Christian had some left-overs at work, amongst which there was also a quite dated Mitsubishi Movemaster RM-101 educational robot which we immediately named Number 5.  It’s a 5-axis robot arm built back in 1984 or something, wasn’t in the best shape and nothing much was known about it.  The internet seems to be devoid of information on this piece of hardware, except that „yes, it does exist“ and „no, there’s no manual“.

A first glance at the hardware showed that it was connected via a parallel printer port and the controller doing the magic is a Z80 mikrocontroller.  One of the things decided upon early in the process was creating a backup of the EPROM holding the program code before it dies.  This was easily possible thanks to @grftjx’s help using his trusty Willem True universal programmer board.

The lack of documentation picked the interest of @dop3j0e and @samuirai who started working through the now dumped Z80 assembler code with tactical precision using IDAPro and and an instruction set manual.  After some probing around the firmware sources the most important commands to move the robot arm around where identified.

Since the parallel port connector seemed to be neither original nor functional it was both fixed and documented.

It was now time to get the thing moving, so chris replaced the problem of a non-moving robot arm with a tiny shell script.

Now that all the reversing was done, Christian remembered that there was in fact a dusty old copy of the instruction manual back at the company.  The manual quickly confirmed everything that was reversed and gave a bit more insight into the other commands the robot accepted.

At this point, let us pause for a second and watch this video courtesy of our chief videographer @h0uz3 supported by art director papachaotica of the robot arm in action:

Robotik@shack from shack e.V. Hackerspace Stuttgart on Vimeo.

Okay, thanks for watching, now back to more awesomeness.

@4rm4 joined the fun with actual applications!  Introducing: robot powered light painting!  And robot powered plotting using a felt pen.

At this point you’re probably thinking: „Nice, but a little small, eh?“.  Fear not, we’ve got the size issue covered.

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+GDG Stuttgart, +GDG Black Forest, and +shackspace are once again hosting Google I/O Extended this year!

We are excited to bring a live stream of the keynotes and technical sessions right to you.  Come along to hang out and learn with other talented developers and watch Google I/O live.

The venue will be open on June 27th and 28th from 16:00 to late, with the keynote starting around 18:00.

Register at Hurry up! 😉 Space is limited.
Looking forward to see many of you there!

Free Event! (Donations towards shack e.V. are welcomeRegistration required!
When: Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th June 2012, starting 4pm
Where: U4/U9 Station “Im Degen”, Ulmer Straße 255, Stuttgart Wangen (across from Kulturhaus Arena)

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Or at least our vacuum cleaner does, once again.  The vacuum cleaner built by chris, Chris and papachaotica is aptly named Karloff.  Why, you ask?  Let me tell you a story of four broken vacuums.

Quite a while back chris sponsored a relatively cheap „industrial grade“ vacuum cleaner.  It was exactly that, relatively cheap and relatively short-lived with its motor dying on us during some maintenance work.  Of course we couldn’t just throw it away so we kept it and even moved it with all the other stuff to the new shackspace location over a year ago.

Somehow we got a hold of another vacuum cleaner which had a working motor but a small dust bin.

The plan: mate the dust bin of the first with the motor of the second!

Removing the broken motor while retaining the mounting ring to fit the new motor into was accomplished by using an old soldering iron to slice through the plastic.  The smaller vacuum was freed of its wheels and a hole was cut into its bottom side.  This is where the air will be flowing through.
Then the second vacuum cleaner was mated to the first with the help of some screws and car body sealing agent.

Add the vacuum hose of a third and the tube of a fourth vacuum cleaner and you have a working device.
But wait, that’s just a working device, which is boring.

Colorful LEDs make every project 20% cooler so a few RGB-fading LEDs were added.  Powered via a wall-wart power supply there had to be some way to actually plug that in.  This was solved by adding a Schuko wall outlet to the top of the frankencleaner which is slaved to the vacuum’s power.  Added benefit: you can unplug the wall-wart and plug it into a regular wall outlet and use the vacuum cleaner as a mood light.

Final touches were added by covering the no longer needed port of the second vacuum cleaner’s hose with a piece of plexiglass and fitting a high power LED behind it.

I for one welcome our new vacuum cleaner overlords!

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Dienstag den 19. Juni 2012 um 19:30 Uhr trifft sich die GUUG.  Diesmal mit Verstärkung in Form von Wolfgang Stief welcher „Über das Sammeln von Großrechnern“ referieren wird.

An zahlreichen Beispielen des Projekts und der datArena werden die besonderen Herausforderungen beim Sammeln von Großrechnern und der aktuelle Stand der Ausstellung gezeigt. Eine Bildergeschichte mit Erzähler.

Mehr zur GUUG Lokalgruppe Stuttgart unter

Zum Event:
Eintritt frei! (Spenden an shack e.V. sind gerne gesehen) Jeder ist willkommen!  Um formlose Anmeldung (Doodle) wird gebeten.
Datum: Dienstag, 19. Juni 2012, ab 19:30 Uhr
Anfahrt: U4/U9 Haltestelle “Im Degen”, Ulmer Straße 255, Stuttgart Wangen (gegenüber Kulturhaus Arena)

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Termin für den Krypto-Workshop 6: Freitag, 22.06.2012 20:00 Uhr (ab 19:00 Uhr Wiederholung)

Zunächst wie immer eine Kurzwiederholung vom Krypto-Workshop 5.   Danach behandeln wir folgende Themen:

  • Zahlen- und Gruppentheorie cont.,
  • Zufallszahlengeneratoren cont.,
  • Hash-Funktionen implementieren (inkl. Length Extension),
  • ein paar persönliche Buchtipps zum Anfassen.

Jeder ist willkommen.  Laptop von Vorteil.

Zum Event:
Eintritt frei! (Spenden an shack e.V. sind gerne gesehen) Jeder ist willkommen!  Um formlose Anmeldung (Doodle) wird gebeten.
Datum: Freitag, 22. Juni 2012, ab 19:00 Uhr
Anfahrt: U4/U9 Haltestelle “Im Degen”, Ulmer Straße 255, Stuttgart Wangen (gegenüber Kulturhaus Arena)

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