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January 30, 2009

Come See Us at Maker Faire UK

Otis is going to Maker Faire 

Otis the robot is excited; we're packing him up and taking him to Newcastle. That's right Otis along with the rest of oomlout will be attending the Maker Faire UK on March 14th and 15th (for all the details). Swing by and see us. We have yet to confirm a table but pending that we will be bringing loads of fun projects and general good cheer.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

(UPDATE: Our table has been confirmed, so Otis will be able to put down his hobo stick and meet the public)

January 19, 2009

Time to Automate the Home? (or shop)

A Servo Switch in a White Surrounding

  Is there anything more frustrating than turning a light switch on only to then turn it off again minutes maybe hours later? Well undoubtably there is but in keeping with our style of addressing the lesser problems of life it is one we decided to tackle. The result our newest Instructable and Product, the Servo Switch - (SESW). It takes care of that simple task of flicking light switches, and does so through the use of an Arduino.

   At the moment we have our's conducting rather amazing light switch raves, but the plans are grand (including large scale micro farm managment).

  If you'd like to build your own check out the Instructable: Easy Home Automation (using Servo Switches)

  Or if you'd like to purchase a lovely kit with: Servo Switch - (SESW) Kit




January 17, 2009

Cleaning Up Afterwards

A Filthy Sink

After two days of non stop cutting the laser cutter's mat gets absolutely filthy. If you don't clean it up it starts drastically affecting the quality of your output. This filthy sink is a solid result of lots and lots of testing. 

Cleaning Options that have not worked:



-Paint Thinner

-Dish Soap

-(All the above accompanied with q-tip scrubbing)


Cleaning Options That Have Worked:

-T.S.P All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner (this is the same stuff you wipe down walls with before you paint them). Mixed to a solution between the Heavy duty option (10 to 1) and the Super Heavy Duty Option (4 to 1) (Super Heavy Duty is reccomended for cleaning stains off your driveway).

January 15, 2009

A Few Things Learnt

Semi Functional Sewing Machine

One of our many initial failures, a sewing machine from the local thrift shop after an appointment with a screwdriver, hand drill, and finally hack-saw. It was dissected in the interest of producing a sewing machine stock ticker (or twitter updater). Unfortunately this one was dissected a bit too far to be saved, but no worries, it is sitting around awaiting it's re-birth as an automatic bobbin spinner.

A Few Things Learned:

  • Sewing Machines are amazingly industrial behind their soft plastic shell (this one has a cast aluminum chassis.)
  • If you find yourself reaching for a hacksaw, or drill it probably wasn't meant to be removed.
  • That plastic helix'ie looking bit... very important.
  • Finally getting it to sew text looks like a very achievable aim.


January 14, 2009

Inside the Factory

A group of SERBS Ready to Ship

Wondering how your Arduino Controlled Servo Robot (SERB) - kit is made? looking to start building your own? We have the answer for you. Just finished an Instructable which takes you through our manufacturing process, mine it for industrial secrets or simply enjoy.

How to Make 30 (SERB) Kits