but hate to keep up with the daily routines of watering the plants, you might be interested in this Arduino controlled gardening assistant, which monitors and controls the soil humidity and lighting level inside an indoor garden to ensure that the plants have favorable conditions for healthy growth.
Never forget to feed your fish again with this DIY fish feeder, which is Arduino controlled and can be programmed to automatically feed the fish at a fixed interval of time. It uses a servo motor to release the food from a container into the aquarium when it’s time to feed the fishes.