Since 2011 I have been providing robotics and laboratory automation services to a range of clients, both academic and industrial. This set of work has provided me with a broad practical understanding of getting projects build under real world constraints of budget and time.

Below are a few projects that are typical of my work. Unfortunately due to privacy concerns we cannot display all our past projects here, though further details can be provided on request in some instances. Some projects have been conducted with partners, though the majority were independent.

Please click on the images for additional information regarding the projects.

  • uRobot
    uRobot
    Electronics
  • Clock Ring
    Clock Ring
    Electronics
  • Dip Bot
    Dip Bot
    Electronics
  • Kicking Robot
    Kicking Robot
    Electronics
  • Reel-to-Reel Carbon Fibre Ablation Rig.
    Reel-to-Reel Carbon Fibre Ablation Rig.
    Electronics
  • Direct from granules 3D printer.
    Direct from granules 3D printer.
    Electronics
  • Speaker Designs
    Speaker Designs
    Electronics
  • Wall gantry for art project.
    Wall gantry for art project.
    Electronics
  • Assorted 3D Printer Designs
    Assorted 3D Printer Designs
    Electronics
Micro robot: iso
Micro robot: iso
Micro robot: V4
Micro robot: V4
Micro robot: V5
Micro robot: V5
Micro robot: V3
Micro robot: V3
Micro Robot: with 50 pence
Micro Robot: with 50 pence
uRobot

These small robots were designed to be a much smaller replacement for robots that are typically used to teach the ROS (Robotic Operating System). This compact form factor allows educators to develop multi-robot systems that can fit on a desktop, removing the burden of having to arrange a classroom specifically for teaching robotics concepts. A detailed set of logs regarding the development of these robots can be found here and some further details here.

Categories :
Electronics
URL : View Project
Time piece ring: Top
Time piece ring: Top
Time piece ring: side 2
Time piece ring: side 2
Time piece ring: side
Time piece ring: side
Clock Ring

The clock ring is an exercise in low power electronics as well as designing under extreme space restrictions. The ring consists of a flexible PCB, populated with LEDs forming a 7-segment based display. The time is maintained by a microcontoller and the user activates the display with a gesture captured by an extremely low power accelerator. The current design uses replaceable batteries and has a run time of around 5 months. The upcoming version will be solar powered, thus reducing the space required for batteries and allowing the ring to be used indefinitely.

Categories :
Electronics
URL : View Project
Dipping robot: iso
Dipping robot: iso
Dipping robot: close up
Dipping robot: close up
Dip Bot

This was a project designed to automate a nano-chemistry experiment. It lowers the substrate into a number of prearranged test tubes filled with reagent. Repetitive sequences of dipping form layered structures on the substrate. These structures were the subject of the research. This work was conducted as contract work on behalf of the PaCE (Polymer and Composite Engineering) group at Imperial College London. An example of work carried out using this machine can be seen here.

Categories :
Electronics
Kicking robot: circuit
Kicking robot: circuit
Kicking robot: iso
Kicking robot: iso
Kicking robot: Bottom
Kicking robot: Bottom
Kicking robot: side
Kicking robot: side
Kicking Robot

This is an extension of the micro robots project. These robots use similar components to the micro robots, though in a larger format, this makes the project suitable to solder with students. Added to the functionality is a powerful front bumper driven by dual solenoids. The robots use high quality battery to be able to deliver the 200W+ power spikes for the front bumper.

Categories :
Electronics
Reel to reel rig
Reel to reel rig
Reel to reel rig 2
Reel to reel rig 2
Reel-to-Reel Carbon Fibre Ablation Rig.

This was a project carried out as a contract for PaCE (Polymer and Composite Engineering) Lab at Imperial College London, in collaboration with Jack Ashley. PaCE wanted a machine that could transfer carbon fibre tow from one reel to another. The tension of the tow needed to be controllable and the machine needed to neatly re-reel regardless of how untidy the input reel was. This required a real time feedback loop based on computer vision to correct for abnormalities. The whole rig was constrained in it’s form factor as it needed to fit entirely inside an enclosure they were using to ablate the tow with a high power laser.

Categories :
Electronics
Granule Printer: mid print
Granule Printer: mid print
Granule printer
Granule printer
Granule printer: part closeup
Granule printer: part closeup
Granule Printer: part during print
Granule Printer: part during print
Direct from granules 3D printer.

This is a 3D printer that prints directly from granules. It was constructed as a contract job, tying together work done by others to be a productive prototyping machine. I am particularly proud of the fact that this project was completed in a very tight time frame for the client, allowing them complete their work for a critical deadline.

Categories :
Electronics
URL : View Project
Folding speakers: folded
Folding speakers: folded
Folding speakers: complete
Folding speakers: complete
Round speakers on desk
Round speakers on desk
Round speaker
Round speaker
Speaker Designs

I have constructed many speakers over the years for different purposes. The shown images are just a small subset. These include speakers that collapse down to half their volume, wooden spherical speakers, extra small subwoofers and many more.

Categories :
Electronics
Art robot: on wall
Art robot: on wall
Art robot: head closeup
Art robot: head closeup
Wall gantry for art project.

One of my earliest projects was to construct a XY gantry for an artist. The machine was used to make marks on the work piece based on data collected automatically by analysing how broken websites are connected together. The aim was to visualise the graveyard of the web.

Categories :
Electronics
Mendel Max
Mendel Max
Low cost DLP printer
Low cost DLP printer
5 axis printer.
5 axis printer.
5 axis printer: Top
5 axis printer: Top
5 axis printer: Iso
5 axis printer: Iso
Assorted 3D Printer Designs

An area of much great interest for me is designing strange 3D printers. I was an early adopters of the reprap style designs and have remixed them to fit our customers needs. I have build 5 axis 3D printers, SLA 3D printers, high speed 3D printers. Also see the Direct from granules elastomer 3D printer.

Categories :
Electronics
URL : View Project

 

Informal Publications

  • C. Thornett and J. Elsdon, “Micro robots,” Linux user & developer, p. Issue 186:p72–73, 2017.
    [Bibtex]
    @article{Unlisted2017,
    author = {Thornett, Chris and Elsdon, Joshua},
    journal = {Linux User & Developer},
    month = {dec},
    pages = {Issue 186:p72--73},
    title = {{Micro robots}},
    year = {2017}
    }

For a list of publications in peer-reviewed destinations view my research page.

Relevant Videos