Interresting material PVDF

I was exploring the web when I came across an interresting material called PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride).

Basically it is a plastic that is both piezoelectric and pyroelectric. That means that it will build up electric fields when you squeeze/bend it as well as when you heat it.

In this interesting presentation, they demonstrate how a small sheet of this plastic can be used in sensors to detect both movement and heat.

PVDF sensor
This first thing that popped into my mind was that I should investigate how this material could be used as a "skin with feeling" for my robot.

The approach I would like to test is to simply cover the robot in a sheet of crumpled PVDF connected to an array of electrical probes, and then simply empirically collect data from the probes as the robot changes pose. The data can then be fed into a learning algorithm of some sort to detect abnormalities from the expected pose an the real pose.

I also have another use for this material in the robot, but the ideas are too far off to put on this blog just yet. Maybe in a later post :-)


New workshop and other new stuff

I have just recently bought a house. It sports a rather large garage, and if you thought I was going to keep my car in there, you must be new to this blog...

In addition to the garage, I now have a small room in the basement dedicated to be my robot-office for writing software and designing parts.


Dedicated office
Right now both the workshop and office are just collections of junk. My plan for the workshop is to build a continuous workbench along the left and inner wall, totalling over 10 meters of workbench. This way I don't have to clear space whenever I need it. I just dedicate separate places of the bench to different projects or types of project (such as one area for electronics, one for metal working etc).

The right wall will have "gear on wheels" such as my CNC machine (which sits on two wheeled tables). Yes! I have promised to cover the CNC in more detail, but since it has been stuffed away safely in my buddy's garage, I really haven't been able to give it much focus.

I have also switched jobs, and now I actually get to do robot-ish stuff in daytime as well. I have finally landed a job where I get to do the things I really like! You can check it out here.

New biological robot.

I have made yet another awesome biological robot. This time it is a female. I fall in love with her every time I see her. She is already playing nice with the one I made earlier.

Female biorobot