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Semi-autonomous wheeled robot to help with various tasks around the workshop. Starting from the initial prototype of a non-propelled non-intelligent video recording workstation going to fully developed robot capable of repetitive tasks such as welding and working in tandem with humans.

Product Stages

Stage 1: Video Recording


  • Raspberry Pi based video recording / instructional creation workstation.
  • Managed with PiNet.
  • 1 - 12V car battery to power the raspberry pi and the monitor.
  • Input / Controls:
    • Simple direct button controls that can be manipulated easily while wearing thick gloves.
    • Orbit / Scroll input to navigating in FreeCAD drawings.
  • Voice Activated Controls:
    • User can introduce themselves (to get attribution for instructional and fetch pre-defined task list / cut list / FreeCAD diagram).
    • Start / stop videos.
    • Ask to show specific freecad drawing.
3 Sections of 5/15" Universal Axis Sub-assembly Part List
Part Count Total Price Comment
Steel Rod 6 $17.64
M6x18mm Bolt 36 $7.46 (box of 50)
M6 Nut 36 $2.37 (box of 100)
Assembly Parts List
Part Count Price Comment
Base 1 Free/TBD Recycled from an office chair. In Stage 4 the base will be replaced with a OSE propelled robotic base so it doesn't make sense to design/build one from scratch just for stages 1-3. If we can't find some old office chairs on craigslist, then this can be made very simply by just welding together a few angle iron pieces and attaching swivels wheels. Swivel wheels / casters can also be 3D printed if necessary (many options on thingverse).
5/16" Universal Axis 3 - 1' sections $27.47 Any combination of idler or motor ends should work, as long as they have the bolt holes for perpendicular mounting for the hinge. (See page two in google doc presentation above)
Hinges 2 ~$10
Raspberry Pi 3 1 $35
Raspberry Pi Camera 1 $29.95
USB Powered Monitor 1 $119.93
Car Battery to USB Adapter 1 $10 3 outputs: 1) raspberry pi, 2) monitor, 3) task light / fan / other accessory.
12V Battery 1 ~$80
1/2" Black Iron Pipe 1 - 5' long section ~$12
Total: $324.47

Stage 2: Welding


  • Add ReadyWelder / OSE equivalent.
  • Add 3 car batteries to power the DC welder.

Stage 3: Watch Me

  • Two cameras.
  • Computer Vision processing added.
  • Simple articulating camera arm replaced with basic robotic arm.
  • Shopaid can more intelligently record the user speaking into camera and the workarea / hand movements at the same time.
  • Robotic arms move to have one camera follow the users face and the other camera follows their hands.

Stage 4: Follow Me

  • Propelled Wheels
  • Shopaid can drive and navigate itself (be summoned from charging station to work area) avoiding obstacles.
  • Return itself to charging station.

Stage 5: Hold It

  • Robotic arms can be instructed to hold things in place: User would move the arm to desired position and tell robot to lock in place.

Stage 6: Repeat

Stage 7: Clean

  • Put away all tools and clean the shop. Awww yeah!

See Also

Useful Links