Dolphin robotic cleaner which needs a “robotic finger” to operate

2 February 2020

I started with a much simpler robotic finger, basically to save me the pain of opening my pool pump box, every single day and then pushing the cleaner button OFF and then ON again. You can however get as sophisticated as you want with this exciting technology…

I rent a house which has an absolutely brilliant robotic cleaner called a ‘Dolphin’. It works well except you have to switch it OFF, wait 20 seconds and then switch it ON again for it to operate.

Apparently the next model up has a bluetooth interface for many hundreds of dollars more. If I want that option, after the fact, I would have to replace the whole cleaner…not great news!!

I thus set-about making a “robotic finger” to mimic this action every day, at a set time.

I use the famous Raspberry Pi 3. The first version of the ‘Robotic finger’s was, ummm… unreliable mechanically, I thus redesigned it. It also has a camera which shows me that the pump is running and the LCD display of the Davis pH meter. The first version is shown below:

Output from pool cleaners' web interface on Jekyll
The RPI 3 takes a photo everyday of the Davis pH meter and the indication of the pump master controller and publishes this photo to a Jekyll website

The ‘Robotic finger’ work-bench tested as follows:

“Automation” is what robots do best, things that are either too complex or to mundane for humans. I love this simple robot which takes blood pressure, SPO2, pulse rate (PR) and temperature from your finger and displays these parameters on an OLED screen!

Pulse, blood-pressure, SPO2 and temperature, “robot”
It comes in different colours for those whom think the black unit is too bland!

Variation with two fans and display (revision 8) of the Beef Jerky Maker

2 February 2020

Biltong is usually not allowed to get as dry as Beef Jerky and uses different spices

There are many ways to make a food desiccator. My preferred way is to use my fan with heater mounted on it as, shown in this post:

I have also made one using two microwave oven fans and a microwave oven lamp, for the heat source. This one uses the Wemos Lolin32 with OLED display…which reports temperature, humidity and heat index as well as the low and high set-points of the temperature control band. The photos are as below:

Basket with shade cloth for drying fruit are laying meat down
Aluminium drip trays fitted to the bottom and a fan drawing in air from either end (venting out of the lid)
Wemos Lolin32 doing service in controlling the heat source between the two set-points (temperature and humidity from a DHT22 sensor)

My mate (friend in Aussie Lingo) posted his Biltong Machine on Instagram. It has no temperature control, uses an incadescent 230V lamp and a computer fan. It is neatly built into a cupboard

Faan’s Biltong Machine uses a conventional cupboard carcus. Very neat!

Alternatively, The ‘secret sauce’ controller is a controller that can switch the heat source every few seconds, giving better control in making your dried foods. It also allows all interactions via Bluetooth from your mobile phone and if you connect to your local Wifi will show progress on a webpage, how cool is that! It also uses RF to control a plug socket so no electrical connections required. This is the state-of-the-art. If you want to buy a plug and controller it costs $100. Leave a comment we will get your details for an order. You are really going to love it! 👍🌟🥩🌟👍