Friday 8 February 2019

Early Hardware Test of Robotic Envelope Addressing

One of my big ideas involves a robotic system to address mail and stuff envelopes. Today I successfully had a robotic system pick up a blank envelope, have another robot write on it (with placeholder data), then move it when it was done.

At this stage, it's mostly playing around with the hardware and tools and getting familiar with the capabilities and limitations, and creating the "glue" parts that let everything work together. Integration work is the embodiment of the phrase "the devil is in the details."

I'm currently using a uArm Swift Pro from UFACTORY, and an AxiDraw from EMSL (which I happily purchased from a Canadian distributor, Solarbotics.) The support hardware and systems are all my own work so far, but it's nice not to re-invent the wheel with the rest of the robotics.

There is still a long ways to go (and I still need a name) but it's very gratifying to have something come together and do useful work, even just as a test.

UPDATE: I make and sell clever little clay target hangers and as of Feb 18th, I shipped by first robot-written order!  An important milestone! Buy one and get a robotically-addressed envelope!

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