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LOVELAND Special Ops: Commencing Project Pico Mover

LOVELAND’s Project Lemon Battery (solar powered web-streaming camera) now has a sister: Project Pico Mover, a robot that can manipulate and create on grids. My friend Mike Mayfield in San Francisco has started working on what you might think of as a web-connected arcade claw machine capable of magic tricks. His first prototype is 4 x 4 feet, very low to the ground, with a head that can move, drop, and drag objects or materials with precision. Here’s a pic he sent of the framework.

It won’t do painting at least to start with, but it’ll have similar mechanics to the vertical setup you see in this video with moving boards instead of strings. Software tells it what to do, and then, yea, the physical robot does it with precision:

When he’s done he’s mailing it to Detroit and we’ll set it up to…well, we don’t know exactly yet. Ideas?

It’s called Project Pico Mover because the scale is small (a pico is a veerrry small unit of measurement) and to riff on the People Mover, the somewhat bizzaro train that goes in a teeny circle around downtown Detroit. “Pico Mover” was coined in a conversation with Sam Putnam from the MakerBeam open source hardware project. Sam is from Detroit and the two of us met, of all places, at an event called Balsa Man, a teeny tiny version of Burning Man that takes place in one night in San Francisco. Here’s a blast from the LOVELAND past on that:

Inchy Goes To Burning Man, Nay, Balsa Man from Jerry Paffendorf on Vimeo.

I gotta get back in touch with Sam, too, and see if there’s a way we can collaborate on building stuff like this. Sam! Sam! Can you hear me? :) Mike and I want to talk to you.

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