Artisan Wooden Robotic Arms

Kinohaguruma’s wooden robotic arm functions using a series of gears and levers

Kinohaguruma’s wooden robotic arm functions using a series of gears and levers

Nothings better than getting toys for your birthday when you’re a kid or even for adults too. Usually it’s a videogame, a new bike or new clothes that are given as gifts, however if you’re lucky enough to have Kinohaguruma as your father, you get works of art like the Wooden Robotic Arm he crafted for his son’s seventh birthday.

The artist designed the arm using an intricate series of gears and levers painstakingly created using a drilling machine and a jigsaw. The gears were designed using a compass and protractor and after the rough cuts were made, he shaped them to perfectly fit together using a knife and sandpaper. Two levers are used to manipulate the arm in four degrees of freedom by engaging wooden pistons to move left, right, up and down. The left lever is used in tandem with the right for both movement and to actuate the claw to pick up various objects. Kinohaguruma even made an adjustable base to provide stability on various surfaces. Unfortunately for us, he isn’t selling the robotic arm so we’ll just have to stick with the plastic versions sold at Walmart. See more with the video…

Cemetech's Wooden TI-82


Being a maker has its perks, not least of which is having maker friends who make awesome stuff, like this wooden TI-82 that the guys at Cemetech brought to World Maker Faire this year. Apparently it was made by one of their friends, and the bidding over who would get it was fierce. Luckily, Cemetech prevailed because this TI-82 with a homemade wooden case is a handsome compliment to the rest of their display, which features graphing calculators as programming tools, DIY electronics platforms, and pocket computers that can be made to run a staggering array of applications. Keep your eye out for their table and their awesome wooden TI-82!

Folding VR Racing Rig

With driver

With driver

Maybe you like racing games. Many people do, and some buy an off-the-shelf wheel and pedals to enhance the experience. For some though, this isn’t nearly good enough, and in this case, Redditer Veriix decided to build a fold-away rig to use to get approval from the rest of the family.

Besides the “dissapearing” feature, made possible by cleverly placed brackets and hinges, it features an extensive array of controls.  The hand brake is from a Mini Cooper, and can be switched between analog and digital, depending, I suppose, on how the game being played handles this input.  It has 3 pedals for those that can virtually drive a stick shift, and a nice-looking racing seat with a decent amount of wiring underneath.

All that in addition to a cup holder.  I linked the abbreviated version of this build earlier, but if you want to see it, here’s the full (gigantic) build log.  It should be noted that this build was inspired by this Gran Turismo-themed “Dark Chest of Wonders.” Both have their own interesting features, so if you’re considering a build like this, you should check that one out too.

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As this was originally posted on the Reddit Oculus “subreddit,” and is called a “VR racing rig,” it is certainly geared toward use with a virtual reality headset.  On the other hand, a TV could rest on the front of this chest, or a projector could also be used.  After all, how would one use the cup holder with the headset on?