Countdown clock courtesy of

Hello again, dear reader.

We've reached a milestone in development this week - proof of concept builds of all of MoNet's individual pieces have been completed! So while MoNet as a whole still needs to be put together, we've got the bits, and they work. Of course, this brought some new issues to light which can only be solved by the power of shopping. Which we're going to talk about today.

Yes, we discussed our hardware shopping in a previous post. Trust me though, you'll be glad for these purchases.

Two in One

There are two major forces behind MoNet:

  1. Power - The stepper motors, which generate some serious power, will drive the rail-bound movements of the brush head. These are being run off the driver boards.
  2. PWM - An abbreviation for Pulse Width Modulation, and basically means you can use it to switch things on/off quickly or slowly. PWM is going to run the motor drivers, which in turn are going to run MoNet's paint pumps. This is what will give us control over things like paint flow.

The project as a whole is run with a WiFi microcontroller, but these are the fundamental pieces. Now there's a saying about great power and responsibility, and it's broadly true. In MoNet's case, however, with great power comes the possibility of great injury, and/or an interesting YouTube video. This is where our new list comes in.

Things & Stuff - A Shopping Trip

So here's what we bought this past week:

  • Limit Switches - These are meant to keep MoNet's brush head on the track by preventing it from moving past certain points. The motors have enough torque to destroy anything they hit, and you can't stop them with human strength, so this was a fairly important purchase.
  • OLED Displays - Since MoNet's wireless, these displays will be used to relay status messages about what's going on in the machine. Here - take a look:
  • The Big Friendly Button - Should something serious happen, we've also purchased a killswitch. This, as all good killswitches should do, shuts off MoNet's power immediately.
    Of course it's red.

Parting Thoughts

With the important pieces in place, we're also considering some aesthetics for the robot. Chances are MoNet will have its circuitry on display, and we're having a custom control board made for its debut, pictured here:
As it says in the image, MoNet's being built with open source hardware. Most, if not all of this project has used materials or software from the open source community as well. Next time we'll talk a bit more about what's been used so far in addition to our usual updates.

See you next time!