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Yarn-Bot: Solving a yarn problem with a robot

by Andrew Rahn

The problem: To build a tool to help a teacher divide up a ball of yarn to make small samples for students. In this talk, I tell you the four phases I used to create a robot to wind mini-skeins: research, hardware, electronics, and software. I'll show how I broke the problem into small tasks, and highlight the technologies that I used. After solving the physics problem of angular momentum and the "yarn octopus", I built a laser-cut enclosure and aparatus. Next, I developed the software using the Arduino IDE, and "hijacked" a microcontroller built-in to a LED display to be the "brain". Finally, I'll show you my secret trick for controlling both a 7-segment LED and a stepper-motor at the same time through cooperative multi-tasking. I'll wrap up with how I'd improve the design for "Yarn-Bot 2.0".


Andrew Rahn

Andy is a developer at Iconfactory. He has experience in a wide variety of platforms and languages and is fearless when it comes to exploring new technologies. In the past few years, he's been an avid user of the programming languages Swift 3, Kotlin and Typescript. He's also a big proponent of the async framework Reactive Extensions.

Andy lives in Minneapolis. He loves dogs and plays the oboe.